"Art is what we call… the thing an artist does. It's not the medium or the oil or the price or whether it hangs on a wall or you eat it. What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making. Something risky. Something human. Art is not in the eye of the beholder. It's in the soul of the artist." ― Seth Godin
Disclaimer: I don't own Kirby, HAL Labs does.
The rays of the sun were slowly turning red, shadows growing long to show the late time as dusk quickly approached on Ripple Star. Most of the native fairies of Ripple Star looked forward to the night since they were able to partake in the incredible view of the teeming stars and distant galaxies that the night sky offered to them.
However, there was one person in particular who wanted the day to last longer and thus grumbled under her breath, wiping beads of sweat off her face on her sleeves. "Oh come on… don't let the sunlight vanish on me now! I don't want to have to complete my project in the dark!" Yeah, setting up her workstation out in the open field did have its downsides sometimes.
The girl had made it a personal target for her to complete one drawing per month. And now, her deadline was fast looming, with only a few hours left for her before she would burst her target, exceeding her estimate. The artist made a godzilla effort to remain calm and slowly dipped her paintbrush into the blue paint. She took in a deep breath, telling herself that she could still make it in time. After that, she painstakingly focused on her art piece, gently making strokes on her canvas sheet as she put on a few finishing touches.
But unfortunately for her, her lack of rest due to her determination to complete the project caused her to make a grave error. Her grip on her brush slipped, causing a stray line of paint to smear across her work.
"Oh no! No, no, no, no, no!" she yelped in horror as she saw the line of watercolor blue streaked over her beautiful painting, an error caused purely by time pressure. Placing her wooden palette which contained her paint down on the frame of the canvas, she squeezed her eyes shut and yelled out in irritation. "Argh!" She angrily flung her hands to her sides once she realized that her latest painting was now effectively ruined.
"Hey, Adeleine! What's wrong?"
The painter turned around to see a small bubblegum-pink haired fairy dressed in red fluttering down towards her. "Oh…" Adeleine greeted, looking down to her feet in embarrassment. "Hi, Ribbon…"
Ribbon was one of her closest friends, with Adeleine first meeting the fairy after the artist had just snapped out of being possessed. The two of them had then forced into a grand adventure across the cosmos to collect multiple shards of Ribbon's large Crystal that had been shattered to pieces.
But collect them all they did, and things had finally ended with the group managing to eradicate the dark force that had been threatening their galaxy. It had been a joyous occasion. Adeleine would never forget the pride that she'd felt when the Queen of Ripple Star presented her with a small crystal shard as a token of appreciation for her role.
But after their big adventure, the five of them had split up. While three of them had returned back to their home planet, Adeleine herself had nowhere to go. Seeing her distress back then, Ribbon had kindly offered the artist the option to take up residence in Ripple Star. Without any hesitation, she immediately clinched the deal and had been living as a freelance artist in Ripple Star ever since.
The artist winced as Ribbon called her name out in a singsong-like manner. "Yes?" she asked, narrowing her eyes at the fairy in an irritated manner. Adeleine really wasn't in the mood for playing around right now, to be honest.
Ribbon furrowed her brow, the normally cheerful fairy frowning slightly when she noticed that her good friend was moping around. "What's wrong?" she asked with concern in her voice. Adeleine simply let out a sigh when she realized that her stubborn friend wasn't just going to let the matter drop. She gestured at the painting behind her, leading Ribbon to hover over to where she was pointing at. "You see that? Just look at my art!"
Ribbon adjusted the red ribbon that tied up her hair as she peered closely at Adeleine's project — a blue-tinted scenic view of a winter wonderland, with Chillies and factories populating the foreground and background respectively. As she looked at the painting from top to toe, Adeleine cut in with a sigh.
"A person's opinion on art is something that's highly idiosyncratic, Ribbon." Adeleine held up a finger, pointing it up to the rapidly darkening sky as she proceeded to lecture her good friend. "You can show any two people the same piece of literature, music, or film, and they would have two separate personal opinions. It doesn't matter if one thinks that it's the best thing since sliced bread and that they would die for it. The other could think that it's trash so bad that it deserves to be vaporized and destroyed irretrievably. My point is that different people will always have varying subjective opinions!"
Ribbon thoroughly absorbed Adeleine's words. "Okay?" she quizzically asked, not seeing where the artist was going with this. To her, it appeared that the artist was falling into a rant, although the green-clothed girl didn't quite realize it yet.
