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Notes For Us Two

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Ever since the opening "smash" events, life around the Smash Facility had settled down. The fighters tended to themselves, hanging about with their companions. Even more folk had come to this event, forcing the facilities to their limits. However, most were glad to be with one another, glad for such an opportunity.

The facility also had a separate area to house the various others present. They weren't full fledged fighters, but rather assorted "Assists" and "Spirits". Most didn't reside in the facility permanently, as they were "summoned" there by chance. The "Assist" characters were more likely to be encountered, given their nature.

They were made to appear in battle, helping out proper fighters then. Nikki was among them, being among the many "newcomers". Hers had been a quieter life, based around art and travel. However, she knew such origins didn't limit her, as seen with the Villager and his assistant, Isabelle. Just about anyone could take part in their battles.

As such, Nikki grew to know the proper fighters, be it through battle or otherwise. Of them, one caught her attention the most. She hadn't met him yet, only glimpsing him from afar. However, he intrigued her so, making her heart grow light. Nikki held the thought close to her, even on the day of a grand battle.

It'd been the talk around the facility, drawing the intrigue of all. All had begun as an inside joke among the proper fighters. Aware of the many sword users among them, some wondered who the "best" one was. Though some thought on it in jest, many others took it seriously. Their talk grew frenzied, leading up to the day's main event.

That afternoon, their ilk were to "settle" it in smash, such as it was. Eight prominent sword wielders were selected, made to represent their given lands. Theirs would be an eight fighter battle, pushing them to their limits. Nikki was among those excited to see their fight, seeking out her beloved. He'd be there, alongside the other fighters.

Of them, Marth and Link were the more "classic" sword fighters, given their seniority. Ike and Ganondorf served as variants on that theme, albeit more forceful. Shulk and Cloud offered a more "advanced" spin on the notion, given their massive swords. That left Meta Knight and the Mii Swordfighter in a class of their own, their skills unique.

Despite their differences, all were eager to fight one another then. They held confidence in themselves, as well as their weapons. It'd be a spectacle for the ages either way, they believed. As all prepared themselves on their stage, many other fighters watched them in awe. Mario stood among them to officiate their battle, given his own seniority.

"Now, today's match will be on-a Final Destination," Mario announced. "To ensure fairness and balance here. And to offer a great view, of course! Fox can't-a be here today, but items will and-" As he spoke on, the crowd peered below, curious to what would be. It could very well be anyone's match, given how all was laid out.

The sword fighters shared their sentiment, eager to battle. However, they were bound to Mario, who spoke on. Once done, the crowd clapped as Mario vanished, revealing the battlefield. Their fighters stood upon it, brimming with vigor. At the announcer's call, their battle began with all watching intently.

The "Assists" had come as well, many within their audience. Nikki was among them, seated by Princess Peach. Though she tried to chat with Nikki, she kept her sight on the battle. She only gave Peach the barest replies, her voice wistful. Though Peach eased away, Nikki grew aware of her. She shook her head and apologized for herself.

Peach shook it off, saying it was fine. She remained curious to Nikki's focus, asking her about it. "I was just thinking about him," she said with a breathy lilt. "That gorgeous blond swordsman-" Peach nodded back, well aware of such men. It seemed like their current roster was lousy with their ilk. Even she held one close to her heart.

"Link, right?" Peach asked of her. Her own dreamy smile emerged, flustered by the very thought. Even with Zelda's warnings otherwise, she couldn't help but gaze upon him. As Peach met the other's gaze, she paused. Nikki shook her head, seemingly puzzled then. "Oh, Cloud?" She shook her head again, her mouth stiff. "Shulk, it'd have to be him!"

Nikki's eyes widened, taken back by her suggestions. "Well, who is it, then?" she asked back. "Who could it be?" Nikki took a quick breath, only to turn back to the battlefield. Her eyes gleamed, joined by a wanting smile. She pointed to the Mii Swordfighter, who ran about. He summoned a tornado from his blade then, sending Marth into the air.

Peach grinned at her, glad for her own joy. Before she could talk further, Nikki found herself easing away. In the midst of their battle, an "Assist" was summoned, forcing her presence. As she appeared on stage, Nikki waved to the crowd. They seemed as eager as she was, to her glee. Soon, she doodled her given images, aiding the fighters.

As Bullet Bills emerged to attack them, Nikki peered at the Mii Swordfighter. He'd noticed them, ready to run away. However, she shook her head, motioning to a safe spot. He stared in confusion, wondering why she'd singled him out. However, he nodded to Nikki, glad for her aid. As the Swordfighter ran to it, the other fighters followed suit.

In the process, some of them were blasted by other images. The Swordfighter managed to save himself, watching as his brethren fell. Selfish as it was, he took his advantage. Nikki continued to draw, releasing her images with abandon. Their battle's thrill gripped her, curious to its end. Those who'd fallen picked themselves up, ready to fight again.

Despite her creations, the sword wielders fought on, attacking one another. In turn, they forced her images away, calling for her disappearance. Though Nikki was to leave soon, she relished the moment. She was just glad to be near the Mii Swordfighter, aiding him so. He continued to fight, swiftly passing by his brethren.

Ganondorf stepped in to stop him, knocking the Swordfighter down. He collapsed, only able to watch as Link swooped in to attack Ganondorf. He retaliated by grabbing Link and bombarding him with a burst of dark energy. As Link fell besides the Swordfighter, Cloud ran towards Ganondorf. He suddenly slashed the air, releasing a blue shockwave.

As Ganondorf recoiled in surprise, Ike slipped behind him and lifted Ragnell into the air. In an instant, he forced it into the ground, summoning his own burst of energy. It sent Ganondorf flying with its force, knocking him into Cloud. They fell beside Link and the Mii Swordfighter as Ike ran towards Marth.

Meanwhile, the crowd and Nikki watched them all with awe. Neither of them could guess who'd reign over their fellow sword wielders. However, it'd been a treat to see them fight for it. They'd given it their all, pushed to their limits. Even other spawned "Assists" were ignored in favor of their own skills.

Ike and Marth countered each other with their swords, knocking them together. Before either could hit the other, Meta Knight sped towards them, caught in his crafted tornado. It knocked them off their feet, sending them away. Marth fared worse, given his lighter weight. He rose into the air, only to be greeted by Shulk.

He'd activated his "Jump" art, allowing him to meet Marth's height. He slammed the Monado on Marth with his might, forcing him down. As he fell, Meta Knight spun in his tornado, dragging Shulk into it. However, its power soon waned, to which he lost control. As he lay helpless, Shulk fell atop him in a daze.

While Link and the Mii Swordfighter managed to get up, their brethren weren't as lucky. Ganondorf and Cloud remained on the ground, easing themselves up. Ike lay face down on it, joined by Marth. As they wriggled about, Shulk shook his head, trying to regain his focus. Meta Knight pried him away, shaking himself off in turn.

 

 

Though all retained one stock, they were worn from their battle. All had been so sudden that their crowd couldn't believe it. Even Nikki was shocked, knowing that she should've left sooner. A brief intermission was called for, to recover the fighters' spirits.

As they adjusted themselves, Isabelle came on stage to their aid. She handed out Rice Lunch Trays and Sushi, allowing them to recover their health. While all dove into their contents, another Isabelle emerged besides the original one.

Shulk eyed her warily, recalling a warning he'd gotten earlier. With some tea in hand, he approached "their" Isabelle. Shulk asked of the other's presence, to which she grinned. "She's my assistant," Isabelle said of her replica. "She'll clean up once you're done!"

Though puzzled, Shulk understood the reason for it. Absurd as it was, they'd have much litter anyway. Some of it dirtied the stage, in the form of upswept debris and muck. Their meal would only add to that, requiring assistance. Shulk nodded to her, his warning sent to the back of his mind.

So long as the Isabelles kept to their ways, he need not worry about them. As the fighters finished their meal, Isabelle went to collect their dishes. Her replica walked about, collecting litter from the field. All had gotten word the match would start again, leading them to prepare. The Isabelles continued to roam, still cleaning up.

Soon, they came upon a stray Assist Trophy. Driven by intrigue, both cast their fishing rods at it. As they awaited its effects, Nikki stood by, wondering which of her brethren would emerge. However, Shulk lunged at Isabelle's copy, forcing her away. "Isabelle, no!" he shouted, aware of the chaos that would befall them.

He'd learned of an issue within the facility regarding how "Assists" spawned. It'd come through a stray Ditto that had fused with their teleportation system. Whenever "Assist" personas went through it, Ditto's being forced multiple copies of themselves. The facility's researchers called Shulk to research it, given his expertise in his homeland.

The glitch emerged if two versions of Isabelle reached for an "Assist". Neither of them knew why it affected her in particular, but their danger was clear. If left unchecked, countless copies of an "Assist" could spawn forth. As the other Isabelle stared at him, Shulk explained their issue.

Within moments, both sprang up, warning the others of what would come. The original Isabelle and her companions armed themselves, only for a figure to emerge. It was Waluigi, seemingly plucked from a game of tennis. He stood holding a racket, his gaze wild. As he dashed towards Isabelle, several copies of himself appeared.

All were as ravenous as their originator, seeking out "vengeance". While the original Waluigi struck Isabelle's clone, his brethren ran to the fighters. They were made to target any "enemy" present. The fighters stared at Waluigi's horde, arming themselves again. They ran towards one another, out for victory.

Shulk fared a bit better against their masses, having activated his "Speed" art. Though weaker, he managed to escape Waluigi and his brethren. Cloud was left to shoulder their burden, swiping through the relentless horde. For every Waluigi he felled, several more took his place. They laughed maniacally, eager to beat down any target.

Ike and Ganondorf followed their lead and dove into their crowd. As Ganondorf used his might to overpower them, Ike swept through them. Cloud continued to fell the Waluigis, causing them to fall and vanish. As Shulk aided him, Meta Knight rose into the air with his cape. He peered at the Waluigi horde, seeking out their "sweet" spot.

Having found it, he soared to it, striking several Waluigis at once. As they dispersed, the others continued to swipe at them. Meta Knight aided them, spinning about to knock more Waluigis away. Meanwhile, Marth and Link fought their horde, struggling to stay upright. They couldn't see much else than Waluigi, feeling his force upon themselves.

