Chapter 6: All Brawn, No Brains

It began with a party in a well-lit ballroom. People in elegant dresses and suits were dancing. He and Mario were standing in the center of it all, talking and joking with one another. The conversation was casual at first and muddled in the memory, but he could make out snippets of their talk.

"...Such a stuffy party, for us?"

"Oh, come on, bro! Everyone dancing with pretty music? I love it! It means we're honorable!"

"I suppose."

That was when their friend Peach came. She and Mario slogged through more small talk before she said something that caught his attention. "Do you two mind coming with me for a bit? There's someone I'd like you to meet."

Mario grinned, enthusiastic about meeting new people. "Not at all! Come on..." Static.


The princess led them to a girl in a yellow dress who was filling her cup with punch. She had long wavy brown hair. Peach tapped her shoulder. The brunette turned, smiling brightly. "Hiya, Peach!" She gave her a hug. "I'm so glad you're alright."

The blonde grinned. "Of course I am. No one can keep me locked up forever."

The two laughed. Mario joined in. "It's true. She may look sweet, but she's full of sass."

The girl in yellow raised an eyebrow. "Who are your friends, Peach?"

"Daisy, this is Mario and..." More static. "They're the ones who rescued me from Prince Bowser." She turned to Mario and the boy in green. "Boys, this is my cousin, Daisy. She's the Princess of Sarasaland."

"Hello there, Princess Daisy! It's nice to meet you!" The man in red greeted.

Daisy curtsied. "It's nice to meet you as well. Thank you both so much for saving my cousin. So, where are you from? I don't think I've ever seen you two around here before!"

"Brooklyn," Mario replied.

The princess looked confused. "Brooklyn?"

"New York. You know, America? Don't tell me you've never heard of it!"

She shook her head. "Nope. Can't say that I have."

"They're from another dimension," Peach explained.

Daisy gasped. Her eyes lit up. "Another dimension!? Wow! That's so cool!"

The boy in green smiled, scratching the back of his head. "You really think so?

Just then, the music changed from an upbeat melody to a proper waltz. The four looked around and noticed people starting to dance. "I believe it's time for the traditional waltz," Peach explained.

The boy in green nodded. "Ah, I see." He said that with a bit of a blush creeping onto his cheeks. He had a small crush on Peach at the time, but he never mentioned it to Mario. He didn't want to break his spirit.

He was about to reach for Peach's hand when Mario grabbed it first. "I call Peach!" With that, Mario ran off with the young princess.

The boy in green frowned. "Mario, wait!"

He was about to follow them when the Sarasaland princess grabbed his hand. He turned, confused. The angel in the yellow dress smiled sweetly. "They're not worth all the fuss. May I have this dance, L̷̠̃ū̴̜̀i̴̥͠͝g̷̢̛̞ĭ̸̧?"

"So...What's this game called again?"

"Zombies vs. Aliens 2! It's the video game of the year!"

Mr. L raised an eyebrow. He was currently sitting on Mimi's pink bed. Her gaming system was all set up and had the "video game of the year" running. Mimi held the Player 1 controller while he was stuck being Player 2. After getting a surprisingly decent amount of work done, Mr. L took a nap and had another bizarre dream. He decided to take his mind off of it and the morning's events by playing co-op with Mimi. Once that got boring, she suggested this game.

"The video game of the year, huh? What's it rated?"

"It's rated M for a bit of gore involved."

He couldn't help but show a small smile. "Really? I didn't think you were into this kinda stuff."

She shrugged. "Yeah, everyone sees me as some kinda daffodil when we first meet, but I do like some blood and guts every now and then."

"Does that include horror?"

"Eh...Depends. I hate jump scares."

Mr. L turned to the TV screen. "Well, we're at least halfway there."

"Okay, I'm the zombies!"

"Alright, I'm taking the aliens then. I have an advantage because I've actually been to space."

Mimi rolled her eyes. "Yeah right. Like I actually have to be undead to play as freaking zombies."

