Title: Strawberry Dreams
Genre: 100% fluff, oh my god
Rating: So G it makes my teeth hurt.
Notes: Well, I can't consider this my best work or anything, but it's the first fanfic I've written in a loooooooooo~ng while, so I suppose I have only myself to blame. I tried to capture some of the warm-fuzzy-feeling that Earthbound sometimes manages to give one, and while I don't think I was entirely successful without crossing the border into total cheese, here it is.
<lj-cut text="Strawberry Dreams">
Paula had never seen Poo look so confused. "A...milk shake?" he repeated, clearly trying to wrap his head around the concept. "How does stirring the milk up add anything to the taste?"
You mean you've never had a milkshake?" Paula said. "You don't even know what a milkshake IS?"
"We don't use a lot of milk in Dalaamese cooking. It's an island, after all, and it's not very hospitable to-- hey!" Poo caught his footing with practiced grace as Paula seized him suddenly by the hand and began to trot down the sidewalk, dragging Poo along towards some unexplained destination . "What on earth--"
"There's an ice-cream place in the department store -- I saw it when we went shopping earlier. You know, before Ness and Jeff got distracted by the arcade." Paula slowed down, but kept hold of Poo's wrist, half-pulling him along as though he needed to be shown the way. "We <i>have</i> to go there before Ness and Jeff get back from booking the hotel."
"...why?" Poo asked.
"Because you've never had a milkshake!" Paula said. "I mean...that's terrible! This needs to be fixed immediately." Poo sighed. It was probably best to humor her. Giving up on extricating himself from Paula's grip, he walked the few familiar blocks to the department store following meekly behind her, hand in hand.
The 'milkshake' was not at all what Poo had been expecting. The way Paula had described it, a milkshake had sounded like some sort of beverage, but he was currently sitting in front of a glass of cold pink sludge, topped with something that looked a little like soft cheese and a sort of unnaturally-colored berry. He poked at it experimentally with his spoon.
"Come on, try it," Paula urged. Her sludge was brownish, and she had already polished off the top fourth of it. "It's strawberry."
"I've never had a strawberry," Poo said. "Are you sure this is milk?"
"Oh, just try it," Paula said. Poo shot her a skeptical look, stuck his straw into the pink sludge in front of him, and sucked at it momentarily. It tasted sweet, creamy, and a bit fruity.
"It's...good," he said. He took another sip, and then picked the berry off of the top of the white creamy cheese. To his surprise, the white stuff was a great deal lighter and fluffier than he had been expecting. Like the sludge, the berry was sweet and slightly fruity, but mostly sweet.
"You sound surprised," Paula said. Poo shrugged.
"I am sure that if I showed you some of our food you might be equally skeptical."
"I would love to have some Dalaamese food sometime," Paula said wistfully. "Maybe we can use the monkey's trick to visit there sometime."
Paula always called their teleport abilities that -- the monkey's trick, since Ness had apparently learned the skill from a monkey living under the care of the desert-dwelling sage Dalah Rama. Like Poo, PSI had been a part of Paula's life since she was tiny, but her city lacked the ancient lore of Dalaam; left to her own devices, Paula had developed an entire array of unusual ways to refer to their powers, most of them strange and almost childlike to Poo's way of thinking. It had been off-putting at first, but more and more he had begun to wonder what it had been like for Paula, growing up as powerful as he but without the guidance of tradition and the wisdom of her ancestors.
It must have been very lonely, Poo thought, and took another sip of his milkshake.
"Poo," Paula eventually said. She was about a third of the way through her milkshake -- chocolate, she called it -- and seemed to want to break the silence. "Have you ever thought about...what you'll do once all this is over?"
"All of what?" Poo said. This milkshake thing really <i>was</i> good.
"You know. The...well, um. Our journey."
"Oh. The war with Giygas."
"Well, I suppose..." Poo thought about it for a moment. Once Giygas was defeated, well...the thing he'd been training for his entire life would be over and done with. The world would be safe.
Would the world need him anymore?
"I suppose...I've never thought about it much," Poo said. "It's my duty to protect the people of Dalaam."
"All alone?" Paula said. Poo shrugged.
"Who could help? I'm the last of the royal line."
"We could help." Paula had finished off her milkshake and was clicking the heels of her well-worn red shoes against the steel leg of the chair. "We're friends now, right? That's what's friends do."
"I suppose." Poo swirled his straw around in his milkshake thoughtfully. His training had never included the possibility of long-term allies. Well, of course he knew the great legend -- the wise men of Dalaam had meditated upon the future and communed with the ancestors for generations, and they had told him that there would be others. Poo had sort of assumed that they'd be warriors like himself.
"Paula....how did you know you were supposed to join the fight?"
"I just...well, I didn't really <i>learn</i> anything about it. It's not like anyone told me about Giygas or anything." Paula looked pensive, as if she was trying to recall something in the distant past. "I'd always had these powers, and when strange things started happening to me...I just...I knew. I knew that somewhere, there were people I needed to meet -- people all over the world who would be my friends."
"That sounds...very strange."
"I think it sounds kind of romantic. Don't you think so?"
"How do you mean?"
"I mean, we were destined to meet. Like it was written in the stars."
In combat, there was no time to think -- only react. Never allow yourself time to be surprised -- this is what he had been taught all his life. Poo was quite startled, therefore, to find himself rooted to the spot as Paula leaned quickly across the table and brushed her lips against his. After a moment's indecision, he leapt to his feet, nearly knocking over his chair. Paula was looking up at him, clearly as startled as he was.
"What? What's wrong?" She said. She sounded a bit upset. Poo hastily repositioned his chair and sat down, a bright red blush spreading across his cheeks.
"What did you do that for?"
"I thought...since we're alone for once and sharing milkshakes...you would...I mean, if you don't think --"
"What about the others? Ness --"
Paula smiled fondly and shook her head. "He's like my brother. It'd be weird. And Jeff..." Here, Paula seemed to find something funny, and she suppressed a small giggle. "Jeff likes books better than girls. Is something wrong?"
"It's just that I don't understand -- if you wanted to talk about, um...frivolous things like that, why all of this milkshake business? Why didn't you just say so?"
"Poo...you really do have a lot to learn."
There was a long silence. Poo stared hard at the remains of his milkshake. If he looked at Paula, he might start thinking about how her hair was slipping out of her bow a little bit, or how strange it was that such destructive psychic power had ended up attached to such a gentle personality...
"Are you ok?"
"I'm supposed to be a warrior. I'm not supposed --"
"To think about things like that? Why can't you do that and be a warrior?"
"I'll...I'll have to consider it."
"Then think about it," Paula said, leaning forward to kiss him on the cheek.
"I'll have to--" A sound hovered at the edge of his hearing -- a familiar, unnerving hum. Poo whipped his head around; there was a group of people huddled up around the glass doors that led to the street, talking in agitated and slightly fearful tones. He caught one stray phrase -- "Did you <i>see</i> that?" -- and flew to his feet.
"Something's up. Might be a UFO. We should go immediately!"
Paula sighed fondly. "You sure you don't want another milkshake before we go?"
"We shouldn't waste a minute --" But another milkshake would be nice, and if he stayed here then maybe she would.....
"I suppose...I suppose another milkshake wouldn't hurt."
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