Though they tried to avoid their masses, they continued to beat Marth and Link down. Marth managed to evade them, forcing himself out of their crowd. As he struck their rackets with the Falchion's tip, Link ran to him. He'd gotten out his Hylian shield, allowing the Waluigis to ram into it. They'd tire themselves soon enough like that.

Through the fighters' efforts, Waluigi's horde began to lessen. The Mii Swordfighter was greatly exempt from their struggle. He managed to save the original Isabelle and Nikki from their presence. They'd stuck it out, knocking any rogue Waluigis away. When their forces were nearly gone, the Swordfighter studied their battlefield.

His brethren were exhausted, having felled their horde. However, he kept put, sensing Waluigi's presence. True to form, several more of him emerged, swiping at the air. The other Isabelle had perished earlier, leaving his group to their wrath. They peered at the Swordfighter, sensing an uncharted target. They ran to him, spurring him into action.

Driven by panic, Nikki clutched the Swordfighter's hand for support. Though stunned, he held on to it and ran alongside her. Isabelle trailed behind them, firing pellets from her slingshot. Though she now felt his touch, Nikki couldn't enjoy the moment, fearing for her life. The Swordfighter held onto her, silently vowing to protect Nikki.

He'd seen their forces, overwhelming all who dared cross them. Even if he knew not its reason, he knew his ways. The Swordfighter couldn't let her perish as Isabelle's replica had. All had come so senselessly, beating the spirits of all down. So long as he could, the Swordfighter would protect his companions.

Once far enough from the Waluigis, he stopped and released Nikki's hand. She peered at him as he unsheathed his sword. With a determined glint in his eyes, the Swordfighter lunged at them. As he swiped them, Isabelle stepped to Nikki. She gave her a quick nod and got out her slingshot again. Nikki followed her lead, readying herself to draw.

During their battle, Waluigi's horde had proved too much for any of them to bear. Now that it'd lessened, Nikki and Isabelle's shock eased away. They couldn't idly stand by while the Swordfighter fought on. As he spun about wildly, several Waluigis fell in defeat. He seemed able to overwhelm their forces himself, ridding all of his blight.

However, Isabelle and Nikki pelted them with their own ammunition. Through their efforts, Waluigi's horde finally fell apart. As the last Waluigi vanished, the other sword wielders stepped to them. Though exhausted again, they were glad for his sacrifice. Even if their battle was unresolved, it was all they could take then. They needed to rest once more.

As the other fighters cheered him on, the Swordfighter smiled shakily. "There, I think that's the last of 'em-" he rasped out. He slumped down, trying to catch his breath. As his knees buckled, Nikki ran over to support him. She grasped his right arm, easing him up. Their eyes met, their owners aglow with vigor and gratitude.

The Swordfighter fell silent, now awed by Nikki's presence. Even in the midst of their chaos, she held an earnest allure about herself. To peer into her dark eyes was to see desire itself. That, paired with her charming features, was enough to make his heart ache. The Swordfighter thanked her, breaking into a bright grin.

Nikki followed suit, captive to her own longing in turn. Her heart beat faster, now fueled by desire. As the Swordfighter stood up straight, Mario stepped back on stage. He called the day's battle off, on grounds of liability. To repeat their day's incident would provoke their sponsors' wrath. Though stunned, the fighters couldn't argue with him.

"I'm sorry, Mario!" Isabelle said, her voice somber. "I just wasn't thinking straight! Oh, I've ruined everything, haven't I?" Her mouth quaked, only for her to burst into tears. As she tried to cover her face, Shulk went to console her. He patted her on the back, to which she peered at him. "If I'd known, I never would've gone for that 'Assist Trophy'!"

"It's okay, Isabelle," Shulk said to her. "Hey, if I'd known you'd show up, I would've told you before!" She nodded back, feeling her spirits rise again. As he kept petting her, the other fighters surrounded them. They spoke among themselves, still stunned by their day's events. Civility gave way to chaos once more, fueled by their frenzy.

"Um, let's-a try to settle things down-" Mario suggested to the fighters. He stepped to them, his gaze warm. Though most tried to discuss it properly, Ganondorf's ire remained. He seemed ready to attack, his senses on edge. Though Link tried to restrain him, Mario eased closer to Ganondorf. "So, for-a you guys, what did you think of today's battle?"

"Gods alive, it was atrocious!" Ganondorf bellowed, his eyes wide. "Mark my words, this battle has made me despise Waluigi to no end!" Despite Mario's surprise, he shook it off. He wasn't to blame for Waluigi's presence and what it'd wrought. "Endless swarms of those cursed wretches! I was breathing pure Waluigi with every breath!"

As Ganondorf ranted on, Link shook his head and dug around his inventory. In the midst of his talk, Link jabbed him, offering Ganondorf some Lon Lon Milk. He gave Link a quick glare, only to snatch it from his grasp. As he drank it, Mario's focus shifted elsewhere. He walked to the Mii Swordfighter, who still remained by Nikki's side.

She couldn't speak then, stunned by all that she'd seen. However, Mario wasn't subject to such restraints, his curiosity piqued. "And for you, Finn?" he asked the Swordfighter. "How was this 'battle of the swords'?" Though stunned, the Swordfighter spoke of his own experience. He was just glad to battle with his ilk, as chaotic as it'd been.

"Well, that's the 'cut' of it," the Swordfighter noted. "But I wouldn't have it either way. Especially since I met this sweetie here-" He glanced at Nikki, who grinned and blushed at him. She still couldn't believe it, having captured her beloved's attention. All was as she desired, making her heart quiver. Nikki peered at him, unable to break their "spell".

Though Mario soon left them, the Swordfighter kept close to her. "Thanks, Nikki," he said. "Your help means a lot to me. It's been nice to meet you today." She thanked him, only to stumble on her shaky feet. As she fell against him, the Swordfighter drew her close. For that moment, they stood as one, joined by their affection and wonder.

Chapter Text

Following the sword wielders' battle, Shulk was called on by the Smash Facility's researchers. True to Mario's word, they'd have to solve their issue with how "Assists" spawned soon. The facility couldn't risk the safety of their fighters during another "grand" event. Otherwise, items in battle would have to be disabled to ensure it.

Upon hearing of his work, Isabelle went alongside Shulk. She felt guilty for drawing Waluigi's wrath, even if it'd come by accident. Though Shulk assured her all was fine, she wanted to ease her own doubts. They worked on the issue alongside the facility's researchers, hoping they could finally solve it.

As they studied the matter, life around the Smash Facility settled down yet again. Most fighters returned to their routines of training and leisure. However, the Mii Swordfighter was not among them. Though he sparred with his companions, they felt something off about him. It seemed like he was distracted, lost to another fancy of his.

Some of them questioned him directly, leading the Swordfighter to brush them off. Such matters were hardly their concern, he told them. Even if it affected his performance, he didn't want to confess all to them then. The Swordfighter wasn't sure they'd understand his longing, how it'd come about. All he wanted was to keep them none the wiser.

Only then could he handle the issue on his own. Several more days passed as such, with the Swordfighter growing more listless. His longing had gotten the better of him, rising above all else in his mind. Aware he couldn't properly live with it, the Swordfighter went to his fellow Miis. Only they had a chance of understanding the desire he held.

 

That afternoon found the Mii Fighters in the dining hall, preparing for an upcoming battle. As the Brawler stretched a bit, the Gunner sat at their table, eating a sandwich. All seemed as it usually did until the Swordfighter stepped in, his gaze blank. The other fighters peered at him, wondering if something had upset their friend.

"Um, Finn?" the Brawler asked. "You feelin' okay, buddy?" The Swordfighter kept silent, passing by him. As he sat next to the Gunner, she leaned in to speak to him. His face was uneasy, as if gripped by a deep issue. The Gunner tilted her head, questioning him in turn. Both could only imagine what'd gotten him in such a state.

"Hey, you guys know anything about Nikki?" the Swordfighter asked them. His comrades glanced at each other, their mood now lightened. Though Nikki had recently come as an "Assist", he'd never mentioned it before. Before the sword wielders' battle, he seemed unaware of her. As they chuckled to themselves, he glared at them.

"Come on, guys," the Swordfighter said. "Cut it out! It's not like you know every "Assist" around here!" The Brawler could only shrug, unable to argue him then. Meanwhile, the Gunner peered at him, sensing something greater was afoot. "What about Nikki, then? Where does she come from, exactly? She's a Mii like us, but-"

The Brawler considered it for a moment, grasping his chin. "I think she used to run 'Swapnote'," he said. "But they shut that down, because people kept drawing dic-" He paused upon seeing the Swordfighter and Gunner's stunned faces. With a shake of his head, he spoke further. "Right, so she's on 'Swapdoodle' and 'Nintendo's News' now!"

The Swordfighter nodded to his friend, still a bit perplexed. "Yeah, but what does she do there?" he asked his companions. The Gunner stepped in, saying that Nikki specialized in art. Through "Swapnote", she taught users how to create and decorate personalized messages. "Oh, so she likes to write and draw, then? But I knew that already!"

As the Brawler shrugged in kind, the Gunner recalled something else. "Yeah, but there's more!" she chimed in. "I remember, she had that travel 'thing' a while back! They sent her to Japan, and-" The Swordfighter interrupted her, saying it didn't help him then. "Finn, what do you want from us? It's not like we know her that well either!"

"Guys, I wanna know more about Nikki herself!" the Swordfighter shot back. "Like, what else does she like? Maybe we'll have something in common-" He paused, aware of his companions' faces. Though both were stunned, the reason differed between them. The Gunner's heart was struck by his honesty, why it'd come about.

It drew forth something she'd never considered for her companion. To do so made her smile with glee. However, the Brawler was more wary, unwilling to get caught up in his troubles. Whatever the Swordfighter wanted of Nikki was his business alone. He shook his head, teasing his fellow fighter. The Swordfighter brushed it off, lost to his thoughts.

"Lay off him, Saul," the Gunner said to her companion. "I get it now. I think Finn's got a little crush on Nikki!" The Swordfighter's eyes snapped open, stunned into silence. As he turned from her, the Gunner grinned at him. "It all makes sense now! Why you've been distracted, all these questions!" The Brawler slapped his chest, laughing all the while.

