The V.G.S.A. Transporter made stops at all of the planets to drop off their characters so they could return to their normal lives. Everyone was happy to be in their homes again!

As soon as the SEGA characters were dropped off in Mobius, the ship made one last stop: the Nintendo planet.

As the Transporter stopped at the Mushroom City Airport, all of the Nintendo characters rushed over to the ship's door.

"Easy, easy!" said a ranger, "Be patient, everyone! We'll have it open in no time!"

Sure enough, the ranger unlocked the door and opened it. Within no time at all, the characters all ran out and walked down the steps onto the runway. They immediately started running towards the partially-wrecked Mushroom City and sent some workmen to rebuild what had been destroyed when Diddy had been possessed by Wizpig.

The Kongs were the last ones to exit the ship. The rangers decided to exit the ship with them. Perhaps, they wanted to spend more time with their captain. Who knew if Diddy was going to be spending any more time with the V.G.S.A. as 'Captain'?

The Kongs and rangers walked together in one big group and began to chat with each other. The Kongs learned some fun facts about the V.G.S.A. and how Diddy had been a brave monkey during his time as an official member of the army. The rangers even enjoyed listening to some of the Kong family's most amazing stories, such as the many adventures of DK and Diddy.

As soon as they reached the former site of the Coconut Mall, which was now being rebuilt, they stopped and gazed at the sight of debris scattered everywhere and being cleaned up.

"So this was what resulted from me being possessed?" said Diddy as he gazed at the mall which he had wrecked under Wizpig's mind control.

"I'm afraid so, Captain," replied a ranger.

Diddy could only think about the time Wizpig had possessed his brain and turned him into a purplish giant, and ordered him to wreck the city and kill off his allies. That was one out of many moments in Diddy's quest that he did not want to remember, but he could only keep it stuck in his mind at least until the damaged buildings would be back up and running again.

Just then, a construction worker walked up to them and stopped.

"Hey, don't you worry, Diddy," said the worker, "You won't have to remember this incident for long! Why, we'll have this whole mall re-established in no time!"

"Yeah, how long?" asked Diddy suspiciously.

"About a few months or so, but even that seems like no time when it comes to construction business."

The worker winked at Diddy and walked away.

"I hope," sighed Diddy. A few months sounded like dismay for him, knowing that it would be quite a while before the city was restored to its former glory and the damage he had unintentionally done would be undone.

"You do realize that nobody blames you for what happened to this place, don't you?" said Candy.

"I know," said Diddy, sinking his head.

"Why don't we go relax at the beach, shall we?" asked DK with a smile. He wanted to get Diddy's mind off the damage he had done to the city.

"Sure," replied a ranger, "I'd like a little relaxation. We at the V.G.S.A. get so little vacation time."

"Wow, tell me about it," commented Diddy.

The group left the mall site and headed off to the nearby beach on the coastline.

The rangers all sat down in a roofed picnic area with some of the Kongs. The younger Kongs ran off and began to play in the sand.

"There's a sight that actually makes me smile," commented Diddy as he watched Kiddy, Tiny and Dixie playing in the sand and laughing, "There's something they haven't got to do for days."

"How relaxing," added Candy.

"It reminds me of my childhood," commented one of the rangers.

"Anyways, Diddy?" said another ranger.

"Yes?" replied Diddy, turning to his fellow rangers.

"We somehow feel quite sure that after everything we've been through, you'd likely want to stay here and relax with your family rather than stay in the army, wouldn't you?"

"Well, … it's really hard for me to say it, … but … perhaps, I should stay here. It's been such a wild journey," said Diddy.

"I can tell," said the third ranger, "We just wanted to say that we really appreciated you working with us, and that some of us would like for you to stay, but it's really up to you."

"I don't mind. I mean, … I understand what you mean by that," said Diddy, feeling lost for words.

"We also wanted to point out that if you really want to quit the army, we don't have anything against it. In fact, since we don't plan to find anyone else your size to join, … you can keep that suit as a souvenir," added the third ranger.

Diddy looked down and gazed at the V.G.S.A. suit he was still wearing and had been wearing for several days straight by now.

