...Wow. So much love for just a simple drabble. Thanks for your kind words, everybody! There wouldn't be a part 2 without them! This chapter will be a lot longer and have an action sequence too!

EDIT from 4/16/20: Fixed some typos and made small edits.

Chapter 2: The Whoa Zone

"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Mario and..." Static. "Happy birthday, to you!"

He stood across from a man in red. This man had clear blue eyes and a neat mustache. He wore a red shirt with long sleeves and blue overalls. He also wore a red cap with an M on the front.

The man grinned at him. A vanilla cake was in between them with the numbers 2 and 6 on it. The number 2 was red while the number 4 was green. There was a circle of colorful candles around the numbers. They blew out the candles together.

People cheered around them. It was mostly a bunch of toads; however, one person stood out from the rest. It was a pretty blonde girl with sapphire eyes. She wore a pink dress with a blue gem on her chest. She also wore long white gloves that reached her elbows. The girl clapped with the others.

The man in red smiled at them. He must've been Mario. "Thanks, everybody! And extra thanks for throwing this party for us, Peach!"

The girl, Peach, smiled back. "No problem! You deserve a million parties for all you do for me!"

"What did you guys wish for?" A toad asked.

Mario shook his head. "I can't tell you! Then it won't come true!"

The toads lowered their heads. "Aww..."

Then the man in green spoke up. "I have no problem sharing my wish."

Everyone turned to him. Even Peach was curious. "Well, then, what did you wish for...?" More static.

He felt himself smile. "I wished that every birthday can be like this one!"

Mario frowned. "You fool! Now it won't come true because you told everybody!"

He laughed. "Sure it will! I'm gonna remember this wish for a long time."

Mario huffed. "Yeah, right. You'll forget it in a few days."

He felt himself frown. "I will not!"

Peach stepped in between them. "Okay, boys. Calm down. Let's cut the cake!"

All the toads cheered. Mario, having forgotten their little argument, wrapped his arm around the man in green. "Happy birthday..." Another round of static.

"Happy birthday to you too, Mario. I love you."

Mr. L opened his eyes. He found himself laying in his bedroom. The walls were painted forest green and had several mechanical posters taped onto them. To his right, there was a writing desk, a bookshelf, and window with green drapes right above the desk. There was also a full-body mirror in the corner. He blinked a few times. Then he sat up and rubbed his head. "That was a weird dream..."

Suddenly, he heard knocking at the door. "Who is it?"

"It's Nastasia. Can I come in? I have some good news for you."

Mr. L glanced down at himself. He preferred to go to bed shirtless and with boxers on. "Hold on." He went to his closet and slipped on a black tank top. Then he said, "Okay. Come in."

Nastasia opened the door. She poked her head in. "The Count mentioned you in our last meeting."

Mr. L had asked if he could go on his first real mission two weeks ago. Nastasia replied with, 'He'll think about it.' So, Mr. L waited. And waited. And waited some more. Now he was finally getting a real answer. "Oh really? What did he say about me?"

"He said it's time that we send you out," She replied. "You'll be leaving today. Bring your machine with you. Brobot, was it?"

Even though he was ready to fall back asleep a few seconds ago, Mr. L was now wide awake. He ran across the room and hugged Nastasia. "Thank you! Thank you so much!"

Nastasia pushed him away gently. "Don't thank me. Thank the Count. Get dressed. We're having eggs and bacon for breakfast."

The Green Thunder nodded eagerly. He wasn't sure why, but he loved both American and Italian food. "Okay."

Nastasia left and closed the door behind her. Mr. L ran to his closet and pulled out his jumpsuit. He put it on quickly along with his accessories. He was so excited that he almost forgot to put on his mask. For some reason, the count insisted that he wear it. He placed it over his eyes and then ran out of the room, more energetic than ever.

After breakfast, Count Bleck told Mr. L to meet him in the meeting room. This was where the minions of Count Bleck would meet and discuss plans on how to deal with the hero. As of now, the man in green hadn't been to a meeting. Yet. He stood on the platform right next to the Count, where Nastasia would normally stand.