To say it clarified things for him as well; He couldn't help but tease the Swordfighter, despite their kinship. The Brawler hadn't considered it either, even with someone like Nikki. However, if his friend had given into love's grip, he could poke fun at it. "So you and her, huh?" the Brawler asked. "Finn-Nikki, then? Finicky-" He chuckled once more.

As the Swordfighter glared at him, he kept on laughing. "For your sake, you better hope she isn't!" the Brawler exclaimed. "Picky people are the worst! Like those nobles Ike complains about!" Though irritated, the Swordfighter couldn't disagree with his friend. He set thoughts of Nikki aside then, nodding alongside the Brawler.

The Gunner chimed in, displeased by such folk. Their ilk had come upon them before, be it in Miitopia's reaches or otherwise. Other issues aside, such people were always hard to get along with. They'd even been Mii Fighters during the previous "smash" events. Of that trio, the past Brawler was a rather finicky sort.

The Gunner mentioned him offhand, leading the Brawler to recoil in disgust. He'd met the past Brawler briefly, but even that was too much to bear. He demanded order from the previous Mii Fighters, ensuring his own fame. When it didn't come, he grew cruel, forcing his frustrations on his comrades. The Brawler shook his head, gripped by disgust.

The past Brawler's ways had gotten all Miis barred from online tournaments before. Unwilling to repeat their error, the "smash" sponsors called for new Miis to be fighters. To recall it caused the current Mii Fighters to nod together. Even if the past Brawler was unfair, he'd brought their trio together. They couldn't fault that, glad for their friendship.

The Swordfighter smiled to himself, wondering what else could come of it. Perhaps he could gain Nikki's affection as well. If all came together, he'd be the happiest Mii about. He just hoped that Nikki wasn't a harsh, particular sort. He couldn't bear the thought, especially with such a woman. "So, what are you gonna do?" the Gunner asked of him.

The Swordfighter paused, meeting her gaze. He couldn't refuse her then, even with his own doubts. "I don't know, Hannah," he said. "I know so little already, but-" He took a breath, trying to settle his mind. To keep on living as he had felt like the death of him. He shook his head upon considering it. "But I've gotta do something! I'll find a way!"

With a quick nod to the Gunner, he left the hall, leaving his friends uncertain. All they could do was peer at each other, questioning his own ways. They only wished the best for the Swordfighter and Nikki. Even if they couldn't help him earlier, Nikki seemed like a good fit for him. They couldn't help but entertain the thought of her with their friend.

Nikki certainly had earlier at the sword wielders' battle. Even if it'd come by accident, the other Mii Fighters couldn't deny how she'd been then. She relished their friend's attention, lost to all others. They'd brushed it off before, unaware of the Swordfighter's own desire. Now that he'd confessed all, they wondered what would follow suit.

Though the Gunner swooned to consider it, the Brawler shook his head. He stuck to his concerns, turning his focus to their upcoming battle. As he practiced some punches, the Gunner grinned at him. She couldn't help but find it endearing, lost to her own fantasies. However, they were called to battle, forcing the Gunner to cast her thoughts aside.

As the Brawler grasped her hand, she felt lighter, as if floating. Her own heart pulsed, glad for his touch. Perhaps the Swordfighter's desire had also gotten to her. No matter the reason, she held onto the Brawler as they departed. All felt oddly right, even if they were to fight another. They ran as one, joined together by a familiar sense of wonder.

 

Back at the Assists' quarters, Nikki lay in bed, holding a photo of the Swordfighter. She'd gotten it after their battle, a snapshot of sorts. Despite the chaos that day, many wanted images to celebrate the fighters' skill. It'd been quite an event, one even Nikki wouldn't forget soon. As she gazed upon it lovingly, a knock sounded at her door.

Her focus shattered, drawing her ire. Nikki got up to answer it and saw Pete the mail pelican there. Nikki shook her head, chiding herself for being so uneasy. He handed her some mail before stepping away cheerfully. With a quick wave, Nikki left him and went back inside. As her cat and panda peered at her, she flipped through her mail.

Most of it was the usual fare, but one particular letter grabbed her attention. It was encased in a pale blue envelope, with wings at its top. Nikki shook lightly, only to open it up. She plucked out a letter and sat on her bed to read it. "Dear Nikki," she said within her mind. "I've just noticed you around here, and I'd like to know you better."

Nikki paused, wondering who could've sent this to her. It didn't seem that different than the messages she got on "Swapnote" before; However, its context confused her, leading Nikki to read on. "I don't know much about this stuff," she mouthed softly. "But I wanna see if it works. I guess it's like pen-pals, right?" She chuckled, smiling to herself.

"So if you want to," Nikki said, reading the letter aloud. "You can write back to me. Don't worry, just tell Pete you sent them. He'll know who to send 'em to." She laughed again, considering Pete's stake in this. If push came to shove, she'd have to ask him about it. For the moment, she could humor her unseen friend's little messages.

"Anyway, that was all I wanted to say," Nikki read on. "I'll understand if you don't want to. I just wanted to chat. Best wishes!" Her smile remained, now as giddy as ever. All was so terribly exciting, at once familiar, yet not. She eased onto the bed, allowing her cat to jump on it. As he rubbed against her, Nikki met his gaze and stroked his head.

As she lay down, her mind raced with possibilities. "Who could've sent this?" Nikki thought to herself. Curiosity urged her to write back, seeing if they'd respond. Nikki could accept it if they didn't, writing it off as a fluke. But the letter felt earnest in its text. Perhaps she'd caught the attention of someone she hadn't met yet.

It seemed within reason, especially if they were shy. After all, she was known for running a service to send notes. Perhaps they'd done it to evoke something she knew by heart. To imagine it made her smile again. Nikki eased up, now gripped by purpose. "What do I have to lose?" she said, feeling her heart beat quicker.

With that in mind, Nikki got up, clutching the letter. She went to her desk and sank into its cozy chair. The letter lay within reach as she wrote on some stationary. "I'm not sure how to say this," Nikki thought to herself. "But I'd like to know you better myself. I like meeting new people, especially if-" As she wrote on, her panda had gotten on the bed.

To make himself comfortable, he'd set her photo of the Swordfighter aside. As it lay against her pillow, Nikki could make it out. Her heart pulsed with desire and a secret sort of thrill. She wanted to know her new friend better, as well as the Swordfighter. However, Nikki focused on the former then, sensing her fancy was just that.

Even if the Swordfighter refused her, at least she'd have her friend's company. That lay within reason for Nikki, familiar as it was. Such was the thought as she finished her own message. Only through its delivery could she learn the truth about it all.

Chapter Text

Over the next few weeks, Nikki got more messages from Pete, paired with little gifts. Though many were friendly, others held a more romantic aura. They praised her being, stunned by her earnest allure. "Whenever I see you," she recited within her mind. "It's the best part of my day. You're like one of your drawings, Nikki: A real piece of art!"

Nikki tittered to herself, flattered by such attention. Though her longing for the Mii Swordfighter remained, her admirer also intrigued her. "I wonder who they are," she thought to herself. "They're so nice! I hope they're not some weirdo-" She shook her head, thinking of certain messages she'd gotten on "Swapnote" before.

However, such matters were beyond her, even if they'd led to "Swapnote's" end then. To be a part of "Smash" events was a new beginning for her. Nikki took a quick breath, only to grin broadly. She'd have to respond to her latest messages that night. However, she craved a good meal, following several appearances in the day's battles.

They'd drained her so, leading Nikki towards the dining hall. She wasn't sure what they offered then, having gone on a whim. As she stepped inside, the scent of tomatoes and herbs struck her. It enticed her so, drawing her to the hall's length of counters. Many dishes lay atop it, ranging from the day's soup to exotic "monsters" so hunted.

Nikki opted for the soup, peering at the bowls it lay in. As she reached for one of them, another's warmth danced upon her fingers. She glanced to the hand by hers, only to see the Mii Swordfighter there. He shot her a coy smile, saying he'd come for some of Chef Kawasaki's famed soup. Nikki nodded to him, glad to see the Swordfighter again.

They chatted a bit, speaking of how they'd been lately. All seemed as it usually was, save for their brighter spirits. Both were glad to be out then, especially with the other. "If you don't mind," the Swordfighter said. "Wanna have dinner together? Since we're here and all?" Nikki nodded again, now stunned into silence.

After the sword wielders' battle, she just couldn't believe her luck. The man she adored had noticed her, asking for her company. Even it was on friendly terms, Nikki couldn't pass it up. "Sure, I'd love to!" she replied as he grinned at her. "Then we can chat some more!" His face lit up, making her fall silent. Had her desire spilled onto him as well?

She knew it a foolish thought, but it intrigued her so. "Great, then!" the Swordfighter said, breaking her focus. Nikki's eyes snapped open, only to fall upon his face again. He was as welcoming as ever, offering his aid. Afterwards, they walked together with their food in hand. Once at a table, they sat together as Wario read a newspaper nearby.

While they ate their soup, their talk drifted to more personal matters. Through it, Nikki revealed her new "admirer's" presence. The Swordfighter paused, at once intrigued and wary. "Oh, it's nothing like that, Finn!" she said. "I've just been getting the nicest notes and gifts from someone!" Nikki paused, only to fall into her companion's grasp again.

She hoped that they were as alluring in person as on paper. From how they wrote to her, they seemed like the "perfect" lover. As Nikki sighed, the Swordfighter smiled at her. She met his gaze, growing lost to its depths. Nikki couldn't help but imagine him in her admirer's place, regarding her with such tenderness.

She still longed for his touch, to fall against him as she had before. Even if it'd come accidentally, his warmth delighted her so. If he could see her with that desire, she needed nothing more from her life. But if it couldn't be, she could accept it. Even to Nikki, her admirer's adoration seemed unreal, the makings of a mere fantasy.

She could hardly believe it at times, despite the joy she felt. However, Nikki took it in stride, glad for such regard. "Hey, I can't complain," the Swordfighter said. "It's nice to know someone cares, right?" Nikki nodded to him, struck by his voice. It sounded so wistful, as though he shared her sentiment. She shook her head, reasoning with herself.

The Swordfighter hadn't hinted otherwise, his demeanor still kindly. However, she wanted it to be so, deep within her heart. "I hope they make you happy, Nikki," he said, breaking her focus again. "You deserve it, since you're such a great girl and all!" She broke into a grin, at once glad and stunned by his affection.