"Why would I want to keep this on our island!?" he said with a suspicious look on his face, "You do know that this is a real suit. That means that there are actual deadly weapons within these very sleeves … and this very chest! What if one of the younger guys was dumb enough to sneak into my room and mess around with them, not realizing the danger they would put … maybe the whole island in, just from everything I used to save the universe!?"

Everyone, ranger and Kong, laughed at Diddy's comments. Diddy just stared at them, looking unhappy.

"Oh, don't you worry, Diddy-dude!" said Funky, "Just make sure you've got a safe place in your bedroom where nobody would try to look."

"Thanks, Funky," sighed Diddy.

"The only thing we'll need to take back with us, however … ," put in the second ranger, " … is the Captain's medal."

Diddy looked down at his chest and gazed at the Captain's medal which Newman had given him.

"The V.G.S.A. must always have a captain," said the first ranger, "That is the only Captain's medal in existence. If you are leaving the army, then we must have a new captain to take your place."

Diddy felt a little unsure about giving up his Captain's medal. He remembered the times when Newman respected him so much, and how the medal had chosen Diddy as the successor after Newman died.

After hesitating for a moment, Diddy slowly opened his suit's medal container and removed the Captain's medal from his suit. He stretched his arm out and handed the golden medal to the other rangers.

"With all due respect … ," said Diddy, " … I wish you all good luck on your return to duty, especially to whomever becomes the next Captain."

"Thanks a lot, Diddy," said the lead ranger, "You've been a big supporter of us during your short time in the V.G.S.A., and we wanted to thank you for all of the support you've given us and the courage you've shown us."

"You're … very welcome," replied Diddy as he closed his empty medal container.

A beep came from one of the ranger's wrist communicators. The ranger whose it was quickly opened his.

"Yes," said the ranger.

"This is Commander Gordon," came the reply, "We need you guys back at the station quickly! We've got to begin scouting more rookies!"

"We'll be there shortly!" answered the ranger.

"And, uh, I hear Diddy was quite a hero out there. Will he be coming back with us as well?" asked Gordon.

"Uh, Diddy's announced his retirement from the army after his one-off mission. He saved the universe and now he can relax at home."

"Oh," replied Gordon, "Well, … I'm gonna miss having that friendly little monkey here. He was very kind to us."

"We're gonna need a new Captain as well. Diddy's just given us the Captain's medal and we should consider electing one as soon as get back," added the ranger.

"Very well, then," said Gordon, "Say your last goodbyes to Diddy and return to base A.S.A.P.! Command out!"

The ranger closed his wrist communicator and turned to Diddy.

The rangers all shook hands with their former Captain.

"We'll gonna miss you, little hero," said one of the rangers.

"Oh, you guys!" said Diddy with blushing cheeks, "You're just too kind!"

"Good luck … and have a nice relaxation. I'm sure we might meet again sometime in the future."

"I wish you all good luck, too," replied Diddy, "I'm gonna miss you, guys, too."

"Well," the rangers turned to the other Kongs at the table, "We'd like to stay, but … duty calls."

The rangers all stood up and saluted the Kongs. The Kongs all saluted them back. The younger Kongs got up off the sand and waved goodbye to the rangers.

"See you all sometime in the future, everyone!" said another ranger.

After saying their final goodbyes to the Kongs, the rangers all activated their jet packs and blasted off towards their parked Transporter ship.

"Seems you made some pretty good friends in that army, didn't you, little buddy?" said DK as he patted Diddy's back.

"Yeah," agreed Diddy, "They're very caring for the universe and have always been a great team to work for, at least as far as I'm concerned."

A few minutes later, the Kongs gazed at the sight of the V.G.S.A. Transporter flying over the city and taking a quick run right above the Kongs before it finally disappeared into the blue skies.

Diddy sighed as they disappeared, "I'm gonna miss those guys."

"So am I," said Tiny.

Diddy gave Tiny a strange look and thought, "How would she agree with me on that? He's never really made any such close interactions with any of their rangers."

Diddy quickly got that out of his mind and turned back to his family.

"Why don't we have some delicious milkshakes, shall we!?" said Diddy in excitement.

"I don't know. Why don't we!?" answered DK.

"Yeah!" said Funky.

"I'm starved!" added Candy.

The Kongs all ran up to the nearby snack bar. Amazingly, there were already a few Toads working in there and ready to take orders.