"The Dark Prognosticus says that the Heroes of Light will be in space. From there, they will find themselves in a maze of death. Count Bleck had Nastasia do some research for him, and she believes that this is referring to the Whoa Zone."

Mr. L blinked a few times. "The Whoa Zone? A maze of death? With all due respect, Count, those sound like two wildly different things."

The Count shook his head. "Perhaps, but some refer to the Whoa Zone as the Space Graveyard. Rumors say that those who go in never come back out. Your mission is to go there and put a stop to the heroes. If you choose to accept, Count Bleck will send you on your way. If not, you'll be demoted and someone else will take this mission."

The Green Thunder shook his head. "No, I want this mission! No matter how dangerous it sounds! Don't worry. You can count on me. Heh heh."

The Count sighed. "Just get ready, ordered Count Bleck."

Mr. L lowered his head, ashamed for his terrible pun. "Yes, sir."

That afternoon, Mr. L went into the garage. He grabbed the remote control laying on the table and turned Brobot on. His yellow eyes lit up. He smiled and ran over to him. "Come on, bro. We're going on a mission. A real mission!"

He walked to the back of the machine and jumped up. He opened the back door and went inside. Then he sat on his chair and gripped the levers. He looked straight ahead, out into the open garage.

He took a deep breath. "Let's go," He whispered. Then he pushed the levers forward. They blasted off and shot up into the sky. Further and further from the ground.

Count Bleck and Nastasia stood outside, looking up.

"Do you think that he'll be successful?" Nastasia asked.

The Count shook his head. "The Dark Prognosticus says we'll have to keep pushing. But he needs practice, just like everyone else. Let's get back inside."

She nodded. The two flipped back inside the castle.

Meanwhile, Mr. L noticed that the sky was changing color. Black became a pretty dark blue. Stars were twinkling in the middle of the day. When he looked down, his eyes widened. A giant blue ball was below them with patches of green. The Earth.

The Green Thunder sat back in his chair. After a few seconds, he whispered, "I did it." He grew more excited. "I ACTUALLY DID IT! WE'RE IN SPACE! WOOO! BROBOT, YOU ARE AWESOME!"

Sadly, the robot couldn't respond. After some celebrating, Mr. L remembered why he was here. "Okay, okay. Calm down, Mr. L. I'm not here for vacation. I'm here for the Count. Okay, the Whoa Zone. I can find that."

He looked around and noticed the vastness of space. He gulped. "I-I can do it. We just need to...um...ask for directions?" Even he knew how absurd that sounded. "BUT WHO THE HECK WOULD BE SITTING AROUND IN THE MIDDLE OF SPACE!?"

He took out a deep breath, then let out a frustrated sigh. What if the Count made up that part of the prophecy? What if he just wanted to get rid of him? This thought sat there for a moment, making Mr. L's heart sink. Then he shook his head. "No way! He wouldn't do that! I'm too amazing to get rid of! We just need to try searching."

Miraculously, Mr. L did find someone sitting around in the middle of space. It was a middle aged man who owned a shop called Twinkle Mart. "Have a twinkly day! Welcome to Twinkle Mart! If we're not closed, we're open!" Mr. L was about to say something when the shop owner cried out. "WAAAAH! I've been so lonely! Since grand opening, you've been my first customer!" He sniffled. "Maybe I should've thought about location before opening this place..."

"...Yeah. You think?" Mr. L asked, looking around. This was incredibly lucky for him, but not so much for the shop owner.

The shop owner lifted his helmet a little and put his hand in, wiping his tears. Then he put it back on. "Sorry. I just got a little emotional there. What can I do for you?"

He glanced at the basket of chocolate bars. Sweet Choco-bars. Shroom Choco-bars. Golden Choco-bars. He knew that he didn't need any candy right now, but he had been having some sweet cravings lately. The man in green reached into his pocket and pulled out his money. "I'll take five of your sweet choco-bars, please."

"Excellent! That'll be 50 coins." Mr. L handed the coins over and he got the chocolate bars in return. "Need anything else?"

"Just one more thing. Can you give me directions to the Whoa Zone?"

The man's face paled. "Th-Th-The W-Whoa Zone!?"

"Uh...Yeah. You know it?"

"The Space Graveyard!? The place that swallows anyone who goes in!?"