She couldn't ignore the care he held then, his voice tender. Nikki felt her skin grow hot, her breath faint. "Thank you, Finn," she said with a slight grin. "Coming from you, that means a lot to me!" As the Swordfighter nodded to her, she reached out, lost to her thoughts. It was only when she felt his warmth again did shock dance upon her.

Nikki jerked away, only for him to reach for her hand. As they sat locked together, their eyes met. "No problem, Nikki," he replied. "I just like being with you. I hope we can do this again-" All felt so unreal to her, forcing Nikki to calm herself. Though he intrigued her, she couldn't jump to conclusions yet. She needed some time to consider it all.

She turned from him, only to come upon a nearby clock. "Oh, that reminds me!" she said. "I need to answer my messages! We'll have to cut this short-" He nodded to her, only to drop his gaze. Nikki sprang up and raced back to her room. In her excitement, she failed to notice his shaken face. As silence fell upon him, the Swordfighter sat in confusion.

Had Nikki's new admirer gotten the best of her? He hoped not, given how confusing all would be afterwards. However, he couldn't help but feel glad for her. The Swordfighter delighted in her joy, her radiant smile. He was glad to see it, no matter the reason. As he mulled over the thought, Princess Peach stepped into the dining hall.

 

Along the way, she passed by Nikki, who seemed in a rush. When asked about it, she spoke quickly, her words a flurry. Though stunned, Peach set it aside then. To see the Swordfighter deep in thought made her wonder. Nikki mentioned him before, as well as her new friend. Peach figured she could ask the Swordfighter about it either way.

"Finn, I just saw Nikki back there!" Peach said. "She was in a real hurry, too! What was that about?" Gripped by surprise, he spoke of Nikki's new pen-pal. They'd been sending her messages for a few weeks, winning Nikki's praise. She spoke of them dearly, glad for their kind words and gifts. Such was their pull that she was forced back to her desk.

"She had to write 'em back," the Swordfighter admitted. "I guess I can't complain, but-" He took a quick breath, at once weary and wistful. "It seems like she really likes them. Like it could be love-" Peach sighed to imagine such a thing. As she fawned over the thought, he became uneasy. He got up and dashed away, only to bump into Isabelle.

Though she called to him, the Swordfighter kept on running. He faded into the ether, leaving Isabelle none the wiser. As she approached Peach, her own confusion was clear. "Hey, where's the fire?" Isabelle asked. "I just saw Finn book it outta here!" Peach just shrugged, biting her bottom lip. She'd never seen him in such a frenzy.

"I can't say!" she admitted shakily. "We were just talking, then he ran away!" As Isabelle tilted her head, Peach eased into a seat. "Perhaps something upset him. I brought up Nikki's new 'pen-pal', all the things they sent her-" She paused, wondering if that was just it. Her new friendship had the potential to be romantic, that she knew.

"Maybe that's why Finn left us!" Peach said aloud. She thought to the sword wielders' battle, how he stood alongside Nikki at its end. He seemed to relish her touch, drawing her close. If another longed for her heart, it must've pained the Swordfighter to know it. Isabelle agreed, though the idea of a "secret" admirer intrigued her so.

"It's so mysterious, isn't it?" Isabelle asked Peach. "But it's always nice to get gifts in the mail. I bet Nikki's so happy now!" Peach nodded with a grin. Even if she didn't know Nikki that well, she seemed able to appreciate it. Perhaps something greater had come from the tournament, as unexpected as it was.

As Peach and Isabelle kept chatting, Wario caught wind of it. "Hey, what are you gals yappin' about?" he asked, peering up at them. "I can hardly hear myself think ova' here!" As he glared at them, Peach shook her head. He scoffed at her, thinking it was mere gossip about their fellow fighters. Isabelle had fallen into it, encouraging Peach further.

"Oh, nothing," Peach replied, still grinning. "We're just talking about our friend, Nikki. She's got a secret admirer!" As she tittered to herself, Isabelle swatted her on the arm. Peach calmed herself a bit, her face now pink. Isabelle questioned her, wondering who it could be. Wario tried to return to his newspaper, only for them to laugh again.

"I can't say," Peach said to her. "Because I don't know myself!" She glanced at Isabelle, who shrugged back. "Nikki's been getting these notes for a few weeks now! Who could it be?" As she and Isabelle mused on the thought, Wario rolled his eyes. Their pair ran through the available fighters, seeking one who'd have eyes for Nikki.

Most seemed too out of her reach, be it due to their age or species. "Well, she does like Finn-" Peach said, recalling past events. Isabelle peered at her curiously, to which Peach nodded. She couldn't help but question Peach about the Swordfighter then. As she told Isabelle what Nikki had earlier, Wario snorted sharply at them.

"I dunno, I just think it's weird," he said, to Peach and Isabelle's surprise. "Which dope was like, 'I'm feelin' like some Mii Swordfighter'?" Wario paused, aware of their dismay. "I get the other sword guys. Dudes like Link and Marth, they're 'pretty'! Sure, but what makes this fella so special?!" Within moments, their eyes bore into his own.

"Besides, he's a dime a dozen 'round here!" Wario said with a bitter chuckle. "It's like a conspiracy nowadays! We get more 'pretty-boy' swordfighters, and soon they're gonna outnumber normal fighters like-" Isabelle's paws fell against her mouth, her eyes now small. From within, Peach braced herself to speak against him at all.

"Wario, why do you even care?!" she shot back. "It's not like you're better than them, you know!" As he stared at her, she covered her mouth in shock. Peach shook her head, ridding herself of the thought. She hadn't wanted to upset him, as coarse as he was. Isabelle stepped in, trying to take his mind away from her admission.

"Come on, it's just for fun!" she said to Wario. "Everyone loves a good hero, so noble and brave!" As he scoffed again, Isabelle grasped her paws together with a swoon. "It's like a fairy tale, with love from afar! One that can't be revealed until just the right moment-" Peach nodded in turn, leading them to sigh together.

As Wario scoffed again, Peach's hands fell against her chest. "I know, right?" she said to Isabelle. "Just like with me and Mario! I don't know about this admirer, but I like her with Finn! They'd make a cute couple, wouldn't they?" Isabelle nodded back, imagining them as one. It spoke to a love she could entertain in her mind, far from her responsibilities.

Even if she knew not of Nikki's concern, Isabelle wished the best for her. She was lucky to have caught another's eye. It seemed like a good feeling, even if Isabelle only knew it through kinship. Such appreciation was rare for her, be it through love or otherwise. "It must be nice," she thought to herself. "To have someone care so much. I'd love that-"

As she held onto the notion, Shulk burst into the dining hall. He sought her out, having been told Isabelle had come in. When he saw her, Shulk raced to her side. "Come with me, Isabelle!" he exclaimed. "They've had a breakthrough in the labs! I think we can finally crack this case!" Her own eyes lit up, glad to see their troubles end.

Within moments, she ran alongside Shulk in triumph. Even through their chaos, he'd been so thoughtful towards her. Isabelle couldn't help but grin, glad for his company. It was enough for her then, satisfying her lingering desires. As they vanished, Wario set his newspaper down. "And speakin' of weird pairings-" he said, grinning to himself.

As Peach rolled her eyes, Wario broke into a boisterous laugh. "Besides them," he said, drawing her attention. "How about Nikki's 'lover', then? That's gotta be a weird couple there, with whoever they are!" Though irritated by him, Peach couldn't help but agree with Wario. Of all the fighters present, she couldn't see them seeking her out.

There was only another who could understand her as she was. Peach thought to the Swordfighter in his frenzy. He and Nikki were caught up in it, setting their nerves on edge. Both seemed bound by desire now, craving one another. "I suppose so," Peach said. "All, except for Finn." She sighed, now wistful. "I just hope it works out for them-"

Chapter Text

In the passing days, word of Nikki's secret admirer spread around the Smash Facility. Of its fighters, many were entranced by her tale. They found it achingly romantic, as though ripped from a love story. It felt oddly fitting, as Valentine's Day was upon them. Mario had planned his own grand event for the occasion, among other things.

As the fighters prepared themselves for it, Nikki followed suit. She hoped that her admirer would show themselves then; It'd be the "perfect" end to their little affair. Struck by their kindness, she couldn't live unaware of their truth. In addition, Nikki couldn't discount the Mii Swordfighter's feelings either.

He seemed to enjoy her company, lost to her whenever they met up. She couldn't help but fall to his eyes, their blue depths hypnotic. They spoke of his inner spark, a fervor that couldn't be ignored. Nikki had seen it from afar, whenever he was in battle. She thought it an innate charm of his, one he used to his advantage.

Even with their shared joy, Nikki wasn't sure of his feelings towards her. He regarded her kindly, but she still felt unsure of herself. Perhaps the desire between them was hers alone, one she'd built up foolishly. Nikki shook it off, opting to focus on her new friend. She reasoned with herself, saying that he'd come to her if he wanted to.

"Finn wouldn't just string me along," Nikki asked from within. "Would he?" Faced with such a thought, she shook it off again. It didn't seem within his reach, given what she knew of him. From their meetings, the Mii Swordfighter seemed like a humble, jovial sort. He wasn't one to be intentionally cruel, much less deceptive.

Perhaps he did just see her as a friend, albeit a good one. Nikki sighed to herself, now struck by sorrow. "I've been a fool to think he'd care," she said silently. "That he'd feel like I do." With a quick breath, she thought back to her admirer. Even if they were separate from the Swordfighter, they shared her heart.

She still wondered who they were, of their true intent. Such was the thought as Nikki returned to the Assists' quarters. All would have to reveal itself in due time, when both of them were ready, it seemed. From within, Nikki prepared herself for that occasion, writing up more replies. All felt like it'd peak soon, leaving her none the wiser.

 

Meanwhile, the Swordfighter only grew uneasy. He'd met up with Nikki a few more times afterwards; Though he'd learned more about her, his doubts remained. She praised her "pen-pal" with fervor, her eyes glassy. Lost to their fantasy, he wondered if she even saw him like that. The gleam in her gaze seemed to lessen when they spoke.

Perhaps he'd become "common" to her, ridding Nikki of the allure she held for him. He hoped not, but the Swordfighter couldn't help but wonder. Valentine's Day was fast approaching, giving him some hope. If he could cast his doubts aside, he could do something for Nikki then. However, he had to rid himself of what tormented him.