The two customized their weapons and forts before starting the game. There was a corny intro where the aliens were destroying humankind in their spaceships. However, as a result of the toxic chemicals used, the humans re-emerged as zombies. Thus, an intergalactic war began between both sides. All of this apparently started 1,000 years ago.

"1,000 years? And one side is still standing?" Mr. L asked.

"Shh! The battle's starting!"

With that, their characters began to brawl while smaller enemies dueled in the background. Mimi was fully submerged into the game world, but Mr. L still had his thoughts on that day. Usually, this is the kind of stupid distraction that keeps my mind occupied, but I can't help but think back to that morning. Me and Dimentio...The more I think about it, the less disturbed it makes me feel. He's always trying to mess with me...Can that be because he likes me?

"...Believe I already have this figured out. You're so going down!" Mimi shouted.

"Uh-huh. Keep telling yourself that." Then again, there was that girl I've been seeing in my dreams lately. She was so beautiful, like an angel. Still, I don't know if she was even real. These dreams feel so surreal when I wake up.

Mimi mashed the buttons on her controller. "Come on, come on..."

Mr. L sighed. This is so stupid. I feel like a naive little schoolboy.

"Yes! 6,000 points ahead!"

The man in green looked towards his friend. What about Mimi? Is she even going to accept me? What if someone here is homophobic or something? I mean, they don't seem like that kind of people, but I can't be certain. Ugh...I hate worrying about this. I wish I could just go back to pounding those heroes in. At least I know they're supposed to hate me.

As the zombie dismantled the alien ship and ate the creature's brains, a game over screen announced Mimi as the winner. She cheered. "Woo! High score!"

Mr. L, who was only half-paying attention, looked at her with a confused look on his face. "...Hmm?" He turned to the TV and saw that she won the round. "Oh, yeah. Nice job." Mimi furrowed her brows. She looked at him strangely, as if he had a second head growing. Unsure of what to do, Mr. L raised his fist. "Uh...Woo?"

"Are you...Congratulating me? Without even one snarky comment?"

"Yeah? What's the big deal? I just told you you did a nice job."

"Yeah, but I just beat you and broke your high score," She said, gesturing to the TV. "Why aren't you protesting or at least sulking?"

Mr. L shrugged. "I've only played this game once before. That high score isn't super important to me." He sighed. "I don't know. I just have a lot on my mind is all."

Mimi put down the controller. "Like what?"

He hesitated. "Well...Something happened this morning. I'm pretty sure you and everyone else were asleep."

"What was it?"

Mr. L frowned. "I can't tell you. You're going to blow it out of proportion."

Mimi pouted. "No, I won't! I promise."

The man in green sighed. "Okay. I found out recently that someone here is crushing on me..." Mimi's eyes widened. "And I may or may not like them back. I'm not sure."

The girl gasped. "What!? Really!?" She grabbed both of his hands. "L, this is a big deal!"

He frowned. "See?"

Mimi glared. "I am not blowing this out of proportion!"

"Yes you are. Now I regret telling you."

Mimi tilted her head innocently. "Why?"

"Because the minute I tell you who it is, you're going to run over to them and give them some pep talk about romance and going for it."

The spider grinned, twirling loose strands of hair with her finger. "I won't. I guarantee that. So, who is it?"

Mr. L stared at the floor. "Before I tell you, you should know that..." He sighed. "It's a guy."

There were a few seconds of silence. "Oh." Mimi's eyes widened. "Wait, what!? Someone has a gay crush on you?"

Still refusing to look at her, he muttered, "Well, um...I'm not exactly straight either."

She was quiet. Mr. L took a deep breath and looked Mimi in the eye. "I like guys as well as-"

"Wait. So...You're gay?"

He felt his eye twitch. "No, I'm not gay."

Mimi smiled sweetly. "I don't mind if you are. I've always wanted a gay best friend. Although this isn't exactly how I planned things to go between us..."

Well, at least she's not homophobic. "I'm bisexual."

She tilted her head. "Bi-sexual?" She placed emphasis on the first part of the word.

"I like guys as well as girls."