So, the Count hadn't been lying. What a relief. Mr. L felt regret for even doubting his master. He nodded. "That's the place."

"W-Why would you need to go in there!?"

"None of your business," Mr. L snapped. "Just give me directions."

After asking if he was sure repeatedly, the shop owner finally gave in and told him how to get there. Mr. L thanked him. He was about to leave when a thought struck his mind. He turned back around. "Oh, and um..." He reached into his pocket and ended up pulling out 100 coins on the counter. "100 coins says that I was never here. If anyone else comes in, pretend that they're your first customer."

The shop owner thought about it, then nodded and took his money. "Have a twinkly day...and please be safe..."

"Sure thing." With that, Mr. L got back into Brobot. He sat back down, took off his helmet, and pushed the levers forward. "Alright, buddy. To the Whoa Zone!" And just like that, gone.

It took an hour or so to reach the Whoa Zone. Mr. L tore his way through one of the walls. The Green Thunder chuckled and allowed Brobot to reach the ground. He turned off his machine and stepped outside. Then he chewed his candy bar, which tasted of yogurt and chocolate. Mr. L looked around, but he couldn't see anyone. He waited for a good five minutes or so. Then he said, "Okay, where is he?"

Mr. L walked to the door on the left side of the room and tried to open it. It wouldn't budge. "What the-?"

He went to the other side. That door did open. The only thing inside was a golden statue...but no heroes. Not even another way out. He sighed and left the room. "Crud."

He turned to Brobot. "Looks like we're stuck in here until the hero shows up." He tried to look at this positively. "Well, at least I have time to think up my battle strategy."

After some thinking and eating the rest of his chocolate bar, Mr. L had a plan. He would try beating him on his own, but if that wouldn't work, he would use Brobot and blast him into space. Yes, it was perfect! (Of course it was. His plans were always perfect.)

He hid Brobot behind the torn wall. He covered up his obvious mistake by just peeling the wallpaper back on. Strangely enough, the wall didn't look that bad. "I guess the walls are...paper-thin around here!"

Mr. L really had to stop making terrible puns.

Then he heard something squeezing through the door. He turned and saw something green pushing through. The Green Thunder jumped back in shock. Then he looked around for somewhere to hide. Mr. L glanced up and noticed a ledge high above the ground. He used his super-jump to land there. Then he watched the scene from above.

The green thing finished squeezing his way through. It turned out to be an alien of some sort. The alien was green and cube shaped. It had tentacles and a lone yellow star hanging from his forehead. Then the creature spoke with a high pitched voice. "Squeee! Now Squirps just has to wait for the heroes!"

His eyes widened. The heroes. They had to have been trailing behind this alien. Surely they would arrive shortly!

Well, no. It took an eternity for them to show up. Mr. L pulled up his right sleeve and looked at his watch, not for the first time. What time had he got here again? He started to wonder if those heroes would ever show up.

Then, suddenly, they did. Three different people wandered in along with a couple of Pixls. One of the Pixls was a rainbow butterfly. The other was a hand shaped Pixl. As for the three people...they were vastly different. One was a giant koopa with a spiked shell. The second was a blonde girl in a pink dress. And the third, who was leading them, was a small man in red.

"SLOWPOKES!" The alien cried. He waddled over to them. "SQUAAAAAKLES! Squirps was tired of waiting! Squirps almost gave up!"

"You and me both, kiddo," Mr. L thought to himself.

"The Pure Heart that you're looking for is just ahead, space grunts!"

The Pure Heart. Yes, that was what the Count wanted! Mr. L decided that now would be as good a time as any to reveal himself. "Squirps, you've done well. You're a smart kid," He told the alien.

The heroes looked around, confused. Squirps didn't notice. "Squirple, squee! Stop it! Squirps is embarrassed!~" Then the alien frowned. "Wait. Whose voice was that, sqoh?" Just then, Mr. L swooped down and pounced on Squirps' head. The creature cried out in pain. "SQUIRP!"

The man in green chuckled to himself.

"W-Who are you!?" A feminine voice asked.