"Hey, look!" said the Toad at the window, "It's our hero!" he pointed to Diddy.

"Oh, Diddy Kong, how could we ever repay you!?" said the second Toad, "We owe you one, boy!"

"Heh, thanks," said Diddy.

"Hey," said the first Toad, "Since you're our savior and you've got your nice family with you, I'll give you all free milkshakes!"

"FREE!?" yelled all of the Kongs (except Kiddy) in unison.

"YES! I'm not joking! The hero and his family get their snacks free of charge for the next few weeks or so!"

The Kongs all looked at each other and licked their lips with their tongues, looking as if they couldn't wait for their milkshakes.

"I assume you all want banana-flavored shakes?" asked the first Toad.

"YES, WE DO!" answered the Kongs.

"Coming right up!" said the second Toad.

Within hardly any time at all, the Kongs each had a banana-flavored milkshake in their hands!

They all sat down at their table and began to enjoy their delicious shakes.

"Free!? I can't believe it!" said Bluster.

"We should thank Diddy for that, too!" commented Candy.

"Oh, you guys! You're too kind!" said Diddy with an unavoidable grin.

The Kongs all enjoyed their milkshakes so much before they decided to head back to their home island for a REAL relaxation.

As soon as the Kongs returned to Donkey Kong Island (a.k.a. Kongo Bongo), Diddy received more hugs from each of his fellow Kongs again before he and DK took a stroll together back to their tree house.

Diddy couldn't wait to see the inside of their house again. To him, it felt like it had been ages since he and DK were last by themselves at home. He sensed it as the perfect opportunity to have a nice private relaxation with his favorite uncle, DK.

Sure enough, the two Kongs soon found their house. Diddy grinned just from catching the sight of their home. He had missed it so much.

Diddy was the first to climb the ladder with DK right behind him. As the two Kongs entered their living room, DK quickly scooped up Diddy in his arms and hugged him tightly.

"Oh, DK!" said Diddy, feeling surprised by DK's bear hug.

DK lifted his little nephew onto his shoulders behind his head and held him by the legs.

"How does it feel to be home sweet home again, little buddy!?" said DK with such happiness.

"Oh, my! DK, you'd have no idea! I've missed this house since the moment I left to rescue you and the others! I couldn't be happier than this! I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life!" screamed an overexcited Diddy, "I've missed this house just about as much as I've missed you!"

"Aw, little buddy!" said DK, feeling happy that Diddy had always wanted to be with him.

As Diddy patted his uncle's head, DK walked up to the sofa, still holding Diddy's legs over his own shoulders before jumping onto the sofa with a big thud. Diddy slipped off DK's shoulders and landed on a pillow on one of the armrests.

DK quickly sat up and the two Kongs embraced each other in a very tight hug.

"Just as I thought I would never get to hug you again … ," said Diddy, " … I've got my chance to make this one of the best hugs we've ever had! I'm so happy we're together again, big buddy!"

"So am I, Diddy, my heroic little buddy!" replied DK, "I've always loved our togetherness and I'm very happy that you were determined to keep it safe from a sad end."

"I love you so much, DK!" said Diddy as happy tears began to pour from his eyes.

"I love you so much, too, Diddy!" replied DK as he also let out some happy tears.

A few minutes later, the two primates released each other from their grasp, and Diddy went into his bedroom to take off his V.G.S.A. suit.

The little monkey looked around his bedroom until he decided to place the suit into his small closet with his other red, yellow-starred tank tops and red 'Nintendo'-marked baseball caps.

Diddy closed his closet and took out his backpack. He browsed through and found his peanut popguns, his regular jet pack, a few leftover bananas, a few unopened juice boxes, and, what surprised him most of all, his notebook which he had forgotten about during the first half of his quest.

"Oh, my!" whispered Diddy to himself, "I had been intending to jot down the details of my quest into this and forgot to do so! Maybe I should write them down later when I have the time."

He put his belongings next to his bed and walked out of his room to rejoin DK.

As Diddy jumped back onto the sofa with his uncle, the two Kongs continued to hug each other from time to time over the next several hours while enjoying their private uncle/nephew togetherness. They played around, tickling each other and doing some monkey dances. To Diddy, some of the things they did while he and DK monkeyed around the living room almost felt like being a child younger than he was, but he loved every minute of it, and so did DK.