Mimi blinked a few times. "That's a thing?" Mr. L nodded. "Are you sure this isn't some kind of transitioning phase or something?"

He frowned. "I'm pretty sure it isn't."

"Well...Okay," The spider smiled. "But if you aren't going to tell me who it is, can you at least tell me a bit about him? It will help me get straight Mr. L out of my head."

The Green Thunder laughed. "Okay. He's someone we know. We see him every day. He likes messing with me, but...he's also really captivating. And elegant. And smart too."

"The Count likes you!?"

Mr. L's eyes widened. "What? No!" He shook his head. "That's gross! He's like...ten years older than me!"

She let out a sigh of relief. "Okay, good. Hmm...O'Chunks isn't the brightest tool in the shed and probably would've spilled the beans by now."

"You're getting closer."

Her eyes lit up with a new idea. "Ooh! Ooh! Is it that one goomba that you've been giving a hard time?"

"No!" Mr. L sighed, defeated. "It's Dimentio, alright? Dimentio likes me."

Mr. L waited for her big reaction, but got none. Instead, Mimi blinked a few times. "Huh. You know, for some reason, that doesn't surprise me very much. He was kinda flirting with you at dinner. You didn't notice?

He furrowed his brows. "No. What do you mean by that?"

"He was all like..." Mimi turned into an exact copy of Dimentio. When she spoke, she even sounded like the crazed magician. "Oh, Mr. L, you are so amazing! Why don't we go spend some one-on-one time together? You know...dinner, dancing, a trip to the moon! And you were all like..."

Next, Mimi changed into Mr. L. Unlike when she was impersonating Dimentio, she appeared apathetic. She shrugged. "Meh. I guess."

Mr. L laughed. He had to admit her impersonation of him was pretty solid. "I guess I was too preoccupied with working on my bro."

The copy of him smirked. "So, what are you gonna do about it?"

"I don't know. I mean, part of me thinks that this isn't genuine. That he's just waiting for me to give in so he could laugh and say he fooled me. The rest of me wants it to be. I mean, I've never had a boyfriend. At least, not that I remember..." He let out another deep sigh. "Amnesia fucking sucks, Mimi."

Mimi frowned and changed back into herself. "Hey, watch your language! The Count hates cursing!"

"Well, he's not here, is he?"

She sighed. "I guess not. Anyway, if you're curious, why don't you give him a chance? Besides, if it doesn't work, I'm sure that you could have any girl you want. You're pretty cute. And even if he is trying to embarrass you, we can get him back. I've been planning a revenge plot ever since he started quoting my diary yesterday."

"I suppose you're right. Maybe I could give him a small chance. you think the Count would kick me out?"

"For being gay?" She stopped herself. "I No way! I know a couple of the Koopa King's former minions who swing the other way. The Count mentioned he doesn't care what they like, as long as they're efficient."

Mr. L felt a weight lift off his shoulders. Smiling, he got off of the bed and put down the controller. "Thanks for your advice. I'm gonna go talk to him."

Mimi switched the game to single mode. "Hey, no problem. That's what girlfriends are for. I mean, friends that are girls. You know what I mean."

"Yeah." Mr. L left the room. "L-ater!"

He was feeling good about talking to Dimentio until he came across the Count and Nastasia in the hallway. "...Then again, Count Bleck didn't explicitly say that O'Chunks had to go alone."

The assistant frowned. "This wasn't his mission though! If he had permission, one of us would've told him so!" Nastasia sighed. "I'll be sure to punish him when he gets back."

The man in green stopped, suddenly feeling worried. "Hey, have either of you seen Dimentio?"

Count Bleck sighed. "He's just the trouble..."

Mr. L furrowed his brows. "What do you mean?"

Nastasia handed him a piece of paper. "He left this note on his bed."

He took it and read the message aloud. "I hate to do this on such a short notice, but I had a feeling O'Chunks would need some help. So I left. I expect to be back when we return with the heroes, like a swift lioness with its prey. Ciao. Dimentio." Mr. L put down the letter. "You've got to be kidding me."