There was no use in treating the matter from afar anymore. With a quick breath, he stepped into the dining hall again. The Gunner stood about, having been called there earlier. "Finn, what is it?" she asked of him. "You were so worried over the phone, it must be bad!" Though he shook his head, the Gunner picked up on his dismay.

Above all others, she knew one thing was to blame for it. "It's about Nikki, isn't it? the Gunner asked. The Swordfighter nodded, only to speak in vain. Though his words fell to chaos, she caught onto his concern. "Well, I guess I get it now. Since she's got her new admirer and-" He groaned with disgust, to which the Gunner offered her aid.

"It's not like you guys were much help," the Swordfighter said. "You just laughed at me!" He paused, only to see the Gunner's face fall. She tried to speak, only for him to grasp her hands. "I know you meant well, Hannah. But I couldn't get anything from you and Saul. So that's why I started writing her those messages, and-"

The Gunner's eyes fell open, now startled. She was glad the hall was vacant, allowing them privacy. She couldn't imagine Nikki coming upon them, breaking their own "spell". "Wait, so that was you, Finn?" she asked him. "You were one behind Nikki's notes?" He nodded again, to which she grinned. "That's so sweet, but look at what's happened!"

"You don't think I know that?!" he snapped back. As the Gunner fell silent, he broke away from her, gripped by shame. "I'm sorry, but it's eatin' me alive! I didn't think this would happen!" He turned away, his face hot. "What should I do, Hannah? You're a girl, what would you want from me?" She shook her head, saying she'd only want the truth.

The Swordfighter kept in place, still uneasy. "Come on, Finn!" she groused. "How's she gonna know if you don't tell her? She's not a mind reader, you know!" He nodded to the Gunner, still mulling it over. Despite his skills on the battlefield, he wasn't prepared for anything like this. He trained for matters of the body and mind, rather than the heart.

However, being with Nikki brought such feelings to the forefront. He felt like he wasn't equipped to handle them fully. He didn't want to humiliate himself for Nikki's hand. As he confessed his concerns to the Gunner, she nodded knowingly. She couldn't help but feel the same with the Brawler, as gruff as he could be.

Though a mutual interest had risen between them, the Brawler was hesitant to move further. He'd claimed it was because of their working relationship, but the Gunner felt otherwise. She shook her head, shifting focus to the Swordfighter's troubles. "Finn, if you're so shy," the Gunner suggested. "Just 'practice' on me! It'll make up for before!"

As he tilted his head, she shook her own. "It's not that hard, man!" the Gunner said. "Just tell me what you wanna tell Nikki!" She kept her sight on him, hoping he could listen to reason. Even if love was as foreign a matter to her, she knew his deception would only complicate things. Even if he kept silent then, both felt its effects.

The Swordfighter took a quick breath and peered at the Gunner. "Well, here goes nothing-" he said to her. "Um, I like you, Nikki. Ever since the tournament, you've been on my mind!" The Gunner nodded, urging him on. The Swordfighter smiled, his breath now sharp. "I've been sending you notes ever since! I thought you'd like them!"

The Gunner nodded again, smiling as well. "But I'd like even more-" the Swordfighter admitted wistfully. Lost to his fantasy, he reached for the Gunner's hands. Though surprised, she urged him still. He drew her closer, their eyes locked. As they fell into their moment, Nikki neared them. She'd come in for a drink to ease her own nerves.

However, she stopped short of the Swordfighter, having heard his voice. It seemed rather wanting, as though gripped by desire. Though Nikki's heart quaked, she kept her distance. From behind the corner, she glanced at him. There he stood, locked hand in hand with the Mii Gunner. Both seemed lost to love, their gazes tender.

"What I'm saying is this," the Swordfighter admitted to her. "Would you like to go out with me?" As the Gunner nodded back, Nikki felt her heart sink. Sorrow now gripped her, faced with their "truth". Before the Gunner could speak again, Nikki ran away, her heart harshly pounding. She couldn't be around someone who would play her for a fool.

Even if she still craved his touch, Nikki couldn't ignore what she'd seen. She needed a moment to process it, crushing her feelings in turn. As tears streamed down her face, Nikki stood in the hallway, seeking sanctuary. Meanwhile, the Gunner and Swordfighter were still locked into their roleplay. Neither were wise to Nikki's presence then.

"Finn, that was great," the Gunner said, easing their hands apart. "That'll charm any girl! I'm sure Nikki will love it!" The Swordfighter beamed at her, glad for her aid. His doubts had faded, leaving him able to confess all to Nikki. He thanked her, only to dash off to Nikki's room. As the Gunner followed him, Nikki returned to the dining hall.

She couldn't believe what she'd just seen; The Swordfighter had pledged his heart to another. All her hopes for something more of him had fallen instantly. While she knew he hadn't hinted as such, Nikki still felt uneasy. He'd gone about it so swiftly, like she meant nothing to him. If he could be like that, what use was there in pursuing him?

Though tears welled in her eyes, Nikki's body grew tense. "I've been such a fool!" she lamented. Nikki pulled her glasses off and wiped her eyes. "I should've never fallen for such, such a-" She stopped short, unwilling to insult him then. She couldn't fault the Swordfighter's choice, only how he'd strung her along.

He treated the Gunner with the affection he'd given Nikki. Faced with the thought, all pointed to his deception, more than anything. Even if her mind urged otherwise, Nikki had to face reality. The Swordfighter hadn't come to her, despite their growing bond. He'd gone to another, professing all that she longed for from him.

To consider it made her tears flow again. Her glasses remained on the table, allowing them to stain her cheeks. As Nikki sobbed freely, the Mii Brawler stepped into the dining hall. He'd gone in for a snack, only to hear her cries. He sensed it was Nikki from their sound, drawing his alarm. When he stood near her, she remained unaware of him.

She'd covered her face then, shielding herself. "Nikki?" the Brawler asked aloud. "What are you doing here?" She pried her hands away, glancing at him. Her cheeks were pink and wet, her eyes bleary. "And, why are you crying?" Nikki felt her mouth quiver, hardly able to speak. However, the Brawler just nodded to her, offering his aid if needed.

 

Meanwhile, the other Mii Fighters returned to the dining hall in confusion. Nikki hadn't been in her room, forcing the Swordfighter's hand. He'd gone about asking for her, only to be sent back there. As he and the Gunner stepped inside it, they saw Nikki. She lay against the Brawler's chest as he tenderly stroked her back.

To glimpse it, the pair were locked in a loving embrace. Though the Gunner's confusion remained, her comrade's did not. The Swordfighter was gripped by shock, set upon the Brawler. However, he and the Gunner kept silent, unsure of themselves. They thought they knew his ways, rooted in honesty. Neither knew why he'd gone for Nikki then.

However, both felt betrayed by their friend, forced by his hand. As Nikki pulled away from the Brawler, he smiled at her. "If you need me," he said. "Just call me up, okay?" She nodded to him, her gaze bright. With a grin of her own, she dashed away, leaving the Brawler to wave back. As he stood by their table, his companions went to him.

"What's the big deal, man?!" the Swordfighter screamed, his eyes wide. "You knew I liked Nikki, but here you are, stuck onto her!" As the Brawler stepped back, his throat grew tight. He could hardly breathe, much less speak up. While he flailed about, the Swordfighter lunged at him. "Not cool, man! I wouldn't go after your girl, Saul!"

As they fell against the table, the Brawler's resolve returned. He forced himself to breathe in, shattering his shock. "Like you're any better!" the Brawler said through his choked breath. "Nikki says she saw you with Hannah, actin' all lovey-dovey! She was cryin' to me about it!" Though the Swordfighter paused in shock, rage overwhelmed him.

He kept questioning the Brawler, his voice sharp. As they fought against one another, the Gunner thought on the matter. She fell to shock, only to clasp her hands together. However, her companions fought on, rolling against the table. The Gunner ran after them, chasing after their pair. "Okay, Finn, I-" she called out. "Finn, just hold back!"

He remained unaware of her, forcing the Gunner's hand. She grabbed him from the back, causing him to fall stiff. As she got him on his feet again, the Swordfighter glared at her. "Finn, I'm sorry," she said. "But just listen to me! I think I know what happened!" The Brawler peered at her, hoping she could make his friend listen to reason.

"Saul was just making Nikki feel better!" the Gunner admitted. The Swordfighter stared at her, still in shock. His pain only heightened it, turning his breath harsh. However, his focus remained on her, seeking the truth. "He came in after Nikki saw us! She thinks that you're into me!" The Swordfighter's eyes snapped open, now flooded by shame.

As he stood about uneasily, the Brawler got off the table and stood besides him. "She's right, Finn," he said. "I just went in for a bite, then I saw Nikki! She was real shaken up, so we got to talkin'-" The Swordfighter nodded, trying to process it all. Not in his wildest dreams could he imagine himself like this. But it'd come to him, as well as his friends.

"Oh God, you're right," the Swordfighter wailed. "Nikki doesn't think I like her like that, does she?" As his companions nodded, he shook his head. "She thinks I was just being nice!" He felt his jaw clench, unable to handle the shock. His comrades peered at him, offering their own aid. However, he stepped away, lost to his own thoughts.

"Between this and my letters," the Swordfighter lamented. "Nikki doesn't know what to think!" As the Brawler asked about it, the Gunner told him about his messages. While he nodded to himself, the Swordfighter paused. "Oh man, Master Matt's training never prepared us for this!" He turned to his friends, his gaze pained. "What should I do?!"

"For the love of-" the Brawler groused. "Just go tell her! It'll be easier if Nikki knows the truth!" The Gunner nodded back, inwardly chiding her friend again. As the Swordfighter stared at them, he felt their conviction. He couldn't deny them any longer, as well as Nikki. For all of their sakes, he had to come clean, lest more confusion emerge.

With a quick nod, the Swordfighter thanked them and dashed off. As his companions stood by, the Gunner felt a familiar ache within her. She peered at the Brawler, drawing his intrigue. "So, what about us, Saul?" she asked. "Anything you'd like to mention here?" Though uneasy, he knew what she referred to then. He smiled, only to draw close to her.

"Come off it, Hannah," the Brawler teased her. "You know what it means for us-" As her face fell, he reached for her hands. They stood together, as she and the Swordfighter had before. However, love's aura was genuine between them, heavy in the air. Their eyes met, gleaming with desire. "And, I'm fine with that. No more games, Hannah."