He turned to face his enemies. He correctly assumed the butterfly Pixl asked that question. "Oh, me? Just one of Count Bleck's more promising minions. The Green Thunder!" He spun around and did his trademark pose, slightly off balance. (Oh, how he had been looking forward to doing that!) "MR. L!"


He grinned and walked closer to them, kicking the alien aside. "I don't need you to tell me it's a cool name. I know it. Don't bother memorizing it. Why? Because I'm about to give you a burial at sea! I mean...a burial at space."

His eyes wandered over to the man in red. This must have been the hero. But why did he look so familiar? Mr. L clenched his fists. "Just because you're in red doesn't mean you're strong. Have at you!"

Mr. L spent the next few minutes battling the heroes, though it didn't feel like a fight to him. It felt more like a dance, their moves as right and graceful as a romantic tango. He jumped into the air. The hero met him, though his jump wasn't nearly as high. The two clashed. The Green Thunder landed on top of the one in red. He punched him in the face. The hero cried out.

"Talk about poor taste in fashion," Mr. L muttered as he delivered another punch. "Who prefers red over green?"

"W-Why do you care?" The hero muttered, his cheek now bruised. "I've seen you before. Who are you, really?"

He grit his teeth. "I already told you! I'm the Green Thunder!"

He was about to punch him again. Then someone grabbed the man in green. They threw him across the room. Mr. L slammed into the floor. His side stung.

He looked up and glared. It was the giant koopa he saw earlier. The beast stood above him with his arms crossed. His voice was deep and raspy. "Watch it, pal! Nobody messes with Mario like that but me!"

That struck a cord. "M-Mario!?"

The hero sat up. He squinted at Mr. L for a few seconds. Then he shook his head. "No. Can't be."

The man in green stood up. He clenched his fists. Why was this one getting on his nerves so much? He rushed towards him, past the koopa. "Hey! GET BACK HERE!" The monster cried. He ignored him.

Mr. L was about to punch him again when someone got in his way. The blonde girl. "If you want to hurt him, you have to get through me!"

Mario's eyes widened. "P-Peach!"

Mr. L smirked. SLAP! Peach cried out. He kicked her legs, sending her toppling down. Then he sprung up. She used a parasol to protect her head. It sent her attacker back down. The man in green groaned as he hit the hard floor.

Ouch. Better drink up. Mr. L reached into the satchel hooked to the back of his belt. He took out a Shroom Shake and pulled the top off. He was just about to drink it when...

It was suddenly snatched from his hands. "Huh!? What?"

The giant koopa had it. He smiled and drank it down right in his face. Mr. L's mouth dropped open. The koopa laughed. "Gotta be faster than that, wimp!"

The Green Thunder glared at him. "...WIMP!?" He growled. "I'LL BREAK YOUR FACE!"

"Careful, Bowser!" The butterfly Pixl cried. "I get the feeling that he's very sensitive."

Mario. Peach. Bowser. Why did these names sound so familiar?

A rush of memories that he thought were lost. Happybirthdayweloveyousomuch...Goawaygreenmarioorwhateveryournameis...

These thoughts made his head hurt. Mr. L covered his ears. "Stop it!"

"Make me!" Bowser snarled.

Oh right. He was in the middle of a fight.

Fire. Mr. L backed away. He tried to drink a Shroom Shake again. Stolen again. The hand Pixl gave it to the hero.

Mr. L clenched his fists. "Stop stealing my shakes, you charlatans!"

Mario jumped. He pounced on him. That was enough.

Mr. L fell to the ground. His hands stung. Why was he fighting so poorly? Something was holding him back. Now he was failing. But he wouldn't be for long.

The man in green got back up. "Oof. Impressive. " He smiled. "I guess there's but one thing to do, hmm?" He raised his arms in the air. "COME TO ME, METAL BRO!"

Just then, Brobot burst in through the walls. The heroes backed away. The robot came in between Mr. L and the three of them. He laughed. "Ha HA! Do you like him? That is my dear metal brother. He and I share a spiritual bond, you know."

Mario blinked a few times, confused.

"Yes, yes, and his name is...BROBOT!" He hopped inside and rushed towards the driver's seat. He gripped both levers and turned on the mic. His voice echoed inside the machine. "Enough playing, already...NOW FOR PAIN!"

