Luigi blinked. Whoa, it’d been a while since he’d seen Daisy… Not exactly the most welcome sight. Not that he disliked her or anything! She was simply boisterous, and given how Luigi felt lately, he couldn’t stay around anyone with boundless energy. At the same time, though, he felt afraid of how she would react if he said no…
He stared at the basketball as it bounced, barely able to track its movement, and decided that regardless if she became angry with him or not, he simply wasn’t in any mental state to play anything.
"N-not right now, Daiz." He waved a hand, the action a nervous jerk rather than casual as he intended it to be. "Maybe later? I’m sorry… I-I just can’t right now."
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"Well, yeah! He made me feel useless and I should get my revenge somehow." He punches the palm of one hand with the other. Not because he was planning on beating up the little punk…he’ll most likely get his mushroom hide handed to him that way. "Who did ya think I was talkin’ ‘bout?"
As he turned toward back his green pal, Toad noticed he looked a bit tired. As Luigi was concerned with the ‘shroom, he immediately felt the same for his plumber friend. ”Err, I feel better now if ya want to go to bed. Didn’t mean to keep ya up with my own dumb worries.” He returns to the younger brother’s side…just in case.
Right. No, Luigi couldn’t answer that question, because he didn’t know who else Toad might’ve meant. He was just sleepy enough that he had a momentary lapse in clarity. It seemed like that was happening more and more often lately… And the worst part was, Luigi knew something had to give eventually.
He just hoped it wouldn’t be as bad as the last time.
Speaking of which, Toad mentioned going to bed and Luigi instantly snapped further awake, shaking his head. “No, um— That’s okay…” He wasn’t just staying up for Toad, although if circumstances were better he wouldn’t be against that. He didn’t exactly want to tell him why he wanted to stay up, either — or for how long he’d already done so. He didn’t want the fungus to fuss over him, not now. “You weren’t. I wasn’t… I wasn’t planning on sleeping anyway…” Luigi let out a nervous chuckle. Shoot, he wasn’t letting on to how unhinged he’d become lately, was he? He hoped not.
He tried to defer the subject, “Whatcha gonna do to Junior, then?”
Oh, no. Luigi whimpered in his head as she took off. He really didn’t have the energy to play with her right now, but it didn’t seem as though he had a choice, did it? She took off with his lucky hat! He had to get that back.
He ventured into the next room that he saw her run into, but as he stepped through the doorway he tripped and landed face first right on the carpet, pinching his nose. Ouch. Well, at least he was wide awake now. Sourly, the younger Mario brother lifted up to fall back on his rear and rubbed his face, mumbling Italian phrases of annoyance under his breath. That Polterpup was lucky she was cute.
Luigi looked around, and although she wasn’t in a hard to spot location, his exhaustion-addled brain made it difficult for him to really fix his gaze on anything in the room until finally he managed to spot his hat. Not even bothering to return to standing, Luigi scrambled in a crawl after the article of clothing and reached for it, grabbing onto the bill and pulling it out from underneath the chair. He was about to fix it onto his head until he had a moment of clarity — where was the Polterpup? He glanced around, bewildered. Sometimes, he’d forgotten these playful creatures did happen to be ghosts. “Hey, where’d you go?”
Despite the fact that Luigi knows the Polterpup can’t understand him, he still tries to reason with her. It looks like she’s not his Polterpup; she’s not wearing a red collar, but that’s fine. His sympathies will still extend to her regardless, considering how endearing the ghosts can be.
"Don’t make me play tug-o’-war with you. That’s my lucky hat," he complains to her, giving her the most wilting look that he can manage. It probably misses its mark considering how tired he is and how cute he can’t help but find her.
Right now is not the best time for Polterpup to pick on him. Luigi lets out a yelp as he frantically reaches for his hat that has disappeared from his head, before his eyes fall on the ghost dog, eyes wide.
… Wait. Oh.
Luigi relaxes into exasperation as he realizes just what kind of ghost she is. “Hey… No. Bad doggie…” The objection is half-hearted at best.
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Toad nodded attentively as the plumber spoke. He did bring up some good points…especially the part about the Koopas. There are like a million of them and they generally look the same to him. "I think I get what ya mean."
He thought to himself for a moment. The li’l fella has known Luigi for many years now. He’d never just say something without actually meaning it. So this must mean he truly considers the fungus as a unique individual and not just 'another Toad'. Obviously this would mean the same for Princess Toadstool and Mario. How foolish of him to question their friendship like this! With a new found sense of euphoria, he wrapped his arms around Luigi (or as far as he could reach) and gave his buddy a hug.
"…thanks for that. I can’t believe I let that li’l creep get to me!" The ‘shroom lets go and readjusts his cap. ”I should repay da favor somehow…but how?”
