"Fox!" he sobbed desperately as his friend leveled the blaster right at his heart. "Please, Fox! It's me! I'm your friend!"
The pilot looked at him in disgust. "Plead all you want, villain, but your rouse will never fool me. You killed him… Now prepare to die."
Violet lightning flashed brilliantly across the sky as he began to laugh… Only, it wasn't his laugh. "You're a fool, Fox McCloud. He's still alive, you know. Are you really prepared to murder your dear friend in cold blood?"
"Shoot him, McCloud!" Falco barked from off to the side.
Though he couldn't see it, he knew Falco's blaster was also pointed right at him. He looked around. Marth and Lucina both had their respective Falchion pointed at him. Link was ready to jump in with the Master Sword and Zelda had a light arrow notched in her bow. Both Robins had their most powerful tomes out. All of his friends were ready to kill him.
"Please," he cried. "It's me! Why don't any of you believe me?"
"Because I know this kind of magic," Bayonetta replied darkly from somewhere out of his line of sight.
"Are you sure about that, witch?" the familiar raspy voice that had haunted his dreams for weeks asked as it escaped his lips. "You'd be surprised what his kind can handle."
"Positive," she replied unflinchingly.
"Then kill me," the voice challenged.
He let out a strangled cry. "No! It's really me! Please, save me! Don't kill me!"
"Shoot him, McCloud!" Falco ordered again.
He felt his eyes well up with tears as he met Fox's. "Please, Fox, believe me. I'm still here, and if you kill me, he wins. Fox, I am the only thing keeping his power in check. I am the only thing keeping all of you alive right now. Please,you have to believe me."
Fox looked taken aback. He seemed to be mulling over what he just heard. Shouts of protest erupted behind the pilot but neither he nor Fox broke eye contact.
It could have been a trick of the light, but he could've sworn that he saw Fox McCloud's eyes begin to fill up with tears. But whatever emotion he thought he saw in his friend's eyes, it was gone as soon as it came. Fox readjusted his stance and tightened his grip on the blaster, his eyes filled with steely resolution. "Even if you're still in there, this is for your own good."
His eyes widened in fear as he watched Fox McCloud, ace pilot and one of his good friends, pull the trigger on the blaster. Time seemed to slow around them as the shot exited the barrel of the blaster, cut through the air, and hit him squarely in the chest, right in the heart.
He cried out in agony. The malicious cackling echoed throughout the night as it mixed with his screams of anguish. He felt his hold on the monster slipping, but it was so very, very painful.
Let it go, the voice hissed, egging him on. It'll be so much easier for you if you just let go.
This wasn't happening! This couldn't happen! He had to fight it.
No matter how painful it was, he couldn't let go.
Corrin awoke in the middle of the field where she had made her fateful decision: choose Hoshido and her birth family and destroy her adopted family, choose Nohr and her adopted family and destroy her birth family, or choose neither and save them all.
This is going to be another one of those "What if?" scenarios, she thought to herself as she found her Nohrian and Hoshidian siblings staring at her expectantly.
Both sides were waiting for her to choose them over the other, but at least one of them would be disappointed.
"Light is the only thing that can hold the shadows at bay, little princess," Xander told Corrin suddenly.
"B-Big Brother?" she asked in confusion as she faced her adopted older brother. Xander had caught her off guard by speaking because she hadn't yet made her decision. And these words, while coming out of the Crown Prince of Nohr's mouth, made absolutely no sense. They were unlike anything she'd ever heard him say before.
"You must keep it from fading," Ryoma added gravely.
The rest of her siblings remained silent, yet nodded in agreement with Ryoma — even Camilla, Leo, and Elise. Corrin was growing more uneasy by the second. While the setting was extremely familiar to her, the scenario was completely foreign. And it was growing stranger and stranger by the minute.
Corrin turned to face the High Prince of Hoshido. "I-I don't understand."
Both of her older brothers were acting strange. For one, they weren't actively trying to kill each other. And for two, their words didn't seem like they were their words. It was almost like someone was speaking through them, as if they were possessed.
Still, neither Xander nor Ryoma answered her questioning gaze, choosing to remain silent and stoic instead. It was unnerving to say the least.
"The shadows are trying to consume the light," both said in unison. "Stop it now before it's too late."
"For Hoshido," Ryoma said.
"For Nohr," Xander corrected.
Good to know that her brothers' personalities were still in there somewhere, even if something was probably possessing them. The whole "For Hoshido; For Nohr" argument was something she could understand, and something they had often in these kind of dreams.
But the familiarity was only for a fleeting moment as whatever puppet was controlling them took hold once again.
"You must stop the shadows before the light is extinguished," they said together.
"Stop the shadows before the light is extinguished," Camilla, Hinoka, Leo, Takumi, Elise, and Sakura all echoed simultaneously. "Act now before it's too late, sister.
