Chapter 44: Wakey-Wakey
Bones stirred. Eyes lit up in a glitter. The final prize awaited. He laughed.
Bowsette fluttered her eyes open and realized she was laying in her bed, in some pajamas, and the sun was shining bright in the sky.
That was weird for a couple reasons. Number one, she never slept in pajamas; she exclusively slept in the nude and always had. Number two, the last thing she remembered was being in a forest and getting her powers back. Why was she in bed? Did she take some forget-me-nows by accident?
Well, whatever the reason, she didn't think it was that important. She undressed, took her shell off, and went into her bathroom, where she was going to take a warm and relaxing bath in the tub. Ahhh... Ah crap she tripped over her own feet. Apparently her legs were very sore from... not walking...
How long had she been asleep?
Oh well. She stepped into the tub and let the warm water tickle her skin. She set it to as hot as it could possibly go, but it wasn't a tenth as hot as what Bowsette preferred. She almost started to miss lava baths at this point...
Oh well. As long as she was here. This was good enough...
If she was remembering correctly... Bowsette pointed her mouth down towards the water and blew a hot fire outwards. It extinguished quickly, but it reminded her that, yes, her powers did work again. In fact, it was only her own stupid nonfunctioning brain that had made her trick herself into blocking use of those powers. She was in a very dark place, geez.
Realizing that, she breathed more fire out and heated the tub up until it was absolutely scalding. Oh yeah, when the water bubbles, THAT'S how you know you've got a toasty bath!
Whatever happened between getting those powers back and ending up here, she still had absolutely no memory of, but it must not have been incredibly exciting even so. She kind of wondered where- A shriek from the bedroom! What was wrong! The shriek sounded like... one of the Toad handmaids, not someone important, so yeah Bowsette was just going to stay in the bath if that's alright with you.
Soon though, the Toad handmaid entered the bathroom, fretting about and carrying with her Princess Peach.
"She was here, and then she- oh, she's here," the handmaid said, her nervous nature immediately disappearing when she realized that the issue had been resolved.
"T-thank you," Peach said.
She left and as soon as she did, Princess Peach ran over to the tub and gave Bowsette a tight embrace. Bowsette felt warm from the bath already, but this was a whole new feeling. Peach let go and looked at all of the water all over her dress. "I probably should have done that... And Brighton, you're hot. What, are you bathing in lava- Oh." Peach noticed the fact that Bowsette's bath was literally boiling. "I'm so glad you're okay..."
"Okay? What happened. Peach?" Bowsette leaned back and put her head against the back of the tub. Peach's eyes looked down as she was clearly distracted by the fact that Bowsette was, um, taking a bath, and was making no attempt to hide her stare.
"What do you mean 'What happened,' Bowsette? You've been in a coma for a week!"
"I... have? That would certainly explain why I couldn't walk without tripping and why I'm sore all over. What's up with that?"
"Well, we went over to the Toadwood Forest and you conversed with the Mushroom Soul and completely disappeared for a little bit. You came back out, sprouted some wings and flew around, and then... you just passed out. That's all."
"Sure you're not leaving out any details?" Bowsette asked. "Sure doesn't seem like it's the full context." Bowsette moved forward and leaned over the edge of the tub, hiding her chest from view.
Peach still blushed, though. "Of course not. That's it. Nobody could figure out what could have been the cause."
"Definitely not that big old smooch I planted on you?" Bowsette asked.
Peach took a few steps closer into the tub and raised a hand to slap her, but then slipped at the last second, nearly falling in the tub-
Except that Bowsette caught her by the hips and pushed her back on her feet. Peach burst into laughter. But that was no laughing matter; Peach's skin would be covered in third degree burns if she got in this tub.
"I gotta say, you sure have changed, Bowsette," Peach said. "Who knew you ever knew how to treat a lady?"
The two wives she had already had, probably.
"I had to learn or else all that kidnapping would have been for nothing."
"Anyway... it looks like you're... awake."
"Yeah. I guess... when the Mushroom Soul spit me back out it had a large effect on me? Something like that. I couldn't understand anything otherwise."
"That sounds about right," said Peach. She stepped up to the tub again, treading more carefully this time, and sat on the edge of the tub next to where Bowsette was leaned over. "So do you think you're up for searching for your Generals and whatnot?"
"What? Not yet," Bowsette said. "I feel terrible..." She imagined how her children felt, fighting for their lives at this very moment... and the fact she was complaining while sitting in a hot tub... She really was a terrible person. "I mean, just give me another day or two."
"That's fair enough. Maybe we can have a small party or something to help you rest up?"
"If that's what you want."
"I do." Peach smiled. Bowsette smiled back.
"So... how's the Princess doing at her Princessly duties now that she's back in her castle?"
Peach sighed loudly. "Exactly how you'd expect," she groaned. "The Chancellor is so hard to deal with. I don't know what's come over him. And all the areas trying to secede or gain more autonomy and whatnot... It's getting worse. I even almost got attacked by protestors the other day. This is all your fault you know, Bowsette."
"I'd apologize, but I don't know if it was actually as much me as you think," Bowsette said. "I was only in charge for a month or two, right? If things are still this bad, then it just means the Mushroom Kingdom wasn't as stable and peaceful as we thought. That, or someone's trying to make it seem worse on purpose."
"Neither of which are good options..."
Peach seemed so stressed out. She was just lounging around the castle, and yet she was all dressed up like she was going to have to perform some ceremonial duties or meet with the press or something.
"It sounds like that party might be more for your health, huh?" Bowsette giggled.
"Maybe... I think a break would be good. That's why I'm excited to get to adventuring again. This castle life stuff is... hard."
"Tell me about it. That's why I abdicated."
"Maybe I will too," Peach said with a straight face, before laughing. It was a beautiful laugh. Too shrill, a little too high-pitched and feminine to be taken seriously... exactly how it should have been.
That's who Peach was.
"So... you wanna go get some ice cubes, and then come back here and join me?" Bowsette asked.
Peach chuckled and shook her head. "Not today, Bowsette. But don't worry, you'll get your chance." She leaned in and pecked Bowsette on the cheek.
"You know," Bowsette said. "It almost feels like you've fallen in love with me."
"I have, though."
"The feeling's mutual," said Bowsette.
"Finish your bath and I'll bring you some lunch," Peach said. "You're probably starving." Bowsette saluted her as she left the bathroom.