Luigi saw the gears turning behind Toad’s eyes (barely, considering how tired he himself was) and was prepared when the fungus walked up to him and wrapped his arms around him. Considering how tall Luigi was, Toad’s arms were closer to his waist than his sides, but he didn’t mind. He shifted his weight between his feet and patted Toad’s head, a gentle smile taking place on his face. He felt warm; for what felt like the first time in ages, he’d actually helped. He’d given a pep talk to Sorrow Fist before, but that felt like it happened years ago…
Finally, Toad let go, and Luigi also let go of some of the fight his body had been making against sleep. He let out a breath and rubbed his eyes, before realizing that Toad was still there talking to him and straightened up, trying to focus on what he said. “Repay— You mean get to Junior, or what?” He didn’t mean to sound so disoriented.
Kirby blinks when Luigi says ‘here’ and calls ‘here’ the mushroom kingdom, the man truly is having some problems and is in need of support as he thought. Still he listens, unphased grin and all. He will let Luigi know about where he really is soon enough.
"Super Mario? That’s a pretty cool title, Luigi! Super…" This is when he thinks about it… He distracts Luigi with his charms. Waving his arms back and forth causing his body to move like gelatin. "Though I gotta say… I admire courageous a little more than bravery. I can tell ya as a brave person, people with courage…are amazing. They’re consciously going against what scares them, rather than us brave folks who charge in without thinking.”
Because afterward…you can just crash after being so brave unlike the courageous types. He is trying to throw Luigi several bones here. Luigi is definitely courageous to even wind up in a fighting tournament, especially if it wasn’t his scene.
No, Luigi doesn’t notice anything because he’s half asleep. Being completely focused in on the conversation about his brother, he has no need to drive his attention elsewhere; including in the direction of his surroundings. Despite that, though, his brain isn’t sleep-addled enough for him to not recognize that Kirby’s indirectly talking about him. The smile of excitement that had been there from talking about Mario quickly disappears.
"Well… I dunno…" He can’t call himself courageous. In dangerous situations, he has a greater tendency to hang back, especially with nightmares cornering him at every turn as of late. The only times he did attempt to overcome his fears… “I do what I do for him. I’d bet he’d do the same if he was anything like me…”
I don’t think I would’ve made it this far without Mario.
"I wish I could be brave like that. I try, but…" I just chicken out all the time. All of the adventures he’s actually gone on, he had Mario with him — save for one, and that had turned out disastrous. Well, three, technically, but the other two were to save Mario. He needs Mario, so it’s only a given that he’d rescue him like that…
[ ► ] —
"Really? Apparently I’m a dime a dozen in some other univoise." The sigh he produced showed that he still felt down by the Koopaling’s hateful words. "I guess as long as you, Mario, and da princess are my pals, I’ll try not to worry much ‘bout what he said."
No matter how hard he tried to put on a smile for his friend, he couldn’t do it. Yes, Bowser Jr. only said that to be a jerk but, in the back of his mind, it felt like he was right. Peach could easily find another mushroom to be her aide and all throughout his adventures with the Mario Bros., Toad either got into trouble or kidnapped along side the princess. Maybe…they would be better off without him.
Luigi frowned. He felt a sort of hurt listening to Toad talk about himself like this; it only reminded him of what he’d said about himself before. It wasn’t a good feeling and he knew it from experience, and he wasn’t about to let Toad sink into it.
"Well, sure, there’s a lot of you, but…” He hummed, trying to think of some analogy to try to cheer him up. “Like—” His eyes brightened. “Like my bro! There’s tons of humans, but there’s only one Mario! You know?” He fidgeted with his hands, some of his exhaustion fraying his nerves a smidgen. He honestly wanted to collapse right now, but he fought against his body’s instinct to rest. He’d had a lot of practice with that lately anyway. “You really shouldn’t take what Junior said seriously. I mean, he should know of all Koopas that you all aren’t replaceable. It’s like saying he could be replaced by Wendy! Y’know?”
"Well, humble Luigi, you meek types always… " He trails off, smiling up at Luigi and letting him his subject change, As his father always said, strategize; there’s a time and place for every move.
"Your brother, huh? Tell me about him! I’m sure you were supporting him and his happiness, right? You look like a natural at loving!"
Thankfully, Luigi’s a bit too dazed from lack of sleep to notice the unfinished sentence. Instead, he perks up as Kirby mentions his brother. As is usual for him, he loves talking about Mario.
"Yeah, of course!" It goes without saying he loves his brother. It’s essentially what he’s implying by everything else, anyway; "He’s the big hero around here, keeps the Mushroom Kingdom safe… He’s super cool, strong, and brave! I dunno how he does it, but he just rushes into danger like as if it’s nothing! Good thing, too; it’s like as if the kingdom’s a magnet for it…" He’s grinning wide. "He’s pretty famous. Have y’ever heard of Super Mario? ‘cause that’s him!"