"…it's the same with me, to be honest." Adeleine sniffled as she took a glance at her own art piece. "Tell me what you think about this atrocity, Ribbon." She puffed her chest out, struggling to maintain her composure as she pointed at her artwork. "And be honest. Shoot me your worst."
Ribbon let out a smile as she landed on the ground in front of the artist. "Why, I think it's gorgeous! That's Shiver Star, right? You captured it perfectly! It's almost like I'm breathing the frosty air back there again."
"What are you talking about? It's garbage…" Adeleine mumbled under her breath as Ribbon stopped her cheerful squealing, her voice almost inaudible as she spoke.
Ribbon flew in front of Adeleine's face as she caught her words. "That's utter nonsense! Look at your—"
Adeleine lost her temper, pointing at an ugly smear of blue that cut across the top part of her painting.
Adeleine nodded as Ribbon shrugged in response. "To be honest," the fairy let out a soft smile, "Since that was in the 'sky' portion of the painting, I thought that streak of paint was representing a shooting star."
"You're just saying that to make me feel better…" Adeleine sniffed. "But the reason that I can't stand this project is not because of the mistake with the smeared paint." She looked straight into Ribbon's eyes as she said her next words. "It's because I based it off Shiver Star!"
"What's wrong with Shiver Star?"
"It's unoriginal… to put it bluntly, I have literally no inspiration anymore." She vehemently shook her head, changing the topic before the fairy could question her. "Hey, Ribbon? You know that my paintings come to life, right?"
Ribbon raised an eyebrow. She beat her wings to hover upwards and lightly tapping Adeleine's nose. Of course I know that, dummy!" she said, sticking her tongue out at the artist.
"No, no, no!" Adeleine squeezed her eyes shut at the physical contact, agitatedly waving away the chuckling fairy by flailing around the arm holding her paintbrush. "That's the whole point, Ribbon… my paintings come to life." The repetition of her previous statement caused Ribbon to take notice of Adeleine's emphasis on the fact.
Adeleine then continued on, her voice turning wistful, "So if they come to life, Ribbon… then why can't I have what I want?" she lamented. "As of recent, my paintings are just that… paintings. Mere sketches on a piece of drawing paper. They just aren't alive anymore." She looked down at the paintbrush in her right hand, feeling herself collapse to the ground. "You know," she moped as she stretched her legs out. "I feel that as the years have gone by, my art's gone downhill as well. I just don't have the inspiration anymore…"
Ribbon took a seat on Adeleine's shoulder, comforting the artist by rubbing her cheek as she listened on to her upset friend. "There, there…" she soothed. "It's alright, Adeleine…"
Her prodding led Adeleine to open up. "When I was a young girl…" Adeleine started, her eyes gazing upwards as she recalled the memory. "I always dreamed of visiting the stars. I finally got that opportunity when that big adventure's happened." A small grin crept up onto the artist's face. "But then it all ended, as quickly as it begun. Do you remember, Ribbon? Our big adventure?"
"It's been so long since it happened. But I remember it clearly as well. I'll never forget that day as long as I live." Ribbon involuntarily shuddered as she recalled the incident which had utterly crippled her home planet. "I mean, I'm glad that Dark Matter is gone, but without them, there's no reason for him to return here…" The fairy let out a sigh as she gazed up to the stars that littered the skies. Amongst one of those shining bright planetary objects was Planet Popstar, home of Dream Land's very adorable and puffy hero.
Adeleine's eyes turned misty as her friend mentioned someone whom she knew very well. "Kirby…"
Ribbon gave a gentle nod in response. "Yep. Kirby."
"Don't you miss him, Ribbon?" Adeleine prodded, causing the flustered fairy to turn red.
"Of course I do," she sighed as she placed her hands to her cheeks. "But I've accepted that we'd always be apart."
Adeleine gaped at her friend. "You managed to let go of him? How!?" But before Ribbon could answer, the artist barreled on, rambling non-stop. "Just look at me, Ribbon!" Adeleine yelled, her outburst shocking Ribbon and causing the fairy to flinch back. "What can I do? I'm a relic that's stuck in the past! For crying out loud, I'm even sketching Shiver Star just because it was a place I'd visited!"
Ribbon hovered back to Adeleine, fluttering in front of her eyes. "Things change, Adeleine. The world around us isn't static, you know?"
"I get that things change, but sometimes they happen too fast for my liking!" Adeleine pouted, puffing her cheeks out as the flying Ribbon giggled at her expression. Seeing that her friend was teasing her, she lazily swiped her hand at Ribbon, causing the fairy to dodge her "attack" and land on top of Adeleine's vibrant red beret, where Ribbon immediately let out a yawn and took residence, lying down and taking a rest to Adeleine's annoyance.
