So much pink.
From the carpet, to the bed sheets, to the furniture; Princess Peach’s room was filled to the brim with pink. It had been a long time since she last visited her best friend’s castle, let alone been in her room. Before either of them even had any real power or influence over their respective kingdoms. Daisy glanced around the room, looking at how immaculate the room was kept.
“Sorry that took so long!” called out a familiar voice.
Peach entered her room wearing her crown, one of her many signature pink dresses, and a warm smile. She joined Daisy on the edge of the bed.
“I tried to finish today’s business quicker but Bowser tried raiding some concert because he thought I was there.” A small look of worry grew on her face. “And it was a whole mess and— well, no one got hurt thankfully so everything’s fine!” her smile returned.
Silence filled the room for what felt like an eternity. Daisy’s thoughts run wild, already thinking this was a terrible idea. It’s been too long as they don’t have anything in common anymore. This whole reunion was a mistake.
“So… what have you been up to? Your father just named you regent last year, right?”
“How have you been holding up? It’s… it’s a lot more responsibility than you first expect. I know I struggled a lot when my father did the same.”
“Yeah. Really doesn’t help that I’ve got that dumb koopa king chasing after me every few months. I’m just glad I have Toadsworth and Mario to help with everything.”
“Must be nice to have people care about you.”
Daisy’s eyes went wide, she shouldn’t have said that out loud.
“Haha, woops, sorry, it’s really no—”
Peach leaned over and hugged her tightly.
“I’m sorry. I haven’t been a very good friend to you.”
She looked at her friend in confusion.
“Hey, it’s fine, Peach. We’re both just really busy. It’s been fine just writing to each other.”
Peach looked up.
“Are you sure?”
Daisy smiled at her. It wasn’t genuine but nobody would know otherwise. Peach perked up and smiled back at her.
“Well! Now that the emotional reunions are out of the way, we should head into Toad Town, there’s a new ice cream shop I’ve been dying to try out!”
“Oh, uh, I don’t really think I have any clothes to go out in. My dad told me I have to look respectable at all times.”
“Oh, don’t worry about it, I’ll just ask one of the servants to fetch you some.”
Peach opened her bedroom door to a toad standing outside it.
“Could you please fetch some casual attire for Florian?”
Daisy had to hold back a wince at hearing her name spoken aloud.
The King of Sarasaland stepped forward, out onto the castle’s balcony overlooking the vast crowd of his subjects. Daisy stood next to him, wearing an uncomfortable look on her face. She was incredibly glad this wasn’t being televised like Peach’s ceremony was.
“Today is a momentous occasion. Though I have long ruled Sarasaland to the best of my abilities, I still seek to maintain a prosperous kingdom long after I have gone. Today is Prince Florian’s 25th birthday and so he is by law, seen fit to rule the kingdom. Starting today I will begin slowly passing my responsibilities as King onto Prince Florian. Of course, I shall remain to give him council should he need it and I will still have ultimate authority in all matters. But, I trust my son to do everything in his power to rule this kingdom justly.”
The audience roared with applause and cheering.
Daisy just wanted the day over with.
“Here are your orders, enjoy!”
The Boo waitress placed a hot fudge sundae and a caramel milkshake on the table before smiling and floating off. Daisy took a sip of her shake and for a brief moment it felt as if all her troubles melted away.
“Oh! This is really good.”
As peach went in for a second spoonful of her sundae she smiled.
“I have a keen eye for good desserts,” she boasted.
“Hah. Can’t argue with that. How’s the sundae?”
Peach grabbed a spoonful and leaned across the table, sticking it out.
“Here, try some. You can let me try your shake as payment,” Peach winked and stuck her tongue out.
Daisy did her best to hold back a blush and held up her hand to grab the spoon from Peach’s hand. What she wasn’t expecting was for Peach to feed it to her directly. She really liked it though.
The sundae, of course.
“Y-yeah, that’s pretty good.”
Peach grabbed the shake as she leaned back, taking a sip of the shake. Daisy tried her best not to stare at her best friend’s cute pink lips wrapped around a twisty straw, or the way she lightly licked them when she was done.
“I wonder if they’d be willing to do dessert catering for a party?”
The question caught Daisy off guard and brought her back from spacing out inappropriately over her friend’s lips.
“Oh, that’d be nice.”
Peach and Daisy collapsed on the bed. Despite the discomfort, Daisy was still happy she decided to visit.
“Are you staying the night?”
“Oh, I… I wasn’t planning on it.”
“You sure? It’s past midnight.”
“Oh, shoot!” Daisy shot up to her feet. “My dad wanted me to check in with him like two hours ago. Can I use your phone?”
“Of course. I’m just gonna take a bath and get changed so feel free to use mine.”
Peach got up, grabbed some clothes from her drawers and closed the door to the bathroom. Daisy sat down on Peach’s bed next to her bedside table and picked up the receiver, quickly dialing her castle’s personal line.
“Hello, Sigmund speaking.”
“Oh, Siggy? Is my dad already asleep?”
“Ah, Prince Florian. Yes your father retired to his room a few minutes ago. If I recall, you were meant to check in with him at Ten o’clock.”
