Man, New York is smelly, thought Pauline. I wish I knew where Mario went. After years, still no one has been able to find him.
It was true. 10 years ago, Mario disappeared from New York without a trace. Many people searched for him, but they all failed. Pauline was heartbroken, thinking he and his brother had just run away. But to leave all the furniture in their apartment?
"Hey, lady!" said a dirty man, grabbing her arm. "Gimme your purse!"
"Leave me alone, you creep!" she cried, wrenching herself free and making a break for it. She soon tripped in her high heels and fell down an open sewer grate...
She was zooming down a dark passageway. Don't the sewers just make you go SPLAT? she thought. A second later, she was spat out the other end of what she thought to be a sewer, and a strange land spread out before her.
There were floating
blocks and Mushrooms, brown lumps with feet, flying turtles, and many other
weird and exciting things. Pauline screamed.
"Did you hear something?" Mario asked his younger brother, Luigi.
"No, did you?" Luigi responded.
"I thought I heard...
It sounded really familiar..."
Pauline ran toward
an unknown destination, jumping over turtles and little people wearing
mushroom hats. She eventually saw a towering white and red castle. She
walked up to the door and knocked.
"Oh, someone's there," said Peach, and raced off toward the door, stumbling a little in her high heels. Mario and Luigi curiously followed.
When she opened the door, she and Pauline saw each other eye to eye.
It was hate at first sight. For some reason, Pauline hated her the moment she saw that big blonde hair, that ridiculous pink dress, and her piercingly blue eyes that were exactly the same shade as Mario's. She then saw Mario himself.
"You-" she began, pointing at Mario.
"You know her? Who is she?" Peach asked Mario.
Mario looked nervously from Peach to Pauline. "Ermmm..... It's a long story. We'd better sit down," said Mario, leading them to a sitting room.
"Well, the first part I never told Peach. A very long time ago, I used to live in Brooklyn. DK was somehow there too-"
"DK?" said Pauline.
"Oh, DK, that's Donkey Kong, remember? The ape? We're friends now." This was answered with a mean glare. "Anyway, I was a carpenter back then. I had a girlfriend, Pauline-"
"WHAT?!" screamed Peach, standing up and nearly knocking her chair over.
"Uh, could you get mad when the story is over? Thank you. Well, Donkey Kong wasn't always the good guy he is now- Wait until I'm done, Pauline! -and he kidnapped Pauline and brought her to the top of a building that was under construction. I saved her.
"After a while, I became a plumber and started a business with Luigi. We had to unclog the drain of a lady's apartment, and we, well, got sucked down it."
"Didn't they teach you to NOT fall down a drain pipe?!" Pauline said loudly.
"It wasn't my fault, it just sort of happened. Ok, now the part Pauline doesn't know. Once Luigi and I came out the other end of the pipe, this place was under attack by evil forces. Since Luigi and I were the only ones who could take them on, we had no choice. I saved Princess Peach," he gestured to Peach, "and she kissed me on the cheek. I forgot about my life in Brooklyn, and I completely fell for Peach. Please, don't be angry!"
"Oh, don't worry, Mario, I'm not angry," said Pauline in a false sweet voice.
"... You're not?" Mario asked.
"No," she said. "I'M FURIOUS! You just leave me and run off with- with- that-"
"Ex-CUSE me?!" Peach said. "Like I was ever Mario's girlfriend? We're just friends, Mario, you've said so yourself a million times."
"What?!" said Mario, jumping to his feet himself. "I was just doing that because I was embarrassed!"
"Embarrassed of me? Embarrassed of having me as a girlfriend?" Peach said, her voice cracking. "Well don't worry, a simple kiss on the cheek can mean anything. Watch."
She walked over to Luigi, who had remained quiet all this time, and kissed him once on each cheek. Peach then stormed out of her room and up the stairs, Luigi sitting there dumbstruck.