"What are you saying?" Corrin demanded fretfully as she shook her head. This was all so surreal. Any moment, she fully expected the dream to become fuzzy and the creepy chorus of her siblings' voices to fade into white noise. "I don't understand. Is this something to do with home?"
Xander raised Siegfried and Ryoma raised Raijinto, but they didn't appear to be challenging each other. Instead, they pointed their swords above her. "You must stop the shadows before the light is extinguished."
Corrin glanced to where her brothers' had their swords pointed and screamed in horror at the sight of—
"You must stop the shadows before the light is extinguished."
Bowser Jr. reflexively jumped at the sound of thunderous pounding coming from down the hall. He crawled out of bed and quietly approached the bedroom door before carefully pressing his ear against it as the pounding noise repeated, indicating that someone was knocking on one of the neighboring doors.
Whoever it was, they sounded absolutely furious.
"Must you really try to beat down the door like that? You'll wake the whole mansion." It was the male Corrin. His voice was tense and he sounded as if he were on edge.
Truthfully, the whole mansion was.
Dinner had been an awkward affair as everyone gave each other the silent treatment. Nobody dared to say anything out of fear of the accusations. Some even chose to forgo dinner all together in order to avoid the tension.
"Good. The whole mansion should be awake. I'm not leaving until we get answers," Ike's gruff voice said in response. The deep, booming pounding began again. "Open the door now, Ganondorf!"
"Ike," Corrin warned in distress, "he's not in there. Let's just go."
"Oh, he's in there alright," Ike grumbled. Bowser Jr. heard the sound of a sword being unsheathed. "Either you answer this door right now or I break it down!"
"Ike!" the draconian prince hissed. "You can't just break his door down! Master Hand will—"
"I don't give a damn what Master Hand will do!" the Radiant Hero snarled angrily. "One of my friends is missing and I know that this bastard had something to do with it. I'm giving you five more seconds, Ganon! Answer the door or else I'm putting Ragnell right through this goddamn door!"
"You know," a dark, deep voice said ominously, "just because you're a hero, that doesn't give you the right to do whatever you want."
Bowser Jr. shuddered at the sound of Ganon's voice. The Gerudo King sounded just as furious as Ike was. Where was his papa when he needed him?
"Where is he Ganondorf?" Ike demanded surly. At least he wasn't afraid.
"I have know idea what you're talking about," Ganon replied.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about!"
"Ike…" Corrin said urgently. "Let's not anger him. We're the ones who are being rude."
Ganon let out a dark chuckle. "You should listen to your freaky little dragon friend here, tough guy. Though you're not the only one being rude."
Suddenly, the door became shrouded in shadows and began to quake. Jr. let out a yelp and stumbled backwards just as the door flung itself wide open.
Ike and Corrin looked at the koopa prince in confusion as Ganondorf glared at him menacingly, his right hand alight with the same dark magic he had used to open the door. "Didn't your idiotic father ever teach you that it's rude to eavesdrop?"
Before Bowser Jr. could react, he found a dark ball of energy being hurled straight at him. He braced himself… But the hit never came.
Instead, Corrin was standing in front of him, the flaming Omega Yato drawn defiantly. He had volleyed the shot back at the Gerudo King with the legendary blade. "You've crossed the line, Ganondorf."
Ike had Ganon pinned against the wall with Ragnell. "You dare attack a child?"
Footsteps echoed off the hardwood floor as someone raced towards them. Before Bowser Jr. knew it, Marth was standing before them, Falchion drawn defensively. "What's going on?"
"Ganondorf just tried to attack Bowser Jr.," Corrin replied, still ready to pounce at a moment's notice.
Marth sighed as he pointed his blade at the evil king, though he did lower it slightly. "Ganondorf, you know that you cannot attack another fighter outside of a match, especially not a child. I have to report this to Master Hand."
"Come on, Marth," Ike said coolly. His voice was level and calm, but it was still easy to tell that he was enraged. "Why can't we just rough him up a bit? Teach him a lesson, do Link a favor, and see what he knows about Pit's whereabouts. Then we can report him to Master Hand."
"Ike, we can't just—" Marth started before cutting himself off. "Wait, what's this about Pit?"
"He's missing," Corrin answered. "Princess Zelda and Falco came into the training room and asked if we'd seen him. They seemed pretty frantic. After they left, Ike said, 'I knew he was up to something," and we came here. He seems to think that Ganondorf has had a hand in Pit's disappearance."
Fire flashed in Marth's blue eyes as he pointed the tip of Falchion under Ganondorf's chin. "Think over your next words very carefully, King of the Gerudos. What do you know of Pit's disappearance?"
Marth's words were venomous and his tone radiated absolute wrath, though it was calm and level. It was official. Bowser Jr. had found someone who was much scarier than his papa and Ganondorf combined.
"I don't know anything. I don't even know who 'Pit' is," Ganon replied darkly.
"He's lying," Ike grunted.
Marth ignored both Ganondorf's answer and Ike's remark as he inched his blade closer to the villain's throat. "What do you know of the missing shadow bugs?"