“Yeah… sorry. I just got caught up with what I was doing.”
“I understand. Will you be spending the night at Princess Peach’s castle?”
“Oh uh, yeah. I guess so.”
“Very good. Have a pleasant night, Prince Florian.”
“Y-yeah, you too Siggy.”
Daisy hung up the phone, relieved that she didn’t need to speak to her father tonight. She fell back onto the bed and closed her eyes. She was tired of how overprotective he’d been ever since she’d been kidnapped once. It took months of convincing him to let her leave the kingdom for even a single day. It was unbearable not having a single iota of privacy well into her twenties.
She felt the bed shift.
“Everything good, sleepyhead?” she heard to her left.
She opened her eyes and saw Peach in a tank top and pajama shorts.
“O-oh, um, yeah. I guess I’m staying the night,” Daisy said quietly, pretending not to stare.
“Hey, remember all the slumber parties we used to have as kids?” Peach asked with a look of nostalgia on her face. Daisy’s memories came flooding back.
“Oh my gosh, how could I not. I have never seen Toadsworth get as angry as he was when we pranked him into thinking you got kidnapped.”
“I’ve never seen Toadsworth get angry ever! He spent almost an hour lecturing us.”
“Pffft, he was mostly lecturing me. I’m the one who made that fake ransom letter after all.”
“It was really convincing, you’d make a good villain you know.”
“Hah, no way. I just read too many books as a kid.”
The two spent a few more minutes reminiscing over the dumb things they did as kids, laughing at the dumb things they did together.
“Oh, remember that time you tried on some of my dresses?”
“D-did I? I don’t think I remember,” she lied through her teeth.
“What! No way, you really don’t remember? We even put on a little fashion show for some of the younger toad girls in the courtyard. They all loved you.”
“They were just being polite,” Daisy replied curtly.
Silence loomed over the room once more.
“Florian, is everything okay?” There was genuine concern in her voice.
“I’m just tired.”
“Yeah... Let’s get you set up in one of the guest rooms then.”
Daisy laid in bed face down, her head stuffed under the pillows. She ran hundreds of scenarios through her head, but no matter what she did they all ended the same way.
I can’t let anyone find out, she thought. Everyone will think I’m a freak.
She’ll think I’m a freak.
She sluggishly pulled herself of bed and walked to the bathroom. Her thoughts were tormenting her worse than usual tonight. She desperately needed them to stop. She pulled the stopper rod up and filled the sink with cold water. She bent down and stuck her head in the water and waited.
Until she ran out of breath.
She pulled her head out of the sink and gasped for air quickly and deeply. Her short hair was soaked and dripping down her face and neck. She stared at the wall mounted mirror in front of her, a towel hastily draped over it. She was almost tempted to look herself in the face.
Instead, she grabbed a different towel and dried her head as best as she could before sitting down on the toilet. She leaned forward and put her face in her hands.
Tears flowed down her hands, but only for a brief moment. She couldn’t allow herself to cry. It was pathetic for someone of her status to be reduced to tears over something as ridiculous as this.
Daisy roamed through the halls of the castle. For as long as she and Peach had been friends, she always knew there were several gaps in the night patrols from the guest rooms to the courtyard. Daisy could always easily slip past the night patrols until she found her way to the courtyard, and thankfully her memory hadn’t betrayed her this time either.
The warm summer breeze felt pleasant on her skin as she stepped outside. She was glad the courtyard was still kept dimly lit at night even after all these years. As much as she liked Peach, she also made her anxious, especially when she stayed the night. The courtyard at night was her special place, though. Nobody was ever here this late, and sitting at the ledge of the Eternal Star fountain always managed to calm her down and let her relax.
She was so very glad it still had that effect on her.
She sat by the fountain for almost an hour, just staring at how inky the water looked at night.
“What are you doing out here so late?”
What is she doing here? Daisy thought.
“What are you doing here?” She repeated aloud.
“I… opened the door to your room to make sure you were okay but, you weren’t there.”
“...How’d you know I’d be here though?” Daisy asked.
“You left the courtyard door open.”
Once more, a heavy silence plagues the air.
Peach took the initiative and sat down next to Daisy on the ledge.
“I know we’ve been kind of distant from each other the past few years but, I’d really like it if we could go back to the way things were. It’s been really nice spending time with you again.”
Daisy just stared down at her feet.
“If something’s wrong, you can always just talk to me about it.”
“Your birthday’s next month, right? You should come over again. We don’t need to have a big party, it can just be the two of us.”
“I don’t think my father would allow it.”
“I’ll talk to him.”
“Really, I appreciate what you’re trying to do for me but, no thank you.”
She tried to fool Peach with an empty smile, but Daisy’s eyes look drained of any spark they may have once had. She stood up and started walking toward the entrance.
Peach clenched her fists and shot up after her.
“ Damn it, Florian! Just talk to me! I know you’re keeping something from me. I want to help you but I can’t if you keep it all locked up! ”
Daisy stopped at the threshold.
She stood at the door, frozen.
She won’t understand.
Her hands balled up into tight fists.
She’ll hurt you worse than anyone else.
You’ll regret everything.
Peach tilted her head, confused.
“My name is Daisy.”