Mario frowned as he made his way through the village of Crag. While the others were thinking about the Floro Sapiens and kidnapped villagers, Mario had his mind on two people in particular. One of which was that mysterious man he fought in space. His silver eyes pierced through him, as if he knew every movement and trick that Mario had up his sleeve.

The other was, of course, Luigi. It had been months since Mario had last seen his brother. He still remembered that first day when they were told that Peach was kidnapped. That wasn't unusual, but going this long without his Player 2 was. He could hear Luigi's determined voice in his head. I won't stand for this! We'll have to go to his castle and rescue Princess Peach! Let's go, bro!

Oh, Luigi. I hope that you're safe, wherever you are.

"Hey, Mario? Are you alright?" Peach asked. "I can't help but notice you've been quiet."

"Oh, like that's unusual for Mario!" Bowser snarled.

Peach frowned. "I mean, quieter than usual."

"Oh...I just can't stop thinking about that guy we fought in the Whoa Zone. What was his name?"

Bowser didn't give it much thought. "Already forgot. Come on. Let's get going."

Peach narrowed her eyes. "Bowser."

The koopa grumbled and slowed down, but still lead the group at a steady pace.

"You mean Mr. L?" Tippi asked.

Mario nodded. "Yeah...He looked familiar."

"I thought so too," Peach agreed. "He kind of looked like someone we know."

"Like...Luigi. He even sounded like him."

"Luigi?" Tippi wondered.

"He's my younger brother. Well, technically he's my twin because I'm only five minutes older than him," Mario explained. "I haven't seen him since this mess began." The man in red looked to the other two heroes. "What about you? Have either of you seen him?'

Peach and Bowser shook their heads. The former said, "Not since the wedding." The princess's eyes widened as a realization struck her. "You don't think that man was...?"

For a moment, everything was still. Mario stopped walking, the thought striking him like a slap to the face. Luigi and Mr. L had the same face, same voice, same movements. Could his kind little brother be hiding somewhere beneath all the harsh tones and sarcasm?

Then he remembered the eyes. Silver. Sky blue. They were both so different. There was no way they could be the same.

Mario shook his head. "It's possible they kidnapped him, but there's no way my brother would do those things. He doesn't know how to build machines and he would never hurt me like that. Not ever."

"It's possible that they found a guy who looked like Luigi and trained him to fight us," Bowser muttered. "I've had Magikoopas disguise as my enemy's loved ones to reel them in. Either that, or it could be that spider girl you told me about, but posing as a Luigi look-alike to trick you."

Mario stroked his chin. "Well...maybe..."

"Showed up at last, did yeh?" A voice said. O'Chunks leaped down from the sky. "GRA-BLAGHY! I've not been made teh wait like this since that fine lass stood me up long, long ago! Yeh did this to break my concentration, didn't yeh? Yeh likes the cheatin', eh? Sorry teh disappoint yeh! Yeh think I'd fall for a bush-league move like that!?"

Tippi sighed. "Oh, I'm afraid this fellow is terribly misguided..."

O'Chunks growled. "Bargle-fargle! 'Misguided?' That's not even a real word, yeh squishy bug! Quit yer yappin' now! It's time fer us to settle this once an' fer all!"

Bowser rolled his eyes. "Hey, O'Fatty! Take it easy! You're gonna blow our your beard, pal. Seriously. Listen, babbling is not gonna save you. You need stomping. And I'm a stompologist!"

The Scotsman furrowed his thick brows. "A stomp-'EY! SHUT IT! Don't yeh go tryin' to be witter than me, yeh frog! YEH MUST PAY!"

"Salutations, O'Chunks!" A new voice said. Within a few seconds, Dimentio appeared with his usual devious smile.

The koopa king blinked a few times. "Hey, aren't you-?"

Mario frowned. "Dimentio..."

"Ah, once again we meet, like two angry, burly dinosaurs with terrible indigestion!"

O'Chunks turned with annoyance. "What d'yeh want, Dimentio!? I don't be needin' any help! Yeh'll just get in the way!"