"Surely you don't think he took them?" Corrin asked in shock.
"It makes sense," Ike mused as he adjusted his grip on his own blade. "Whoever is responsible for Pit's disappearance is probably also whoever took the missing shadow bugs."
"I'll ask you again," Marth spat, his words laced with poison. "What happened to the shadow bugs? Where are they? Did you pay Wario to steal them for you?"
Ganondorf started laughing, causing Ike and Marth to inch their swords closer to his skin. Corrin raised his Yato and threw out an arm to shield Bowser Jr. from any incoming attacks.
"Perhaps this Pit took them and ran off," Ganon suggested slyly.
Ike's eyes hardened as he brought the tip of Ragnell down so it was positioned right over the evil king's heart. Marth shook his head in disgust as he brought Falchion away from Ganon's throat.
"Ike, help me escort him to Master Hand," Marth ordered. He turned to face the other hero and Bowser Jr. "Corrin, Ike and I can handle this from here. If you would be so kind, could you please take Bowser Jr. to his father? I would feel much better knowing he is safe. Just explain the situation to Bowser; I'm sure he'll be grateful. The last I saw him, he was in the infirmary."
"Of course," the draconian prince affirmed as he sheathed Omega Yato. He turned and helped Jr. up. "Let's go find your father, shall we?"
"Get going, you filthy bastard," Ike snarled as he dug Ragnell's point ever so slightly into Ganon's back. "And don't you be getting any ideas."
"Ike," Marth warned coldly as he followed with Falchion pointed at their prisoner.
The two heroes and the villain quickly faded from sight as they headed towards Master Hand's office.
Corrin rested one hand on Yato's hilt and grabbed one of Bowser Jr.'s hands with the other, and the koopa prince let him. In all honesty, there was something comforting in knowing the the fateful prince was keeping him safe. That confrontation between the three Fire Emblem heroes and Ganondorf was probably the most terrifying thing Jr. had ever seen in his entire life.
But there was one thing that was bothering Jr. about the whole situation: why hadn't Ganondorf answered the door when Ike was pounding on it? Was he not in his room?
Ike had clearly suspected that Ganondorf was up to something, which must be why he had asked the Koopa Prince to—
But wait, just because he wasn't in his room, didn't mean that Ganondorf was plotting something nefarious. Well, okay, he was probably coming up with a new evil scheme. But, he was Link's main opponent, so he was probably coming up with his next plot to over take Hyrule.
That meant it was nothing Ike needed to concern himself with, right? After all, Ike couldn't really do anything to stop Ganon's next attack on Hyrule besides warning Link and Zelda. And even then, Ganon's next plot could and probably would unfold when a new Link and Zelda appeared in Hyrule.
But if it was another attack on Hyrule that he was plotting, then why was Ganondorf wandering the halls of Smash Mansion in the middle of the night?
Dark Pit awoke with a start. Something was very wrong. The thin string that connected his soul to Pit's was tense, as if something were pulling it on the other end. Normally, Dark Pit wouldn't be concerned, but there was something off about whatever was pulling at it. Something unnatural. And it felt like whatever was yanking on the connection was about to break it, something that would end badly for the angel.
"Viridi!" he called out urgently, hoping the goddess would answer. As far as he knew, she was still with Palutena. He didn't like relying on the goddess of nature, but this was an emergency.
Much to his relief, she answered. "What do you want? Shouldn't you be in bed?"
"Are you still with Palutena?" he asked, ignoring her questions.
"Yes, she's still with me," Palutena answered. "Is everything alright?"
"I need you to check on Pit. Now!"
"Where's the fire?" Viridi asked.
"Something's wrong with him. I can feel it," Dark Pit muttered.
"I'm sure he's fine. He's probably sleeping," she said. "I mean, we don't want to wake him and deal with his attitude, do we? I mean, I don't know what his problem was this morning, but-"
"I can't get in contact with Pit!" Palutena cried. "I can't even sense him!"
"What?!" Viridi and Dark Pit demanded simultaneously.
"I-I don't know! It's like something's interfering. It's like, something severed the connection I had to him," she replied. "Lucina and Link are the closest to Pit's room. I've sent them to go check on him."
Dark Pit threw the covers off and got up out of bed. That wasn't good enough for him. Pit was in danger and he wasn't just going to sit around and wait for two strangers to report back to Palutena, who didn't even notice anything was wrong until Dark Pit said something.
He just hoped that whatever was going on, it wasn't too late.
Can you tell that I was playing Fire Emblem Fates all weekend? I finally made time to beat Revelations and it was by far my favorite path, probably because all of the siblings live (though I will say Elise's death scene in Birthright is probably the most emotional part of the entire game and, therefore, my favorite part; spoilers, sorry). Totally knew Gunter was going to betray Corrin because he was the only one who didn't have any support conversations (well, besides Scarlet but she was destined to die after two chapters so there would have been no point…; again, spoilers, sorry).
Anyway, the plot is the only thing that belongs to me.