"Will you please get off my head?" Adeleine asked as her eyes looked up to see the mischievous Ribbon pretending to snore. It might have been a successful attempt, if it wasn't blatantly clear that the gargled sounds that Ribbon was making was obviously faked.
"Only if you get your lazy butt off the ground first!"
Adeleine got to her feet and stood up with an annoyed grunt. "Happy now!?"
"Yep, yep!" Ribbon fluttered her wings and took off as Adeleine adjusted her beret to straighten the creases caused by the fairy.
Now more relaxed and having calmed herself from her initial outburst, Adeleine was more open to talking. "I just feel like my life's come to a standstill ever since then," she admitted to her friend. "I mean, Ripple Star's a great place, and I wouldn't trade this job for anything in the world, but I miss the exploration! The adventure! The excitement! Don't you miss it too, Ribbon?"
"Actually, I do…"
Ribbon's admittance caused Adeleine to widen her eyes in surprise. Never did she expect for the fairy to ever admit that.
"But I don't let it weigh me down. So you shouldn't too, Adeleine." Ribbon fluttered over to Adeleine's canvas, flipping over the page with the Ripple Star drawing to a new blank page. "You can let go too and start afresh, just like this drawing board. Every one of your paintings are mutually exclusive and independent from each other. Just start afresh, Adeleine!" she said, pumping her fist in the air.
Adeleine began to feel herself smiling from ear to ear. "You're right!" She immediately set out to work, drawing a new idea that had formulated in her mind. The concept of time forgotten, she toiled and toiled until a simple abstract drawing was completed, with Ribbon watching her paint with nods and cheers of approval along the way.
Ten minutes later, her work was completed. Sure, it was far from her usual masterpieces she was commissioned to make, but Adeleine was satisfied nevertheless, even more so when it actually popped out from her canvas.
"Yes!" she cheered, jumping up and down before gripping onto Ribbon with joy. "One of my paintings actually came to life again! I don't believe it! Yahoo!"
"It's because you aren't toiling away to make the drawing." Ribbon pointed out as she congratulated Adeleine by patting her on the back. "You did this specific painting not for your living or for anyone else, but for yourself. Since you weren't being obligated to do this, you put in 105% effort into it, therefore breathing your life and soul into this painting."
"Awesome! Thanks for the morale boost, Ribbon!" Adeleine said before she leaned down and picked the object up from the ground. "But just what is this thing anyway?" she asked. "I just drew it because it was on my mind…"
Without any warning, a dazzling white light coming from the object engulfed both Adeleine and Ribbon before they could even shriek. When the light died down, they were surprised to see that they were no longer in the fields of Ripple Star. Surrounding them in all sides were white, marble-laden walls.
Adeleine groaned, clutching her head. As she peered up, she was surprised to see that the thing that she had just drawn—a silver rod—as floating in the air. She was even more surprised when a voice from somewhere out of sight spoke up.
"Alright! Let's see who the Dream Rod's got in store for us today!"
She gasped, recognizing that youthful voice as it echoed across the room. Another gasp from besides her showed that Ribbon had also successfully identified the owner of the voice. The duo immediately stood up and turned around to see three surprised faces peering back at them.
"Wh-what!? Could it be? Bandana, am I seeing things right now?"
"Nope, nope! Great King, it's really them!"
"Ribbon? Adeleine? No way! It's really you guys!?"
She blinked, unable to believe her eyes. In front of her were the three companions that she'd journeyed with years prior. There was that enthusiastic happy-go-lucky Waddle Dee, although now he was wearing a bandana on his head and had a spear equipped with him. There was King Dedede, the grouchy ruler of Dream Land, although he seemed a little chubbier and held a more relaxed stance compared to last time. And last but not least…
"Kirby!" Ribbon squealed, beating Adeleine to it by scooping the stunned puffball into her arms and swinging him around and around with unbridled glee on her face. "It's you! It's really you!" she said with unrestrained joy, tears streaming down her face.
"Yeah! I know, Ribbon!" Kirby yelped. "Bu-But put me down, please! I don't have the Tornado Ability right now, so I'm gonna get dizzy if you keep up this spinning, I swear!"
Hearing that, Ribbon gasped, dropping Kirby unceremoniously to the ground. "Oh my gosh!" she cried, hovering down to help him up to his feet. "I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to do that, honest!"