"Ah, a quadrillion pardons!" Dimentio said with a bow. "Far be it from me to be a hindrance! Far, far be it! As it happens, I merely have an acquaintance in this land! I was just saying hello!" Then again, one of the lead Floro Sapiens wasn't much of an acquaintance. Not that it mattered anyway.

"Saying hello, eh?"

Dimentio nodded. "Yes, truly! And I saw you, and I thought, 'Perhaps my magic can aid in this fight!'" With that, Dimentio transported his supposed friend and the heroes to Dimension D, knowing very well who would win. He chuckled. "Ah, rest assured, I'll hardly be underfoot! You fight to your heart's content! Ciao!" The magician made it appear that he left, but he only turned himself invisible. He didn't want to miss this.

O'Chunks laughed. "Wuh...That doesn't sound too bad, I guess. Maybe I misunderstood that weirdo. Well, anyway, you lot are in fer it now! Meet the new-an'-improved O'Chunks!" The typical fight ensued. O'Chunks tired to grab Mario first, but Bowser got in the way with his fire. The Scotsman quickly turned his attention to the latter. He growled. "I'll make koopa broth outta yeh, yeh smart-mouthed turtle!"

The koopa king laughed. "How original! Alright, why don't you come and try!?"

O'Chunks ran towards him. Bowser deflected most of his attacks with a new Pixl that created sharp barriers. Though O'Chunks moaned with pain when he was hit with them, they hardly stopped him. Their damage couldn't amount to much. "Is that all yeh got, wee froggie?"

"Trust me; you haven't seen the worst of it yet!"

"Now, Bowser," Mario began. "You should be-"

The koopa king jerked his head towards him. "Don't tell me what to do, plumber! I've got this!"

Bowser tried to use the barrier Pixl again, but missed the timing. O'Chunks pushed Bowser, who slammed to the ground. The Scotsman grabbed his legs and spun him around. When he let go, Bowser bounced all over the walls. Dimentio created a force field around himself. Peach pulled out her parasol and made Mario take cover with her.

The ferocious king groaned when he hit the floor. Peach put her parasol back and sighed. Mario frowned. "...Careful."

"Hey, shut up! It was your fault! You messed up my timing!"

O'Chunks laughed and turned his attention to Mario. "What's that, Maria? Ready for a round two, I see!" With that, he charged towards him. Peach got in the way, leaping on his head with the sharp bottoms of her heels. O'Chunks cried out.

Mario used this opportunity to present the hand-shaped Pixl. "Go for it, Thoreau!"

"With pleasure, hero!" Thoreau grabbed O'Chunks, lifting him into the air and throwing him to the ground. He landed with a heavy THUD! O'Chunks moaned and Mario stomped on his head.

The Scotsman glared. "Alright, lads and lass! Yer in fer it now!"

Bowser came forward and blew fire in his direction, sending scorching flames. O'Chunks yelped and leaped into the air in a comedic fashion, nearly crashing into the ceiling. The koopa king huffed. "I thought I told that green pipsqueak of yours already; I'm the only one who gets to mess with Mario!"

For a moment, O'Chunks forgot about the pain. "Green pipsqueak? Yeh mean-?" Taking advantage of the distraction, Bowser stomped on his head two more times.

With that, O'Chunks crashed to the ground, tired and defeated. "BLARGH IT ALL! Bad enough that yeh beat me once, but twice is too much teh bear! How can I show me face teh the count now, eh? I CAN'T! Put me out o' me misery!"

Bowser laughed. "Good idea!"

Peach frowned. "Bowser."

"What?" He said with a shrug.

"Get on with it! I'm serious! I have no regrets." He hesitated. "Well...No...Perhaps I do regret not confessin' me love teh that sweet lass..." Nastasia. How he loved her, despite her being oblivious to his feelings. Then again, maybe she would already know if it weren't for her infatuation with the Count.

