~Chapter Ten: On a Whim~

Daisy hesitated outside the courtyard doors where Luigi was once again practicing his archery. Her mind was in turmoil over whether or not she should relay the information she'd learned to him or not. After all, his main motivation was to bring Mario back to marry Peach and kill the Anthro, but if she didn't want to marry him perhaps he'd give up the hunt which she found pointless as well?

Taking a deep breath to prepare herself she pushed open the door and stepped into the courtyard, her eyes focusing on her husband who hadn't noticed her, too focused on his archery. She took a few cautious steps towards him before stopping halfway. "Luigi?" she called out in a soft voice.

"What?" came the gruff responce, and Daisy once again felt a sharp stab in her heart. Despite wanting to cry, she continued.

"I... went to visit Peach today," she began. "And there's something I think you should know."

Luigi, while not turning fully, tilted his head towards her as a silent way of saying to continue. Daisy took a deep breath as she struggled to find the correct words to use.

"See, I went to go knock on Peach's door, and I heard her talking with her lady-in-waiting. You remember Rosalina, correct?"

A small nod. Daisy continued, "Luigi... from what I overheard, it sounds like they are in love."

Luigi's entire form stiffened. Daisy braced herself before adding, "Luigi, you can't force two people together if they don't want to be. Peach isn't in love with Mario. Please, call off this ridiculous hunt and let your brother live in peace with his friend." she weakly smiled, stepping forward and placing a hand on his shoulder. "And... we could start that family we'd talked about. We were so close but recently you've been obsessed with finding Mario. You've shut me out and it hurts. Please... let me back in."

There was a long pause. Daisy waited with bated breath for her husband's responce.

"...Do you honestly think I believe that?"

Daisy blinked. "What?"

"Do you honestly think I believe such nonsense? And about your own cousin no less! You should be ashamed of yourself."

Daisy felt her blood begin to boil. "Why would I make something like that up? I have no reason to lie to you! There's nothing to gain from it! Luigi, you need to stop this madness now!"

"Enough!"

Daisy gasped and staggered back, her hand pressed to her cheek where she'd been slapped. Through the tears welling in her eyes she could see Luigi's horrified expression when he realized what he'd done.

"D-Daisy, I-I'm so..."

Daisy turned and briskly walked out of the courtyard, her form shaking with sobs. She collapsed on the floor of the ballroom, heart breaking into tiny pieces.

She didn't know what to do.

/~/

"I can't believe our luck."

Mario had to admit, he was surprised by the group's discovery as well - a small cottage nestled in the dense thicket. He glanced over at Pauline who was still shaking her head in amazement and disbelief. "This is perfect. Mario, Sonic, you two wait here. Me and Rouge will charm our way in, isn't that right?"

"You know it hun." Rouge replied with a sly grin. Together they made their way to the door, and the two runaways watched as the women made short conversion with the man who lived there. Pauline flipped her hair and twirled a piece around her finger while the man grew noticeably more flustered. After a moment Rouge beckoned them forward and Mario and Sonic left their hiding spot, awed at how easy that had been.

"How...?" Sonic began, before Rouge placed a finger over his lips.

"Like Pauline told you, she can be very persuasive when she wants to be. Never underestimate the power of a females charm." she winked at Sonic playfully before sauntering off into the house, Mario and Sonic following suit.

"You'll be getting a warm meal and a bed tonight," Pauline whispered in Mario's ear. "Now if you'll excuse me, I need to keep up my end of the bargain."

Mario watched Pauline disappear into what looked like a bedroom with the man before the door shut. He didn't quite understand what that meant but his stomach turned.

Rouge didn't seem bothered however as she casually plucked a grape from the bunch on the table and popped it in her mouth. She eyed Mario and Sonic as they stood there awkwardly not knowing what to do. "It's like you two have never been in a house before! Come on, make yourselves comfy."

"I've never been in a house." Sonic mumbled.

"I've been homeless since I was thirteen." Mario added. Rouge's eyes widened and she blinked multiple times.

"Wow, you guys really did have it rough."

A strange look crossed Sonic's face as he contemplated something. Before he could ask anything though Rouge sauntered off into the bathroom and shut the door behind her, and a moment later they could hear the water of the bath turn on. Mario gazed around with awe, clearly marveling in the fact that he was no longer exposed to the elements.

"Can you believe it Sonic? We have real shelter for the night and a bed to sleep in! This is incredible!"

When Sonic didn't return the enthusiasm, Mario turned towards him with his head cocked. "What's wrong Sonic?"

Sonic eyed the bathroom door with furrowed brows. "Just... from what I'd heard from Vanilla, all Anthros were forced into hiding from the humans, no homes, no shelter. It just sounds like she had an easier time than my camp." he weakly smiled at Mario. "I guess I'm a bit jealous."

Mario rubbed Sonic's shoulder. "Soon enough you won't have to be jealous because we'll be living in a house of our own and no one will judge us."

Sonic placed his hand on top of Mario's and squeezed. "Promise?"

"Promise."

/~/

Dinner was the most delicious thing Mario had eaten in eight years. Tender roast beef with potatoes slathered in butter and a hearty vegetable mix lightly roasted. He caught Sonic's eyes light up as he took the first bite and proceeded to finish his meal in two minutes.

The room they were sleeping in was very simple, having one bed and a small window filtering moonlight into the room, but Mario could care less. Finally, after eight years of sleeping on the ground there was a bed!

Sonic sighed in bliss as he sunk into the mattress, his eyes meeting Mario's. "Are all beds this soft? I bet this is what sleeping on a cloud feels like."

Mario could only chuckle, lying on the bed next to Sonic. They gazed at each other for a moment before leaning forward and connecting their lips, except instead of pulling away they continued, the kisses getting rougher and more passionate as the minutes went by.

A strange feeling began to stir inside Mario, one he wasn't entirely sure how to act on. He could tell the same feeling was stirring within Sonic and eventually Sonic pulled away, something seemingly clicking in his head.

"I think I understand what Rouge meant..." he mumbled. Mario tilted his head.

"What?"

Sonic locked eyes with Mario, curiosity brimming in green irises. "Can I try something? And if you don't like it, let me know."

"Of course." Mario confirmed. Sonic gave a small smile before his eyes drifted downwards.

Not once through the night did Mario tell Sonic to stop.


Replies

GreenSwitch: Heh... heh... yeah, it took forever and I feel really bad. Thank you for the review!

TheGameNguyener: Since I was late with the chapter, it's fine that you were late to review. You have work after all. Also, I'm sorry I wrote your favourite character as an antagonist. Thank you for the review!

mariobroultimate: I feel so accomplished now. Thank you for the review!


AN: It's still Christmas where I am so this is my present to you guys. I'm sorry this chapter took so long, but I've been busy the last few months and I know that one of you knows the reason why. That reason why also beta read some of this chapter so I thank them very much for that.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. See you guys in the next one.

~Steel