That was when Mr. L had a strange thought. A thought that went against his own beliefs and the beliefs of the Count.

He didn't want to do this.

The next thing he knew, they were in outer space again. Squirps came back and the hero was holding onto him. Peach and Bowser were drifting behind. These strange thoughts continued to plague his mind.

I don't want to do this anymore.

Mr. L brushed it aside. "The gravitational laws of space allow Brobot's potential to be fully realized!"

I shouldn't be hurting them. I know them from somewhere. Especially the man in red.

He held onto the levers even tighter. "Hey, Mr. Jumps-all-the-time!" He called out to the hero. "Now we'll see who's the better jumper!"

Are these heroes connected to my past somehow? It's a long shot, but...

This time, Mr. L wasn't quite feeling the action. His mind almost turned off as he shot lasers at the heroes. He tried to block these thoughts out, but they just kept popping up, like weeds. One stood out from the rest.

I want to protect him.

He pressed a button. Shot a missile. The hero used the alien to fight back, shooting fire. Then the man in green used an attack he had been looking forward to using. Mr. L pulled a switch. Brobot's mouth hung open. Wind pulled the heroes closer. Mario was the one sucked in. Peach called out his name. The attack wasn't deadly. Brobot shook the hero in his mouth, banging him up. Then he spit him back out. Mario cried in pain.

That wasn't satisfying. Why not?

Soon, it was over. The only problem was that Brobot was falling apart in a fiery explosion. The man in green couldn't help but feel sympathy for his creation. "Hey...this makes no sense!"

Nothing makes sense to me.

They crashed back into the Whoa Zone. The heroes landed gracefully on their feet. Mr. L landed flat on his stomach. Again. "N-No!" He cried. "You beat Brobot!?"

Thank goodness.

He stood up, trying to ignore the pain. "Ugh. I'll let you off the hook for the rest of today, I suppose. But remember this...when Fortune smiles next, she'll smile right here! On Mr. L!"

With that, he jumped past them and ran out of the room. As he was leaving, he heard the alien say one last thing. "Ugh...that was awful, Squirp!"

He opened the door to the left and shut it behind him. Mr. L pressed his back against the door. He peered down. A broken lock on the floor. Ah. So, that was why he couldn't leave earlier.

The Green Thunder buried his face in his hands. He shook, anger consuming him. "AAH!" He rushed to the wall and punched it. Mr. L didn't care that his hand was throbbing.

Why couldn't he beat them? Mr. L was a minion of Count Bleck, not one of them! They were his enemies! Why was he thinking of them any differently!?

He let out a frustrated sigh. "Oh well...I better let the Count know of my failure."

He held down on the buckle of the belt. It gave off a yellow glow, which started out small but eventually covered his whole body. Then, he vanished into thin air. The next thing he knew, he was back in the castle. The man in green didn't want to tell the Count what happened, but he knew that he had no choice. With his head lowered, Mr. L left his room and headed for the meeting room instead.

Did you notice the pattern with the static during the birthday dream? If not, go back and reread it.

A lot to say here. The first chapter was short because it was a short assignment for school. This chapter is long because now I'm thinking of this as an actual fanfic that I want to put my time and energy into. I guess I'll need to find that balance.

Yes, I know that the fight in Super Paper Mario didn't actually go like that (moves other than jumping, dialogue, etc.), but come on. How exciting would it be in story form if all they did was jump around and stomp on each other's heads? Plus, convenient high-ledge is convenient, but how else was L able to swoop down like that if Brobot wasn't there?

Also, I have this headcanon that Mr. L curses a lot. But part of me wants to keep the K rating, which means I'd have to have him say K rated things. In other words, he can't curse. (Sort of like this chapter. Notice how I had him say 'crud' instead of 'crap' or 'shit'?) But the other part of me wants it to be consistent with another story I'm writing in which he does curse. Idk. Let me know in the reviews which one you want.

One last thing. I'm pretty sure that the Mario brothers are from Brooklyn, New York, so Mario and Luigi grew up as Italian-Americans. That's why Mr. L loves both American and Italian food.

I hope this was good enough to satisfy you for now!

-Colorful and Free