After The Smash (ATS) #1
It was one of the few peaceful days in the Mushroom Kingdom. As such, Mario took the chance to enjoy the day by relaxing in a recliner on his porch, a cup of tea in hand. He savored every drink he took, knowing his track record for good days being ruined, usually by Peach, Bowser, or a combination of both.
But this time it was Link. At least there was a little variety.
“Mario! I need your help!” Link ran up to Mario, panting, sweating and looking absolutely terrified.
“What’s the matter, Link?” Mario had a frustrated tone of voice. It’s what you’d expect from a man who always gets everyone else’s problems dumped on him.
“It’s Zelda, man. She’s on the warpath.”
Mario sighed and puts his cup down on a table next to him, “What did you do now?”
“I didn’t do anything!” Link seemed a little too prepared to be on the defensive, which was not to Mario’s surprise.
“Uh-huh,” Mario did not even attempt to hide his current disbelief. Link grimaced not-so-subtly before responding.
“I’m serious, it wasn’t me this time,” Link actually looked serious, which caught Mario’s attention. Mario relented and waited to hear what Link had to say, most likely because he thought it would be entertaining.
“Alright, I’m listening.”
Link took a deep breath, looked behind himself once, and began to recount what happened. “Well, I was just on my way to meet Zelda at her castle when I ran into Princess Ruto.”
“The fish girl?”
“That’s the one. Well, I tried to keep going, but for some reason she has this disillusion about me promising to marry her.”
“I wonder how she got that idea,” Mario said with copious amounts of sarcasm.
Link smiled smugly as he replied to Mario’s remark, “Hey, I can’t help how women feel about me.”
“You make that apparent.”
Link’s expression moved from arrogance back to fear as continued his story, “More importantly, she made it apparent. Right in front of Zelda, who, of course, happened walk by and see us together.”
“Mama mia,” Mario understood the severity of the situation, but still had to fight back his amusement.
“You got that right. I tried explaining that it wasn’t my fault, but you know Zelda.”
“Just doesn’t listen?”
“As much as any other woman.”
“Able to track you down easily?”
“That too-- wait, what?”
Link pauses, staying silent and motionless for a few seconds. He didn’t want to move, but Mario shook his head, then motioned for him to turn around. Link did, slowly, the suspense rising like the opening of a treasure chest.
Once he finally turned around, Link came face-to-face with Zelda. There she was, arms crossed, and very, very angry.
“Oh, hey, Zelda. I, uh, was just talking to Mario about how out of line Ruto was and,” Zelda scowled at Link, signaling for him to shut up.
Zelda picked up with where she cut Link off, “And how you can’t control the how women feel about you? How much I don’t listen?” Zelda’s arms returned to her side, slowly. Like an outlaw preparing to reach for his pistols.
“Well, I, uh,” Link took a few steps back as he tried to conjure up a legitimate excuse.
Unfortunately, his stammering explanation was cut short as Zelda began to use her magic to create a ball of fire in each of her hands.
It was all over for Link.
Poor Link ran like a terrified cucco, with Zelda chases right behind him. Within a few seconds they were out of sight of Mario, though Mario can still clearly hear them. What he could hear were the sounds of Zelda inevitably catching Link, and proceeding to administer what Mario could only imagine was a vicious beating, judging by Link’s accompanying screams.
Mario sighed to himself, picked up his tea, and breathed in the aroma. He took a long sip, stared into spaced, grinned slightly, and said one thing:
“It’s good to be Mario.”
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