Adeleine flashed a pearly grin at the antics of the pink fairy and puffball. Last up of the three was Kirby himself, the famed hero of Popstar's Dream Land who honestly looked like he hadn't aged a bit since the artist had last laid her eyes on him. From a single glance, he still looked to be the same jolly, friendly pink puffball that Adeleine had remembered him to be.
"Yeah, don't worry. I'm fine." Kirby's blue eyes then hovered over to her, causing Adeleine to freeze in her tracks, his smile wiped off his face. "Where have you been?" the artist finally spoke up as they made eye contact. Adeleine had beat Ribbon in asking about the Phan-Phan in the room before she could, which led to the fairy shooting her good friend an annoyed glower, in jest of course.
Kirby nodded his head down in shame at her query. "I'm so sorry, Adeleine, Ribbon. It's just… I've just been so busy!" he admitted with an apologetic expression. "Really, I honestly didn't have the time to visit Ripple Star! Every single time I wanted to take a break and go on a vacation, Popstar gets hit with another catastrophe and I have to be the one to fix it." He then held out his stubby little pink paw towards them. "But hey, we're finally together again now, after so long. No hard feelings between us?"
Ribbon swooped down and grabbed his hand. "Of course not, Kirby!"
Adeleine slowly walked forward and shook Kirby's hand as well, sealing the truce between the three. "I second that motion. Friends forever!" she chirped with a joyous grin.
"Friends forever!" Kirby echoed, before beckoning to the other two behind him with his free arm. "Come on in, everyone!"
"Yay, group hug! Join in, Great King!" The Waddle Dee ran forward, nuzzling against Adeline's thigh.
His assistant abandoning him behind and all but forcing him to join as well caused Dedede to scowl at the cuddling group. "You won't catch me dead in a group hug, Bandana!" Despite his words, the pleading eyes of the other four caused him to relent with an annoyed huff and join into the embrace.
Once they broke apart, Kirby had a determined look on his face. "Alright, formalities over." He then gestured to the exit of the white palace. "Because now, we've got a universe to save!"
"Really?" Ribbon perked up at his words, tilting her head at the puffball. "Again?" There was a certain tinge of disbelief in the fairy's voice. To be honest, Adeleine had to admit that Ribbon's many years spent as a consort in the palace might have caused her to be unprepared for a massive change like this.
"That's right!" Kirby nodded in response to Ribbon. "Us Star Allies have no time to waste. We have to stop the Jambastion Cult before they reassemble the Jamba Heart!"
"Excuse me?" Adeleine cocked her head. "Ja-Jamba what? Cult what?" She was very confused, so much so that she could probably paint a Picasso-esque abstract painting at this point of time.
"I'll explain later!" Kirby said in a hasty tone as he impatiently rushed to the exit. "As of right now, we got a new planet to explore! Onwards to Planet Misteen!"
A brand new adventure with Kirby and her old friends? Adeleine whipped her paintbrush up at the thought, gripping the handle with a smirk. Frankly, she was all for it, and a quick glance to Ribbon showed that their thoughts were in unison about this. The two girls gave the other a silent thumbs-up as they marched to the exit, before the squad of five left the palace together.
Adeleine walked out of the palace with a committed smile on her face. Now with new stories and experiences yet to be told, she had new material to look forward to instead of always looking back at the same old experience she once had. The artist was very contented with how her day had turned out, her body now filled with the inspiration to sketch down more memories of their adventures together, thus immortalizing them forever in a painted piece of canvas.
And as an artist, that was the best motivation that one could ask for.
Yeah, this would probably be going up about a half day to a full day early, depending on your time zone. I'm still going to be jumping the gun and posting this now anyway since I'm probably going to be spending most of my time giving all three Wave 2 Dream Friends a run when the Kirby Star Allies update drops.
Anyway, to summarize, my first reaction upon seeing the Adeleine & Ribbon Dream Friend reveal trailer was an excited squeal. Then came the obvious second reaction — "Wait, they became best of friends?" When later trailers debuted of the two girls acting all cutesy with each other, I just had to do this, especially as the obvious third thought became, "How would Kirby react if he saw them again after a reunion 18 years in the making?"
Hence, I wrote this as a little side-project while working on Terminal Paralysis. I do hope that I managed to get Adeleine and Ribbon's personalities down. But still, the next time you bash someone's work on the internet, think about how they'd feel! Anyway, enjoy the Hurt/Comfort+Friendship fluff, because that's most of this story in a nutshell!