Mario was furious at Pauline. Everything had been fine before she showed up. How did she even find the warp pipe? Mario racked his brains. He thought of the 10 warp pipes that existed on Earth, each of them a one-way warp to Plit that could only be used to return to Earth within one week of being activated. He recalled the 2 in Brooklyn New York, 3 in Kyoto Japan, 2 in Tokyo, 1 in London, and 1 in Queensland Australia. She had not gone to the old lady's apartment, so she must have tripped into the one in the manhole.
"Well, that settles that," Pauline said simply, then ran over to Mario and gave him a hug. Mario wrenched away quickly.
"What?" Pauline asked.
"I don't really want to be near you right now," Mario said, and walked out the front door, leaving Pauline and Luigi alone. Luigi was still recovering from shock.
"Oh!" Pauline said with disgust, and stormed into the streets.
"... She kissed me," Luigi said, once he found his voice, though nobody could hear him.
Since Pauline had nowhere to go, she kept walking until she stumbled into Dark Land. She soon couldn't walk any farther and fell asleep near a bush.
"King Dad! A trespasser!" a voice cried. Her eyes flickered open, and she saw a reptile with a spiky shell, wild blue hair that obviously was no longer being brushed, and a pointy front tooth. After him followed one that looked like a bigger version of himself, only with flatter red hair, a crown, and a meaner-looking appearance.
"What does she want? She looks a lot like kidnapping material..." the larger one said.
"No need to interrogate her, Dad, I just made an invention that reads minds," the smaller one said, waving a strange device around her head.
"Who are you?" Pauline asked.
"I? I'm King Bowser Koopa! King Koopa to you," the large one said.
"I'm one of his sons, Ludwig Von Koopa!" said the smaller one. "The readings are in!" He handed the device to Bowser.
"I can't understand any of this scientific mumbo jumbo! Read it!" Bowser demanded.
"It says, I can't believe Mario! He's such a moron!" Ludwig said.
"... Oh, I knew that," Bowser said. "It seems we have a common goal, then."
"Destroy Mario, of course!" Bowser said, laughing. "How did you meet Mario, anyway?"
So Pauline told
her story, describing how she knew Mario, how he betrayed her, and how
much she now hated him. A very unwise thing to do with a villain…
As Mario sat on his bed, a single thought flew up into his mind. If we hurry she can find the warp pipe to get me back to New York! He didn't know why he though that, he had abandoned that life long ago. He somehow still loved Pauline, even though he could barely remember how he'd met her. It was very long ago... Oh yes, now he remembered. It was at a coffee shop, she asked if she could sit with him. He'd had a horrible day, having nailed his thumb to a board and having to spend an hour getting it off as his brother laughed. He said yes, and they'd figured out they had a lot in common. She’d even laughed at his jokes. He was amazed, nobody ever thought he was funny.
... And then there
was Peach. He had fallen in love with her because she got kidnapped by
a spiky turtle. Was that true love? What Peach had said was true. He had
said a million times in interviews they were just friends. And he was just
embarrassed. Why was he? Not of Peach, she was great. He'd never met someone
that wasn't afraid of anything like that…
"Weapons as far as the eye can see!" Bowser cried. "Doomships, Bullet Bills, and more! I'm so excited, I can't tell you how much. I've never had an opportunity like this before!"
"What opportunity is that?" Pauline asked.
"Having someone who Mario trusts help me!" Bowser said happily.
Bowser had led her though the stone Keep and into a weapons storeroom. The weapons at first looked mostly harmless, but once they got in further, into a door marked "World 8", the weapons started to look more menacing. Included were gigantic ships complete with fire blasters and bullet shooters he called "Bullet Bills", and tanks with deadly artillery.
"Well, take your pick! Which one suits you?" Bowser asked eagerly.
"Hm... I like the doomships," Pauline said after careful consideration.
"Excellent. You can take control of this one," Bowser said, gesturing to a large one.
"But, King Dad, that's MY ship!" Ludwig, who had tagged along, cried.
"You're not attacking
today, go... invent something!" Bowser said, pointing out the door. Ludwig
mumbled something under his breath and stormed out.
Mario ran outside and walked over to the nearest Toad. "Hey, have you seen a girl with a red dress and brown hair go past here?" Mario asked.