"They only lead to trouble here-" the Brawler admitted. As the Gunner nodded back, he leaned in closer. "What I'm saying is that I wanna be with you." As he gazed at her, the Gunner felt lighter again. Though silence engulfed them, desire was all they needed. As she embraced the Brawler, he fell to her warmth, glad she'd accepted him so.

 

Following the day's chaos, Nikki retreated to the Assists' quarters, entering her room. As she lay back in bed, she glanced at her desk. Some opened letters lay upon it from her "pen-pal". Pain still gripped her, reeling from the Swordfighter's betrayal. However, her thoughts rushed to her friend. Perhaps they could offer her closure, where he hadn't.

She forced herself to get up, only to slump into her desk again. As she gazed at her admirer's messages, some relief fell upon her. As mysterious as they were, they'd offered her a strange honesty. It felt like their feelings were completely bared, for her and her alone. Nikki smiled to herself, glad for someone who cared that much.

As she began another message to her admirer, Nikki saw her photo of the Swordfighter. Unable to stand his sight, she turned it around, her focus elsewhere. Though her heart still ached, she couldn't let him torment her mind. She had options elsewhere, forcing her desire there. She wrote on, pouring her longing into her admirer's hands.

 

Meanwhile, Shulk and Isabelle neared Nikki's door, having been about the Assists' quarters. They walked with Waluigi, who looked rather sheepish. "If you're gonna bring up the tournament again," he said with pause. "I'm-a sorry for that. I don't know what-a got into me!" As he turned away from them, Isabelle approached him, her gaze tender.

"Don't worry, Waluigi!" she replied. "It was a side effect of our little 'glitch'! You just got caught up in it, is all!" Her mind flashed back, recalling Final Destination in his wrath. As chaotic as it'd been, Isabelle couldn't help but laugh it off now. "All ten hundred of you back there, too!" As she tittered to herself, Waluigi peered at them, mulling it over.

Even with all the jokes he'd gotten afterwards, the fighters understood such absurdity. They couldn't fault Waluigi for it, as it could've happened to any other "Assist" figure. Since then, he'd been forgiven throughout the facility. In turn, Waluigi began to laugh, slapping his knees. As ludicrous as it'd been, he was just glad that all had passed.

Shulk and Isabelle shared his sentiment, rushing to him that day. They'd solved their issue earlier, granting them relief. As Isabelle and Waluigi's laughter died down, Shulk spoke up. "Anyway, the important thing is that we're done," he said. "We won't have to worry about this again, Waluigi. For any of our 'Assists' around here, too!"

"It's such a relief," Isabelle chimed in with a grin. "Now we can have proper items again! You've got a chance to shine now!" As Shulk nodded, Waluigi followed suit, still uneasy. He paused, only to feel Isabelle's paw on his own hand. "Please, you don't need to feel bad, Waluigi. We're glad to have you around! Just not like this, you know?"

Waluigi nodded again, trying to brush it off again. Even though his "brethren" had felled her replica, she held no anger towards him. Neither did Shulk, caught up in their madness. All Waluigi felt of them was their relief, washing upon himself. As he peered at them, his unease began to fade. Their trio began to walk again, passing Nikki's door.

Isabelle stopped herself, glancing at its plane. "Oh, I wonder how Nikki's doing," she said wistfully. "I haven't heard from her, with all this hassle!" As Waluigi shrugged casually, Shulk stepped to the door. He leaned against it, wondering if he could hear Nikki from within. Before he could, it rattled about, only to ease open.

As she stepped outside, their trio greeted her joyfully. They peered upon her, only to see her sullen face. Nikki was still shaken up by her betrayal, her aura somber. "Nikki, what's wrong?" Isabelle asked with concern. As Nikki kept in place, Isabelle stepped to her with outstretched arms. She offered her aid, which Nikki accepted as she spoke of her sorrow.

Chapter Text

As Valentine's Day fast approached, tension rose within the Smash Facility. Some came with Mario's plans, sending many residents into a frenzy. Much had to be done to ensure his success, bringing them all together. As such, the fighters were scattered about, set on their given tasks. Some aided Mario's endeavor, while others kept to themselves.

Nikki was among the former, paired with Isabelle. Though Mario had them sending out invitations, they'd forged their own kinship prior. Ever since Nikki spoke of her lover's "betrayal", Isabelle's heart ached for her. She couldn't imagine such a thing towards herself, much less someone like Nikki. All felt off, despite her pleas otherwise.

Either way, Isabelle vowed to protect Nikki, as it'd been at the sword wielder's battle. If the Mii Swordfighter couldn't come to her then, she would. As they wrote out countless messages, they joked about it all. All seemed so absurd in hindsight, dragging them into chaos again. Of all the battle offered them, neither could have accounted for this.

Lost to Isabelle's company and her work, Nikki kept to her duties. Such was their scope that she nearly forgot her own troubles. Though she longed for the Swordfighter, Nikki forced his image away, focusing on her work. Whatever fate wished for her would come, in due time. For now, Nikki had her own messages to lavish attention on.

Even outside of her admirer's notes, she could fall into their familiar scope. Writing was second nature to Nikki, be it for herself or otherwise. She knew Isabelle felt the same, given her own duties. At the very least, they had one another then. Even if they were alone on Valentine's Day, they could get past it in the other's company.

It was more than Nikki could say for the Swordfighter, much less her admirer. Lost to the thought, she shook her head, trying to also force it away. It wouldn't do her any good to worry any longer. Despite that, Nikki's heart was still pained. She longed for the touch of her beloved, whoever they were. So long as their mystery remained, so would her desire.

 

Elsewhere in the facility, the Mii Fighters were still racked with dismay. None of them had heard from Nikki after their incident; Though the Swordfighter tried to speak to her, she seemed oblivious to him again. He tended to miss Nikki at her quarters nowadays. Likewise, any attempts to contact her were shot down by Mario or his staff.

Though he claimed Nikki was busy, the Swordfighter thought otherwise. He sensed that Mario wanted to spare his feelings, as well as Nikki's. Word had gotten out about his "betrayal", spurring him into action. Though he convinced many of the truth, he kept his messages a secret. The Swordfighter saw no use in confusing them more then.

However, he had to tell Nikki the whole truth, all he'd done for her. His companions agreed, but were at a loss for words. They'd run through the possibilities, falling into dead ends at every turn. With limited options, the Brawler and Gunner were ready to claim defeat. They tried to convince the Swordfighter of it, urging him to settle down.

As he paced around the facility's courtyard, his companions eyed him with concern. Neither could deny his affection for Nikki, its own possibilities. Through his efforts, they'd come together in love. The other Mii Fighters were grateful to him, wishing to help their friend. However, they'd exhausted their options, as well as their minds.

"Finn, give it a rest here!" the Brawler called out. As he glared at his companion, the Gunner held onto his arm. They sat close in a wicker loveseat, watching the Swordfighter mill about. Though he was caught up in the Gunner, he forced his focus to their friend. He couldn't stand to see the Swordfighter so distraught over such a "trivial" matter.

Even if it'd come by chance, he'd been clear with the Gunner on his intentions. The Brawler shook his head, wanting his friend to listen to reason. He still though such a relationship was absurd, especially as such. The Brawler could support his companion being with Nikki well enough. He just couldn't accept his means for doing so.

As he eased out of his seat, the Gunner followed suit, sharing his frustration. "Saul's right, Finn!" she called out. "You know she's busy with work! How is you going after her gonna help things now?!" Their companion remained distant, forcing them to his side. The Swordfighter kept walking, only to pause as a notion struck him.

"Don't worry, guys," the Swordfighter said, turning to his friends. "I've got an idea! I'll win her over on Valentine's Day!" The other Mii Fighters paused, exchanging wary glances. Their companion was undeterred, his eyes bright. "Trust me, I've learned my lesson. I'll meet with Nikki then, and tell her the truth! Then, she'll be happy, right?"

"Well, yeah-" the Gunner replied. "But you've got a ways to go from here! You think Nikki's gonna believe you so easily?" As he stared at her, the Brawler nodded in kind. "She doesn't even wanna talk to you! How're you gonna pull this off, Finn?" His eyes narrowed, with face growing hotter. "I don't wanna be rude, but be logical, man!"

"But I am, Hannah!" the Swordfighter shouted back. "Trust me, I know what to do now." He fished out a pale blue envelope, with wings at its top. As his companions studied it, the revelation came to them. Their attention turned to the Swordfighter, who grinned triumphantly. "I'm gonna do what you told me to. I'm gonna tell her everything-"

As they nodded to him, he kept on smiling. "It's all settled," the Swordfighter said. "I'll be at the 'Valentine's' shindig, and so will Nikki! I'll pour it all out there, and see where it goes." Though his friends remained wary, their own tension eased off. All had come to them so readily, as if it were a gift. "It's silly, but worth a shot! The only one I've got-"

Despite their concern, his friends also jumped on the opportunity. Anything was worth the effort now, given the Swordfighter's dismay. As they spoke in agreement, his eyes began to smolder. "God, I hope it works, though!" he admitted shakily. "I can't bear being without Nikki anymore-" As he paused, he felt his companions against him.

All fell silent then, assuring the Swordfighter of fate's way. If it wouldn't be so, it just wouldn't. There was no denying it, given all that befallen them. The most any of them could wish for was honesty. It was the greatest gift the Swordfighter could offer Nikki either way. He just hoped that she would allow it for him nowadays.

 

When Valentine's evening came, the Smash Facility was abuzz with excitement. From Mario's efforts, many were called forth to celebrate with their lovers. As such, all were offered a lavish dinner, paired with drinks and live entertainment. It'd take place in the facility's reception hall, made for such momentous events.

As guests and fighters alike entered it, Mario prepared himself in his quarters. Princess Peach stood by him, admiring his form in the mirror. He wore his "Musician" garb for the event, befitting his chosen performers. While he sprayed on cologne, he noticed Peach's uneasy grimace. "What's-a wrong, Peach?" Mario asked. "Nerves got ya down?"