Two weeks later …

It was mid-December, and the local residents were preparing the Mushroom City area for Christmas, but there was something about tonight that made it more special, yet it had nothing to do with Christmas.

This was the night of the annual Video Game Achievement Awards, a special ceremony held at the end of the year to honor those who had achieved deeds very heroic.

Diddy's black eye had finally healed along with the rest of his minor injuries and bruises, and he looked like a bright, shiny, healthy little monkey again! On this night, he felt certain that he would finally receive an award of some kind just like his uncle did once, especially after his long and near-impossible quest to destroy Wizpig and save the universe from an intergalactic holocaust.

While DK and Diddy walked through Mushroom City on their way to the Memorial Auditorium, where the award ceremonies were taking place, they briefly passed by Coconut Mall to see how the rebuilding process was going.

The reconstruction appeared to be going very well. The parking lot had already been completed, and the workers were now working on the main entrance.

"I told you, you've got nothing to worry about, hero!" said a worker as he noticed Diddy and DK.

"Thanks, I appreciate it!" answered Diddy.

The worker gave him a thumbs up and returned to his job. Diddy felt sure that the snow didn't seem to make it very easy for them, but with their tools being super-reliable, they could accomplish anything, whatever the weather.

Soon, the two Kongs made it to the auditorium, where a bunch of characters from other planets were also gathering.

"I've always loved coming to these award ceremonies," commented DK with a grin as he gazed at the bright windows in the auditorium.

"It's too bad I've never actually won one," said Diddy in a depressed tone.

DK turned to Diddy and patted him on the head.

"I'm sure you'll get one tonight, little buddy!" said DK, trying to keep his little heroic nephew happy, "After what happened up in some other faraway planet, you're sure to gain some big attention tonight! I can feel it, and so should you!"

Diddy gave DK a faint smile as they walked into the building.

The Toad at the ticket window gave them their seating tickets. They were to sit side-by-side in row five, a little close to the stage.

With there being so many rows in the auditorium, the two Kongs had to walk a long way down the aisle before they found their seats.

As soon as they took their seats, the two looked at each other as DK smiled at Diddy and put an arm around his back.

"I'm sure you've got a big night ahead of you, my little pal," whispered DK in Diddy's ear.

"I hope," said Diddy with a small gulp as he took off his winter coat.

DK kept himself leaned towards Diddy and kept his warm arm wrapped around his nephew's back as the presenter walked onto the stage with a clipboard in his hand and approached the microphone.

"Testing. Is it on?" said the presenter to the microphone.

The microphone made a few loud distortions before the presenter fixed it.

"There we go," he said, "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls from all over the galaxy, … welcome to the 2012 Video Game Achievement Awards. This year, we've got a really terrific lineup of award contenders whom have been among the most heroic characters we've had all year, but I'm sure very few of you could already guess what the real deal will be tonight."

Diddy felt a little happy from hearing that. He felt sure that it may have been related to his quest against Wizpig.

Soon after, the presenter began his review on the year 2012 and how much of a year it had been.

Moments after the year's long review was over, he finally began to present the first awards of the night. These awards were given to characters whom had been helpful to those who were poor and in desperate need. Diddy had done very few things to prove himself worthy of any award like that. No wonder he never contended for one.

After that category was wiped out of the way, more categories came up in which Diddy had no relation to. He simply shrugged his shoulders during the presentations, believing that he wouldn't be getting any attention.

DK patted Diddy's head, whispering in his ear, "Your moment will be coming up soon, little buddy."

Diddy almost didn't believe him.

However, moments later, the presenter began his presentation speech on the final award of the night. It was the most important one of all: the Video Game Hero of the Year Award! It was the most honorable and most prestigious one of them all. It would put whomever the winner was into heroism immortality forever.

"Now, … for our final award for 2012. I'm sure none of us will forget the recent intergalactic apocalypse that occurred just two weeks ago," the presenter began.

Diddy drew his attention closer.

"No one would have guessed that a gigantic alien pig would come down and scoop up just about everyone in the universe and make us work in his hellish amusement park. Yes, we all believed for a while that it would turn into a tragic end for our universe, … but -"

Diddy's heart began to pound with hope.