"Yes, a couple hours ago. She was heading to Dark Land," the Toad said casually.
"This is very
bad. Thanks, bye," Mario said, and ran as fast as he could to Dark Land.
"We'll attack in a few moments," Bowser said. He stuck his head out the window. "I like to feel relaxed while I battle, so I look out the window to clear my head."
"Wouldn't you want to feel aggressive?" Pauline asked.
"... Wow, you might be right," Bowser said. "Wait, look! Mario's coming to save you, ha!"
Oh great, what do I do? Pauline thought.
"That's weird, he left Green Bean behind. Oh well, attack!" Bowser cried.
stepped into the doomship. She started the engine, and the ship came to
life. She set the traps, then took off.
"Oh... my..." Mario said as he saw Pauline ride over with a doomship. She started firing Bullet Bills, which Mario easily dodged. "Pauline, what are you doing?!" Mario yelled.
"Destroying you, duh!" Pauline yelled.
"How will that help anything?! Go destroy Luigi!" Mario called.
"Just hold still!" Pauline shouted. "I can't get a clear shot!"
Mario jumped up
onto the doomship, and hopped on Pauline's head to knock her out. The doomship
lost control, and crashed…
"Pauline, wake up! You're covered in spiders!"
"AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!” Pauline screeched as she woke up.
"Hehe, just kidding," Luigi said.
"What is wrong with you?!" Pauline said and elbowed him in the stomach. He doubled over in pain.
"What happened?" she asked.
"Well, when you decided to kill Mario, he had to talk some sense into you, but he knocked you out first. Then the ship crashed."
"How long was I out?" Pauline asked.
"Oh, a couple hours," Luigi said. "Mario's in the sitting room if you want to talk to him,"
Pauline got up and went downstairs. She saw Mario talking to Peach. Apparently he had broken his arm.
"Um, hi," Pauline said.
"Oh, hi, Pauline," Mario said casually. "Come sit down."
She did, looking uncertainly at Peach.
"Now, why do you hate each other?" Mario asked.
"I hate Peach because I was your girlfriend," Pauline said.
"I hate Pauline because she trespassed in my kingdom, tried to kill you, and disrupted my usually normal life," Peach said.
"Oh, like getting kidnapped every weekend is normal," Pauline said. "You wouldn't know normal if you lived in New York! I've lived there, and the real world is tough. You can live in this fantasy world as long as you like, but I'm going back to New York. Good riddance," Pauline said, heading for the door.
"Wait," Mario said. "Take me with you."
"Leave Plit?" Peach asked.
"Peach, I'll never get this opportunity again, after that warp pipe closes. It only stays open for about a week, like all one-way pipes. If I don't say yes now, I'll never get to."
"But..." Peach said, her voice cracking. "You've lived here so long, it'd be horrible without you."
"I'll be back
tomorrow, I have to think," Mario said.
"Leave Plit?! Are you crazy?!" Luigi asked Mario.
"It's a one-time opportunity, Luigi!" Mario said. "If that pipe closes, we'll never see Brooklyn again! We'll never live our old lives again! We'll be stuck here forever, risking our lives every other day! Think about it, think about the good old days, please!"
"Okay, I'll think about it. Thought about it, NO." Luigi said firmly. "You can leave if you want to, but I'm staying here."
Mario sighed. Leaving Plit had hurt more people than he thought.
"Okay, I guess
this is goodbye," he said sadly. "I hope I'll see you again."
Mario packed his bags, taking everything that was his.
"Hey, that's my overalls," Luigi said, snatching it up.
"Oh, sorry," Mario said without lifting his head from looking in his drawer. Luigi had been trying to pick a fight with him since he had made his decision.
"What, that's all you say when you try to take my best overalls to another dimension?" Luigi said angrily.
"Look, our clothes look the same, I said I was sorry," Mario said.
"Why are you leaving, anyway?" Luigi said. "More people need you here than they do in Brooklyn."
"If you really want to know..." he sighed. "Ever since we came here, I missed Pauline terribly. Once she actually came here and disrupted my new life, she seemed way more aggressive than I remembered her. I thought that if I went back to New York with her, she'd go back to normal."