"It's nothing, Mario," she replied to him. "Just this mess with Finn and Nikki!" Peach shook her head, trying to ease it away. "Oh, I was rooting for him! Why'd he have to spoil things with Hannah?" She paused, aware of Mario's questioning gaze. "Not that she isn't lovely, too. I just like Finn and Nikki more, you know? But now he's just a-"

"Hey, don't-a be unfair to him," Mario consoled her. "I've heard that it was just-a big mistake-" He paused as she stared him down. "Because it was a misunderstanding!" Peach's eyes grew light, struck by his admission. It felt more reasonable, considering what she knew of the Mii Swordfighter. "He likes Nikki, but it's a mess, like you said!"

With a quick shrug, Peach drew closer to Mario. "I suppose so," she said with a smirk. "But I know Finn's a good guy. I just want him to be happy, like we are-" She reached for his cheek, causing him to yelp with surprise. As he rubbed it, Mario turned to her and grinned. Within moments, he playfully chased her, sending them out of his quarters.

Soon enough, Mario and Peach entered the reception hall, decorated for the occasion. Its tables were fitted with crimson cloths with flower arrangements atop them. Lights made like hearts hung from the ceiling, painting their space with a soft coral. As they walked forward, countless beings greeted them, their faces bright and glad.

All was made to craft an intimate atmosphere, akin to a lover's embrace. At the hall's end was a stage, allowing all to see who stood there. As Peach sat at a nearby table, Mario took to the stage himself. Within moments, he was atop it, peering out to the crowd. While he did so, Ken approached him, having gotten on-stage earlier.

He called to Mario, capturing his attention. Mario peered at him, only to give Ken a quick nod. Once at his microphone, Mario activated it, alerting the crowd. "Good evening," he called to them. "And-a welcome to the 'Smash Facility's first ever 'Valentine's' bash!" As applause filled the hall, he smiled broadly. "I hope everyone's in good spirits tonight."

"Of course, the reason we're all here," Mario said with a grin. "Is Ken's birthday!" He reached out draw Ken to him, laughing all the while. As all clapped and cheered him on, Ken laughed alongside Mario. Across the way, he could see Ryu and Eliza's approving faces. "And I'm-a sure you brought the 'old lady' to celebrate with us, didn't ya?"

Their crowd's focus turned to Eliza, who turned away coyly. Though Ryu defended her, she didn't mind that much. She knew it was a joke, one she could play along with. As Ken nodded to Mario, Eliza turned to meet his gaze. "Yeah, Eliza's here," Ken said, peering at his wife. "I figured she'd kill me if I didn't, since I invited Ryu already-"

"Well, give 'em a happy 'Valentine's' from me!" Mario said, letting go of Ken. "And a Happy Birthday from me to you!" As Ken waved to Eliza, Mario's focus returned to the crowd. "And the same goes for-a everyone! Let's give a round of applause for Ken, and our festivities tonight! We've got a great show, featuring the New Donk Players-"

Mario's voice eased off as he introduced Pauline and her band. With a tip of his hat, he ushered them forward from back-stage. As he stepped away, the band began playing as Pauline waved to the crowd. With a quick bow, she began to sing as Ken stepped off the stage. Eliza met him there, allowing them to take in the room together.

 

Many others among their crowd had brought their own lovers: Ms. Pac-Man currently stood by her husband at the drink table. Across from them were Cloud and Tifa, who discussed the former's time in "Smash". As she gazed at him with awe, Fox passed by them, grasping Krystal's hand. He was just as glad to reunite with her, his gaze tender.

While they sat their own table, Ken and Eliza walked by them. "It's so nice of Mario to throw this party," Eliza said to him. "He's so generous!" Ken nodded, glad for his friend's efforts. Mario was nothing if not festive, always gathering his friends together for fun. Everyone could enjoy their bash, paired off or not then.

"Yeah, he's a great guy," Ken replied, seeking out their table. "I'm glad I got into 'Smash' 'cause of him. I've done so much since then-" His voice broke away, flooded by joyful gratitude. Eliza caught onto it and grabbed his arm for support. As she fell against him, Ken smiled at her. "But I'm happy to see you too, hon. Come on, let's get some dinner."

They walked on, peering at the other fighters, as well as the "Assists" and "Spirits". It felt like everyone was truly there, sat at countless tables. Most of them seemed lost to one another, as well as the hall's aura. Ken and Eliza followed suit, walking hand in hand. As they went further, Sonic ran along while Amy Rose pursued him.

"Get back here!" Amy shouted back. "Wait, Sonic, I have to touch you!" Undeterred by her pleas, Sonic kept running, passing by Pikachu. He paused to wave to him as he sat alongside Pikachu Libre. As the pair waved back, Amy caught up to Sonic. She grabbed his hands with a sly grin. "There you are, mister! You're not gettin' away just yet-"

As Sonic smiled shakily, her demeanor grew tender. "Not without your gift, baby!" Amy said, breaking away from him. In an instant, she dug out a blue box, offering it to Sonic. He peeked inside, its contents a secret to all others. However, his face lit up, drawing him to Amy's side. He shook his head teasingly, declaring "defeat" at her hand.

"Okay, you got me!" he replied back. "You can touch me, Amy. While we're at it, let's have dinner, too!" As she grinned at him, Sonic glanced at his companions. "We can sit with the Pikachus, can't we?" The pair broke apart from nuzzling each other, only to nod back. Sonic followed suit, offering Amy a seat as Ken and Eliza kept on walking.

Elsewhere, Candy Kong sat with Fiora and Caeda, chatting about their respective lovers. Though they'd been far from them, the festivities allowed them to meet again. In turn, it also offered them a chance to meet one another. Though they were intrigued by each other, they couldn't help but wonder about the others' loved ones.

All thought their lovers the best, teasing one another about it. Candy praised Donkey Kong to the heavens, glad for his strength and vigor. Above all others, he'd won her heart, drawing her glee. As she swooned over him, Caeda kept silent as Fiora spoke up. "Yes, because he showers you with coconut cream pies," she retorted. "Does he not?"

Candy and Caeda's eyes snapped open, taken back by what she'd said. Fiora could only smile, delighted by her little in-joke. Caeda studied her, wondering what else Fiora had up her sleeve. "I suppose if that doesn't work," she said with a grin. "He'll need to raise your supports higher, as I've done with Marth-"

As Caeda sat back, Candy's eyes narrowed. Within moments, their trio's playful spar began again. While they spoke over one another, Ken and Eliza walked by their table. She paused, intrigued by their little battle. "Oh, knock if off, girls!" Eliza said, drawing their attention. "Now's not the time for fighting! Besides, we know my Ken's the best-"

Their chatter rose once more, now discussing Ken's merits. As Ken humored them, Shulk and Marth approached their table. Both sought out their lovers, speaking of them in turn. Upon seeing Caeda, Marth paused, waving to her. Within moments, he stood by her at their table, offering his hand. "Come on, let's dance!" he said with a knowing grin.

As his eyes gleamed, Candy set her hands on her chest. "That reminds me," she said, her voice lilting. "I should find DK! I know he'd love to dance, especially to Pauline's music!" She hopped out of her seat, seeking out Donkey Kong in the crowd. As she walked alongside Marth and Caeda, Ken sat at their table with Eliza.

"Hey, free seats!" he said with a casual shrug. As Shulk sat by Fiora, she gave Ken a quizzical glance. "What, we're sick of walkin'! You guys can spare a spot, can't ya?" As Fiora nodded hesitantly, Shulk met Ken's gaze. Though he seemed stern, it came from a place of concern. He shook his head, silently urging Ken to drop the matter.

"I suppose it doesn't matter," Shulk said offhandedly. "I came over to pick up Fiora." He peered at her with a coy grin. "I've some friends I'd love you to meet, if you wish-" Her eyes lit up, curious see more fighters and their ilk. With a quick nod, Fiora got up to dash away with Shulk. Eliza shrugged it off, making herself comfortable with Ken.

Chapter Text

Meanwhile, Nikki sat with Isabelle, lamenting her state of affairs. She could see Olimar and his wife across the way, wrapped up in one another. A pang of jealousy ran through her, aching for the devotion they shared. As she sighed softly, Isabelle patted her arm. Their eyes met, gleaming with the same sort of longing.

As Isabelle tried to console her, Nikki shook her head. "Thanks for the thought, Isabelle," she replied somberly. "But it's not really his fault. It's more the idea that gets me!" Nikki paused, sucking in her breath. It was the least she could do to keep her tears at bay. "If he wasn't interested, why would he be so nice? Is that just what Finn does to girls?"

"Well, I hope not!" Isabelle remarked. "But it just doesn't seem like him!" She peered around the hall, trying to spot him. Among the other couples, none of the Mii Fighters could be seen. Isabelle hoped to find the Swordfighter within their crowd, stunned by Nikki's claims. She couldn't imagine him as one who toyed with the hearts of others.

However, Nikki's claims told her otherwise, her voice gripped by anguish. All Isabelle could do was console her still, as well as herself. Elsewhere, the Mii Fighters moved among the crowd, seeking out Nikki. None of them could see her past everyone else present. They just moved on, dashing by Ken and Eliza, who were joined by Ryu.

As Isabelle kept talking, Shulk and Fiora ventured to her table. She remained oblivious to them, leaving Nikki to spot them. When she called out to their pair, Isabelle fell silent. As Shulk greeted her, Fiora studied her with a grin. "Are these your friends, Shulk?" she asked, to which he nodded. Isabelle gave Fiora a sheepish wave, still dumbstruck.

"Yes, I've met them while here," Shulk replied. "Fiora, this is Isabelle. She's assistant to the Mayor, who we saw earlier-" As Fiora nodded back, his focus shifted to Nikki. "And this is Nikki. She's an 'Assist' figure, hailing from 'Swapnote'." As Nikki waved to her, Fiora followed suit, intrigued by her beloved's new friends.

"Oh, aren't they just cute?" she exclaimed. Her gaze fell upon Isabelle, stunned by her darling visage. "Especially you, Izzy! Shulk's said so much about you-" Isabelle peered at him, to which he explained himself. He couldn't help himself, given their close kinship. He'd grown to enjoy her company, given their natures and mechanical interests.

Isabelle couldn't help but blush, forcing her to cover her face. "Oh, have I upset you?" Fiora asked in a panic. She dropped down to pat Isabelle's head, drawing her surprise. However, she fell to Fiora's touch, assuring Shulk all was fine. As Isabelle's tail wagged, she spoke of her time with Shulk. Fiora and Nikki listened in, lost to all others about.