"There was this one little monkey who was determined to keep the universe from meeting its end. He helped restore it to its former glory, he helped keep us all alive and well, and he even killed off this giant pig in an epic sword fight."

Diddy's heart raced as his face began to sweat. He was sure that the name of the winner would just have to be his.

"We can all be very grateful to this young monkey. He took the most dangerous road of all and he put himself in the deadliest risks to bring the universe back to peace and harmony. It is only fitting that we shall announce that the winner of this award, … the biggest video game hero of 2012, … is -"

Diddy's heart just about stopped as he awaited to hear the name.

" … Diddy Kong!"

Diddy's heart began to pound with pride as he had just heard his own name pronounced as the winner of the biggest award anyone could receive!

"Wh-what!?" whispered Diddy to himself.

"I told ya, little buddy!" said DK, hugging Diddy, "Now go up there and make me proud, pal!"

As everyone in the auditorium cheered loudly, Diddy slowly stood up and scooted out of his row. He cautiously walked up to the steps of the stage and climbed up towards the presenter.

As Diddy approached the handsomely-dressed man, he presented the little monkey with the award in hand.

Diddy gave the presenter a handshake and raised his arms to show his award in front of everybody.

Then, he slowly approached the microphone.

The monkey had no idea what to say to this gigantic audience. Less than twenty years ago, he thought he was nothing and that he had no future, yet now he was being honored as the greatest hero of the entire universe for the whole year! It was an honor he thought he would never receive, but his weaknesses wouldn't get in the way of his path to heroism, which had now taken a whole new level that would change Diddy's life forever.

"Th-thank you! Thank you all so much!" said Diddy as his eyes teared slightly, "I thought I'd never win such an award like this until now! Even I never imagined that such a disastrous event would happen until it did happen, but … I was one little monkey … who may have been just a small guy who looked like standing no chance against a huge pig more than many times my size, … but I could never let this universe suffer the way he wanted me to, nor would I want to suffer myself. When I swore to myself that I would take him down for good, I really meant it! I wanted to be sure that he would never threaten anyone in this universe again. I must give credit to the Video Game Space Army up in space. They were all such a big help to me in my quest to bring the universe back to justice. I wanna thank all of you for the support you gave me during that last fight I had with the villain. I especially wanna thank my entire family! Throughout the entire quest, I never stopped thinking about them. Most of all, DK, you were always in my heart … every step I took. However, that's not all. You were all there, … in my heart, everyone in this building, … as I refused to quit thinking about you. I never even tried to contemplate the negative circumstances of what could have been had I not been good enough to succeed. I wanted you all to be safe from him, but the only road I could travel was a treacherous one. It was filled with so many dangerous creatures and villainous supporters who occasionally got in the way, … but we took down everyone whom lied in my path to our freedom! I wanted to see what would lie … at the end of that road: … a safe universe … with millions of safe characters … and no more Wizpig threats for all time!"

The entire crowd of characters cheered as they listened to Diddy's award-acceptance speech. Diddy looked at where DK was sitting. The big ape appeared to be crying as he watched his nephew receive the honors as the hero of the year. This made Diddy feel very proud, indeed.

"In conclusion," continued Diddy, "I must declare this as the most memorable adventure I have had in my entire life, … even over the many that I've had with my big buddy, DK! I would like to dedicate this award to the memory of a good friend of mine named Howard Newman, the Captain of the V.G.S.A. when I first joined them. He sadly lost his life to the hands of the villain during the quest, but I wanted to prove to him that I am a real hero! If he were still alive, he would definitely be smiling at me right now, and he'd be very happy that the universe is safe again. I surely hope that we never have to deal with such an apocalypse like this again, … and I wish you all a happy Christmas as well! Thank you."

As the crowd began to applaud him, Diddy sank his head and wiped his face with his free hand. Tears of happiness poured from his eyes and trickled down his face as he tried to wipe them away.

The presenter slowly approached Diddy and handed him a tissue to wipe away his tears. Diddy thought at that moment that they had predicted that he was going to burst into tears when he received his award.

The presenter pressed his fist against the microphone three times to silence the audience.

"Thanks, everyone," said the presenter before he turned back to Diddy, "Diddy, as well as the award you hold in your hand, we've also got this golden Hero of the Year medal which will permanently bear your name and the year 2012 on it. This medal shall be yours to wear around your neck for the rest of your life … to forevermore signify you towards the immortality of heroism."