"What did you think she'd be like? She's been dumped!" Luigi cried. "Once she saw you and Peach, she was jealous that you loved her, mad that you would forget about her, sad that you left for ten long years, and horrified that you could be so moronic!"
Mario glared at Luigi and tilted his head to one side.
"Peach has magazines in the bathroom," Luigi said. "Anyway, don't go! We can't do without you here."
"I'm sorry, but
I'm leaving," Mario said, and headed out the door.
"Well, I guess this is goodbye," Mario said.
"Seeya," Peach said. Mario headed for the door. "Wait!"
"What?" Mario asked.
"Look, if I offended you when I first met Pauline, I'm sorry, it was all my fault-" Peach began.
"None of this was your fault. It was my fault from the start," Mario said. "I suggested we become plumbers, Luigi didn't want to. We did anyway. I had to go to that coffee shop to meet Pauline. Now she's HERE. I had to do all those things that destroyed people around me just to save one person! And now it's back to bite me in the-"
Pauline had just entered the room, and neither had noticed. She looked close to tears.
"We'd better go, the warp pipe closes in an hour," Pauline said.
I'll always miss you," Mario said sadly, and followed Pauline.
"Mario, are you going somewhere?" a Toad asked as he walked toward the warp pipe.
"Yes," Mario said.
"Where?" the Toad asked.
"Flipside," Mario lied.
"Ok, seeya later then!" he said as he ran away.
"Mario! Hurry!" Pauline yelled. Mario jumped into the warp pipe just before it closed.
Suddenly Mario was on a street full of people. Although he had lived most of his life here, it seemed very unfamiliar.
"C'mon, let's go," Pauline said, motioning to him to follow.
On the way, he saw a person being mugged.
"Hey! What are you doing?!" he yelled, and proceeded to jump on his head and whack him with a hammer.
"Mario! What in the world are you doing?!" Pauline screeched.
"I was just-"
"Let's go," she
In all her life, Peach had never been so sad- and yet, she was not crying.
what's wrong with you?" she said to herself. Perhaps nothing this bad had
ever happened, and she was in shock. Or perhaps she sensed a figure lurking
by her window…
"Y'know, once in the Mushroom Kingdom-"
"You can't tell stories like that here!" Pauline said. "Someone might hear you!"
"Sorry," he said, not indeed sorry at all.
"Okay, we're here," Pauline said, coming to her apartment building.
They got up to her room, and Mario decided to put some of his things on a shelf to make it feel more like home. He got out a Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and an old pair of his boots and put them on the shelf.
"Mario, those are crazy! You need to get rid of them!" Pauline said.
"That's it," Mario
said. "You're not letting me live any of the life that I like. Luigi was
right, and they probably need me as it is! I'm going back to Plit."
"Bows- Mmfgh!" Peach tried to yell as Bowser put a claw over her mouth to silence her.
"Word in Dark
Land is that Mario's gone! This is another opportunity that's comes my
way! Now, come with me!" Bowser said.
The travel through the pipe wasn't much different, except that Pauline was chasing him on the way to it.
"Get back here!" Pauline shouted, as he jumped into the pipe.
When he shot back out, he breathed a sigh of relief.
"Huh?" he said.
back!" Luigi said as he ran over. "Bowser found out you were gone, and
he kidnapped Peach again! Let's go!"
"You'll never get away with this, Bowser!" Peach scowled.
"Ah, but I already did!" Bowser said. "Mario's not coming back, and it's not like Luigi could get past me. You have no hope of escape!"
"That's what you think!" Mario shouted as he crashed through the door.
"Aw, crud," Bowser said. "How are you back?!"
"I changed my mind," Mario said, and they began their fight. Mario, of course, won.
"Why did you change your mind?" Peach asked.
"Pauline wouldn't let me remember the good times I had here. I needed to come back. Luigi was right," Mario said.
"As always," Luigi added.
"Well, that's that. Let's just pretend this didn't happen, deal?" Mario asked.
"Deal," they said.
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