Unbeknownst to them, the Villager had come with his own guests. Though their space fell still, they remained unaware. The Villager reached for Isabelle's arm, drawing her surprise. "Mayor, what brings you back?" she said, turning to him. Shock soon fell upon her. Alongside the Villager stood their town's residents, all bearing joyful grins.

As Isabelle gazed at them, they wished her a happy Valentine's Day. Soon enough, their own chatter rose up, overlapping one another. All were besides themselves with glee, glad to see Isabelle again. While Tom Nook moved past them, Nikki spotted Pete among their crowd. He seemed unaware of her, overtaken by his fellow villagers.

However, Nikki's gaze bore through him, seeking out the truth. She excused herself, only to approach Pete. As all peered at her, the Mii Fighters came upon Nikki's table. Though his companions trailed behind him, the Swordfighter forced himself through their crowd. His friends kept silent, watching as he tried to speak above Nikki and Pete.

As she asked about her admirer, the Swordfighter stepped to her. Nikki's focus remained on Pete, despite his pleas. "Excuse me, young man," Tom Nook demanded. "The young lady has business of her own. She'd appreciate it if you-" Nikki paused upon hearing his voice, only to come upon the Swordfighter. Her gaze grew hot, still reeling with ire.

"Oh, Finn, can't it wait?!" Nikki shot back. As his gaze fell, hers returned to Pete. He was as stunned as their crowd was, his eyes wide. "I wanted to ask Pete about my letters!" His mouth fell open, exposing its great depth. Nikki was undeterred by his shock, even as the Swordfighter drew closer. Soon, he stood by Pete, who gave him a wary glance.

"No, it's fine, Pete," the Swordfighter said. "For your sake and mine, let me explain." He felt Nikki's eyes bore into him, struck by disgust. The gazes of most present mirrored her sentiment, so stunned were they. However, the Swordfighter kept to his resolve, driven by longing. "Nikki, I'm sorry that you saw me with Hannah! But that was a mistake!"

Nikki huffed and turned away, but the Swordfighter spoke on. "I was only 'practicing' on her!" he said, to the crowd's surprise. As they spoke among themselves, he got between Nikki and Pete. "See, there's something I've wanted to tell you for ages!" Nikki paused, torn between her desires. He seemed so genuine, driven to frenzy and chaos.

However, she couldn't risk another betrayal of his. As she kept in place, he drew closer, set by her side. "Please, Nikki!" the Swordfighter pleaded. "I've got something for you-" She averted her gaze, listening as he dug around his pockets. Nikki could only imagine what he had on him to "sweeten" his ploy. She remained silent and crossed her arms.

The Swordfighter pulled out some envelopes, showing them to Nikki. "Finn, where'd you get those!?" she asked, recalling their familiar blue hue. Her mind was a jumble, trying to reason with his display. However, the Swordfighter stepped in front of her, his gaze piercing. "Unless this means-" As her eyes widened, he nodded to her.

"Yes, yes, it does," the Swordfighter said. "Nikki, I was the one writing to you! I'm your 'secret' admirer!" With his admission, Nikki's heart felt faint. She wanted to believe him more than ever, but she remained uneasy. "I've been sending Pete your letters! You can ask him if you want!" Nikki's gaze returned to Pete, who nodded in kind.

Her mouth fell open, asking why it was so. As her face turned red, the eyes of all felt more intense. They seemed to question her in turn, as well as the Swordfighter. Nikki stood in place, still unsure of herself. Though Pete tried to speak up, the Swordfighter demanded his silence. He followed suit, allowing his companion to open an envelope.

A thought flickered within Nikki's mind, wondering if it was another ploy. Just another means to her trust, crafted by her beloved. However, he fished out a letter and set it on Isabelle's table. Nikki stepped to him, only to see the Swordfighter writing on it. As he spilled out more words, her heart skipped a beat. Her messages had come to life again.

Her admirer's handwriting and the Swordfighter's were one and the same; Though their crowd's shock came forth, all Nikki could see was her beloved. She met his gaze, falling into its depths once more. However, the Swordfighter pulled back, directing her to his new text. "No more games, Nikki," he recited, his voice aching. "I want to be with you."

Nikki broke into a giddy smile, glad for his care and affection. However, he pressed on, forcing her gaze below. "All I wanted was to know you," the Swordfighter admitted. "To let you know I care." He took a quick breath, his resolve rising. "Whenever I see you, it's the best part of my day. I've never felt like this before, but I didn't know if you'd care-"

He paused, now overcome by emotion. As his lips trembled, Nikki's doubts finally broke apart. She could see what'd been now, how it led him to admire her from afar. "So you started writing to me?" she inquired. He nodded back, only for Nikki to grab his hands. "You told me everything you couldn't in person?" He nodded again, his heart racing.

Faced with the truth, Nikki felt faint. All she ever wanted of him had come, blessing her with his care. Despite his concern, she felt his own joy as well. It was joined by relief, that which they both craved. She gazed at the Swordfighter, relishing his warmth again. Though he tried to speak up, Nikki shook her head, drawing him even closer.

"Say no more, Finn," she told him. "I think I understand now." They stood together, with mere inches separating them. All had built up to this moment, its tension clear. "I know what it's like to love from a distance-" Their eyes gleamed with a shared longing, urging them so. "I don't want that for us, Finn. I want to be with you too, if you'll have me now-"

Her eyes pleaded forth, drawing the Swordfighter's intrigue. "Of course I do, Nikki," he murmured. "No more games, no more secrets." He held her hands tight, his eyes aglow. "Nikki, would you like to go out with me?" She nodded with vigor, only to close the gap between them. They fell into the other's embrace, drawing them into a tender kiss.

All felt weightless then, engulfing them in a radiant air of affection and wonder. Their greatest desire had come to its peak, freeing them of their tension. As Nikki pulled back for air, the Swordfighter caressed her cheek. Though they fell silent, their crowd did not. Many of the Villager's residents cheered them on, awed by their very sight.

"Aw, isn't that sweet?" Reese said, clasping her hooves together. "It's like how we met, honey!" As Cyrus laughed it off, Isabelle peered at them. She met Reese's gaze, stoking her intrigue. "Well, one silly thing led to another, and here we are!" She embraced her husband, who held her close. Isabelle sat by for a moment, only to blush a bit.

"Yeah, it's like I told Peach!" she chimed in. "It's like a fairy tale, with love from afar! One that can't be revealed until just the right moment-" Reese nodded as well, leading them to sigh together. A broad smile broke onto Isabelle's face, illuminating it. "See, I knew Finn wasn't a player! I just knew it, and now the time's finally come!"

That was enough to snap Nikki and the Swordfighter out of their daze. They peered about themselves, now aware of their crowd. Nikki blushed, realizing they'd confessed all to their gaze. However, the Swordfighter grasped her hand, drawing her against him. "Come on, Nikki," he suggested to her. "Let's make up for some lost time tonight-"

Struck by glee, Nikki blushed with a coy grin. As they walked away, their crowd spoke among themselves, struck by awe. Though puzzled, Fiora found their display endearing. She reached for Shulk, drawing him into a tender, appreciative embrace. As he stroked her back, the Mii Brawler shook his head. Even with his own love, he was drained.

All he wanted was a moment of peace, alongside the Gunner. Isabelle peered at him, sensing his desire. She asked for her townsfolk to step aside, inviting the Mii Fighters to her table. As they took their seats, she ushered in Shulk, Fiora and the Villager. "Hey, the more the merrier!" Isabelle exclaimed, peering at her superior. "Isn't that right, Mayor?"

As he nodded back, his townsfolk followed suit, seeking out their own seats. They eased into the nearby tables, abuzz with glee. As Isabelle chatted with her guests, another guest approached her table. "Got room for one more?" Matt asked, to the Mii Fighters' shock. They clamored for their master, who stood alongside Doc Louis and Little Mac.

Despite their table's surprise, the Villager got up from his seat. He offered it to Matt, saying he'd come back later. Isabelle nodded knowingly, aware of their town's endless demands. She left him to their residents, watching as Matt spoke with the Mii Fighters. He was radiant with pride, glad for his students' success in battle and love.

 

Even if he hadn't planned for such things, they were worthy rewards all the same. As he cheered them on, they eagerly spoke of their time in Smash. Though he appeared in their crowds on occasion, Matt wanted to know more about their life here. While they explained all to him, Isabelle couldn't help but listen in, alongside Shulk and Fiora. As their table fell to lively chatter, Doc Louis sat at the Villager's table. He left Little Mac on his own, to which he went to the dance floor.

He paused to listen to Pauline sing with her band. They were in the middle of a ballad, promising an eternal, tireless love. "Touch me and I end up singing," she sang wistfully. "Trouble seems to up and disappear/You touch me with the love you're bringing-" Many danced to it, swept up in desire. "I can't really lose when you're near-"

Nikki and the Swordfighter were among them, pressed against one another. As she fell against his chest, he held her tight. "You're all I've ever wanted, Nikki," the Swordfighter said. "I'm sorry for everything, but-" She pulled back, only to set a finger on his lips. She grinned, her heart glad again. All had fallen into place, just as she so desired.

It was as they both desired, to see it in his gaze. It spoke to the Swordfighter's longing, forged in the same flame as her own. "It's okay, Finn," she replied back. "I'm sorry for not believing you either." Nikki pulled her hand away, setting it on his cheek. "I want you, too. Whether as yourself or through your notes, I love being with you, Finn."

As he fell to her touch, Nikki's heart soared. "That's all that matters now," she pressed on. "No more games, no secrets here. Just you and me, and our notes between us two-" He nodded back, glad for her care. As she pulled him into another kiss, an aching desire rose within him. He never wanted it to leave, for it lived alongside Nikki's presence.

So long as he lived, the Swordfighter vowed to protect his beloved Nikki. All was as it'd been at the swordfighter's tournament. Both were caught up in the thrill of desire, as well as care. However, they had all the world's time to indulge it with one another. Such was their promise to the other, bound by love.

As they danced on, the Smash Facility was aglow with vigor and gratitude, alongside a new sense of affection. Many could appreciate it, including those who passed by their pair. However, for Nikki and the Swordfighter, it was the greatest gift they could get. It swept them up in its embrace, mirroring their own as they fell as one that night.