Diddy bowed his head down and removed his red cap as the presenter slowly placed the shiny gold medal around his neck.

Diddy put his cap back on and stood up straight again with the medal's necklace now wrapped around his neck. He gazed at the cheering audience once more before turning back to the presenter.

The two shook hands as the presenter smiled at Diddy.

"Congratulations, young lad!" he said to the little monkey.

"Thank you so much!" said Diddy, his eyes tearing a bit.

"You're welcome!" replied the presenter as Diddy began to leave the stage with his award.

When Diddy reached the fifth row and rejoined DK, the big ape was openly crying as he noticed an honored Diddy approach him. DK motioned for Diddy to sit on his lap, which he did. Then, the ape hugged his nephew very tightly just as Diddy was beginning to let out some more tears.

The presenter immediately made the closing speech which ended the ceremonies.

Just as the word came that everyone could leave, everyone filled up the aisles and slowly began to empty the auditorium.

DK and Diddy put their coats back on and were among the last ones to leave the auditorium.

As many of the characters, even those playing in the snow, noticed the Kong duo coming out, everyone threw some cheers at Diddy.

"Hey, everyone, it's the hero of the year!"

"We love you, Diddy Kong!"

"Hip, hip, hooray!"

Cheers spread everywhere as the sight of Diddy with his award and medal attracted so much attention in the city.

"And you once thought this would never happen to you," commented DK as he patted Diddy's back.

"Well, … it was all I could think back then," answered Diddy.

"Well, congratulations, little buddy!"

DK lifted his little buddy off the ground and placed him on his shoulders again.

While DK continued to walk through the city, carrying his little buddy with him, everyone whom walked by them cheered at Diddy and said 'hello' to him. Diddy waved at those who cheered for him as he rode on his uncle's shoulders.

"This is the best night of my life, DK!" pronounced Diddy to his uncle.

"I'm so glad, Diddy!" replied DK.

It took the Kongs quite a while before they finally reached the airport where Funky was waiting for them.

"Well, dudes, I hear you got quite some attention tonight, eh?" said Funky with excitement.

"Diddy's won the Hero of the Year Award, Funky!" said DK.

"I've been greatly honored!" said Diddy proudly.

"Well, congratulations, Diddy-dude!" said Funky, "I was sure you'd receive that award after you brought the universe back to peace and harmony!"

"Well, are we ready to get going, Funky?" asked DK.

"Just about!" replied Funky, "I've got my plane waiting by the hangar. Let's all go for a run down there!"

DK, still carrying Diddy, followed a crazy-acting Funky to the hangar where Funky's biplane sat, waiting.

As they walked up to the plane, Diddy crawled over DK's head and jumped into the middle seat while DK took the seat behind him.

Funky took a flip into the pilot seat and powered up the engines.

Soon, the three Kongs were on their way back to Kongo Bongo, where the Kong family would continue celebrating Diddy's heroic achievement!

Sure enough, when the Kongs returned home and got the word about Diddy winning the big award, everyone was surprised and felt very proud of him.

Of course, no one felt prouder than Diddy himself. He was the happiest he had been in his life, and the entire Kong family, and their closest friends, were all praising him so much that he became one of the happiest heroes in the whole galaxy! He often tried his best to avoid making everyone else jealous, particularly Kiddy and Tiny.

Whenever Diddy and DK were by themselves at home, though, it would be right back to their usual habits of monkeying around and playing with each other with lots of monkey nonsense!

Above everything, all that anyone could say about Diddy, though, was that he was the most favored 'little' hero in the entire universe!

The little monkey felt very proud of himself, indeed.

At long last! After more than eleven months of Writing Hell, making chapter revisions, fixing errors, and suffering from occasional 'writer's block' periods caused by an overflow of college work and focusing on other FanFiction and DeviantArt projects, I, DiddyKF1, have finally completed my first marathon-length, "Epic Adventure"-themed fanfic, the one that I had spent several years writing concepts for! Heck, I was still in high school when I first thought about writing this.

I hope that you have enjoyed this action-filled adventure, and I hope to write another one someday; that is, when I'm not too busy with other things, of course.

See y'all next time!