O'Chunks shook his head in anger. "BUT NO! That's no way fer a brave warrior teh talk when 'is time comes 'round at last! So...Do it! Now! Now! Finish me! End me game!"

Just then, Dimentio made himself visible again. "Well, salutations, O'Chunks! How are things, hmm?"

O'Chunks frowned. "D-Dimentio! Look, honestly, this is kind o' important! How 'bout some privacy, eh?"

Dimentio smirked. "Yes, yes, of course. I understand. Your honor must be satisfied. But, O'Chunks...Before you let your game be over, humor poor little me for a bit. I have something I rather think you'll enjoy. I do wish you would try it out for me." He knew he was being crude, especially since O'Chunks was suicidal at the moment, but he needed a test subject for the floro sprout. If Mr. L chose not to join him, he couldn't try it on him and get failed results.

"YEH CRAZED LOON! It's not the time fer-"

"Oh, it's not the time, hmm? Not the time for something that will aid Count Bleck?"

The Scotsman frowned and stroked his chin. "Oh...Fer the count, eh? Well, that do change a thing or two. Hmmm...Fine then!" He turned to the heroes. "You lot! Yeh took enough of a beatin' fer today, so I'll let you off easy-like! I tell you this, though: yeh better work on yer skills by the next time we meet!'

"Wait, what about all that drivel about not showing your face to the Count and such?" Tippi asked.

"'EY! SHUT IT! I live fer the count! I couldn't end me game without 'is say-so! Me heart is weak, sure, so I'm done with it! From now on, I'm all brawn, no brain! The past be nothin' teh me! All that matters is Count Bleck's future! All fer 'im! Chunks away!"

With that, he launched into the sky using his classic...Fart technique. The others stared with confusion.

Dimentio laughed. "Ah, it is time to part...Ciao!" With that, he teleported away.

"Man...What a crybaby!" Bowser muttered.

Meanwhile, deep in the underground of the village, Dimentio appeared. He looked around, then sighed. After snapping his fingers, O'Chunks appeared almost out of nowhere, smacking his head into the dirt ceiling. "OW! What teh-?

"Hello, O'Chunks. Glad you could make it."

The Scotsman looked around, then frowned. "What? We're tryin' your thingamajig now?"

"But of course! That is...Unless you don't want to help the Count."

The muscle man shook his head. "No, Dimentio! I do want teh help the Count! I just...uh...thought we were going back first."

The magician shook his head. "Don't be silly. Time is of the essence." As true as that statement was, Dimentio almost wished they could head back first. Mr. L had to have been waiting for him. Either that, or he was repulsed by the jester's bold behavior. If so, he couldn't blame him. He...

Dimentio wanted to hit himself. What did it matter what Mr. L thought? He was a component to this plan, yes, but nothing more. It didn't matter how either of them felt. "Now, we'll just have to meet with a friend of mine and you can get another chance with those wretched heroes. Follow me, my friend."

Uncertain and somewhat apprehensive, O'Chunks followed Dimentio through the underground tunnels.

This one is a bit similar in structure to Chapter 2, but I hope that's not too much of a problem. We got a bit more development when it comes to Mr. L's dreams/memories. It seems that he first met a certain princess this way, though sadly, she won't be much more than an illusion in this story. (SBG excels in that department.) We also got more of his friendship with Mimi. He seems uncertain now, but how much will he truly fall for Dimentio? Is the jester starting to care for him? Will O'Chunks ever stop farting away from danger?

Also, yes, I do see Mario stopping and thinking about Luigi during this whole thing. As much as some people think he's a shit brother, he loves his little bro. Don't worry, Mario. You won't have to wait too long to see him again.

Also, also, I gave up on the K+ rating, mainly because I see Mr. L and Dimentio getting intimate later and it's hard to justify that in a kid's fic, so...Plus, L curses. It's kinda his thing in these stories.

EDIT from 11/13/2023: I changed L's comment about the age difference from him and the Count from 'fifteen years older' to 'ten years older' because at this point, my version of Blue is actually six years older than him. Mr. L thinks he's older than that but not that much older.

-Colorful and Free