AN: I was inspired by the new trailer for the 2020 Olympics. And the ship is real here if you squint.
~King of the Waves~
Not long after they'd arrived in Tokyo, literally the moment they set down their bags, Mario and Sonic were called into the head office by one of the officiating Mii's. Now this wasn't odd in the slightest, there was always paperwork to fill out, but couldn't they have waited two seconds for them to unpack?
Sonic waved to his friends as he wandered to the head office with Mario, having not seen any of them thanks to the fifth Super Smash Brothers tournament. Mario meanwhile gave a friendly smile to Waluigi who in turn glared at him and stalked off into his room.
"Welcome Mario and Sonic to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics," the Mii greeted them after they'd been ushered into a small office within the main building. Her greying hair was pulled into a bun and both Mario and Sonic could clearly see the bags under her eyes. She sighed as she continued in a monotone voice, "In front of both of you are the rules for this years Olympics. There have been a slight adjustment to the rules considering the new surfing event." She made a point of looking directly at Sonic when saying that which made the hedgehog squirm in his seat. "Rules state that lifejackets are prohibited during the event."
"He can't swim!" Mario immediately blurted out, sharing a panicked glance with Sonic.
"Yeah... I can't swim." Sonic echoed, his whole body going numb at the thought of the waves swallowing him whole with nothing to keep him afloat...
The Mii simply shrugged and pushed two pens towards them. "I'm sorry, but those are the rules. If we bend them for one person we have to bend them for the rest. Now, if you'll just sign at the bottom of this page here..."
"I'm going to die."
Mario gave Sonic a sympathetic shoulder rub once they were back in their shared room. "You won't die. I won't let you."
"I can't swim Mar! An' they're expectin' me to be able to hang ten an' not panic about it? Are they crazy?" He flopped down on the bed and let out an exasperated groan. He could see it now, Tails weeping over his casket while Mario lay down a red rose next to his corpse. Knuckles and Amy would pry Tails away while Mario grieved with Luigi and Peach. Shadow would say something about how he really was a fake hedgehog before getting promptly slapped by Rouge. And look, even his friends from the Smash Mansion were there; Mega Man and Pac-Man mourning the loss of a member of the Primary Colour Crew while Pit prayed to Lady Palutena. Red's hat was lowered over his eyes while Rose - sweet, innocent Rose - clung to Mario for comfort.
Mario waved a hand in front of Sonic's face, breaking him out of his trance. "We'll figure this out Sonic. Don't worry, everything is going to be just fine." Mario pondered for a moment, wandering to the window and staring out at the beach. The abandoned beach.
The abandoned beach...
The metaphorical lightbulb went off in Mario's mind and he marched over to Sonic, grabbing his wrist and pulling him up.
"Mar? What're you-"
"Come on. We're going to go practice."
The smell of sea salt hit the duo as they approached the beach, surfboards tucked under their arms. Sonic glanced at the sea with unease before turning to Mario. "Mar, I don't know 'bout this."
Mario patted Sonic's arm, giving him a smile. "You're fine Sonic. I'm with you and won't let anything happen to you. You know that."
Sonic managed to grin a bit at that statement. His smile morphed into a determined expression, clutching his surfboard tighter. "Alright. Let's do this."
Mario grabbed Sonic's free hand and led him closer to the shore. Before they entered the water he glanced at Sonic, and after receiving a nod he placed his surfboard into the water and motioned for Sonic to do the same. After a moments hesitation Sonic complied and waded into the water, never once letting go of Mario. Mario felt Sonic tense immediately and squeezed his hand in reassurance. "You're okay. I'm right here."
Mario helped Sonic onto his surfboard and looked him in the eye. "So we're just going to float on our surfboards, okay? Just so that you can get a feel for it before we actually try to surf on a wave."
"Okay..." Sonic replied, focusing on keeping his balance on the board. Trying not to think about how he was surrounded by his greatest fear and one wrong move would send him to a watery grave at twenty-one years old...
But... Mario was here. And he trusted Mario more than anything. So he instead concentrated on regulating his breathing.
"Pretty sunset, hm?"
Sonic's gaze flickered to Mario who was staring at the sky, watching as pink and gold bled into the blue sky and reflected in the water. His breath caught in his throat at the beautiful sight and he wondered momentarily if Mario brought him out here just to witness this.
The two bobbed in the ocean for a few more minutes until Mario broke the silence. "I think that's enough for tonight. Tomorrow we'll go out a bit further, and we'll continue every day after that. Okay?"
Sonic nodded as he and Mario paddled back to the beach, collecting their surfboards and heading back to the hotel. Surprisingly he felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders from managing to at least somewhat face his fears.
And with Mario's help, he knew he could overcome it.