"Alright Smashers, you gave it your all today and I appreciate your efforts and determination. I know custom matches are hit-or-miss most of the time, but everyone handled it well and without any poor sportsmanship. In fact, I'll be looking into those bomb-omb spawns as I'm sure there's a glitch in the system... In the meantime, rest and relax tonight and tomorrow until I get the matchmaking under control again."
The weary and exhausted fighters all whooped and sighed amongst themselves once Master Hand disappeared from the Smash Mansion's foyer. The day had been riddled with unique and custom matches that were subject to all sorts of crazy rules, and suffice to say it took its toll on the fighters. Original veterans casually remarked that absurd matches weren't all that abnormal while the newcomers looked as if they had just dodged a bullet. If dodging flaming explosives and hammers was to become the norm, there were quite a few fighters who were dreading the next battle.
But despite all their worries about flames, explosives, pointy objects and the dreaded hammer, they all had someone they could count on to patch them up.
"Hoo! Any more dodging and I woulda thrown out my back!" exclaimed a portly Italian man in red and blue. He patted the filth out from his gloves and raised his voice to cut through the multiple conversations going on around him. "Alright-a! Give me some time to unwind and I'll be in the clinic for awhile for those who need me."
"I think we'll be fine Mario," came the voice of Fox. "Kirby's the most banged up here, but I imagine after the evening meal he'll be better off than any of us here. Right buddy?"
"Hai!" Kirby squeaked despite the comical amount of bandages plastered over his pink body.
"Come on. Let's go see what's cooking. I could do with a great big steak right about now. Raw, even!"
Mario looked on as the rest of the fighters, both new and old, went their separate ways to unwind. He noticed a limp in Link's stride, fresh bruises on Shulk's skin and a few singed threads in Princess Peach's dress. Though the hero of the Mushroom Kingdom was skilled as a plumber and adventurer, he had a particular knack for sizing people up and figuring out what their weaknesses were as well as identifying what bothered them. This knack proved invaluable to him when he decided on a whim one day to take up white scrubs and try his hand at being a doctor. It wasn't until Master Hand gave in to Mario's requests was the portly plumber able to apply his new trade both on and off the battlefield.
After a few moments of looking after departing fighters and conversing with his brother, Mario returned to his room to relax, freshen up and eventually grab his doctor's coat.
That night Mario found himself restless and bored. He looked like the greatest, albeit shortest doctor to ever grace the front of any Nintendo title, save those plucky surgeons of Trauma Center, and he was sitting around with his feet up on a hospital bed and his rear end stuck in an office chair. The man fingered through the pages of a magazine and looked up at the clock every so often as if hoping something would happen before midnight came around and washed away his shift. Though he wasn't required to play doctor, Mario felt a sort of obligation to do something meaningful with his hands that didn't involve tossing fire or breaking bricks!
"Everyone must be resting," Mario mumbled to himself. He yawned and got up from his chair. "Well... Twenty minutes before midnight... I don't suppose anyone would mind if I tucked myself in earl-"
Just then the door to the clinic opened and revealed a tall, muscled man in armor. In the blue-haired man's arms was a smaller, finely-clothed blue-haired human. Small red tanks and infantrymen from Advance Wars scuttled inside after the pair. They stayed in the taller man's shadow like guilty children. Mario could tell from the stoic look on the tall man's face that this was the Radiant Hero, Ike, and that the person in his arms must be Lucina. There appeared to be something wrong if this group had come to him at this time of night.
"Hello doctor. Is it too late to receive medical treatment?" Ike asked. He glanced down at the red soldiers huddled around his feet. "We could really use the help."
"Uh-oh, what happened?" Mario moved over to Ike and stood on the tips of his toes to examine the woman in the hero's arms. "Why are little infantrymen and tanks here too?"
"We uh... We had an accident."
"Īe, Aiku. Watashitachiha, hanketsu no keika o motte ita," Lucina muttered.
"Eh? Oh hello Marth!" Mario said with a chuckle. "I thoughta you were Lucina at first!"
Marth gave the good doctor an unamused look before his features contorted in pain. With Mario's guidance Ike placed his comrade on a bed and removed a few bits of royal clothing along the way.
"Marth got hit with shrapnel from a bullet. We were uh, fooling about when it happened."
"How on earth did that happen?" Mario asked.
"Ah, well, there's a funny story about that actually," Ike replied with a sheepish smile.
On closer inspection Mario was able to see a patch of fresh blood seeping through Marth's attire. Shrapnel, presumably from a bullet, had cut through the man's clothes and pierced his skin. Judging from the size of the wound and the lack of an exit wound, it was safe to say that the shrapnel was imbedded in Marth's skin. Mario and Ike went about removing Marth's clothing until they could see the wound without anything obstructing it. Thankfully the wound was on the right side of Marth's chest near his shoulder and not anywhere near his heart.
"Mama-mia, this looks painful... So what's the story Ike?"
"Watashitachiha, hadena bushidearu koto o kokoromita," Marth explained.
"Yeah, that's right. Like Marth said, we had a lapse of judgement and decided to try out a technique from a movie. We were watching this movie about a samurai who was so skilled with his blade that he was able to cut projectiles in half before they could hit him." Ike looked down to the Advance Wars infantrymen and tanks huddled around his feet. "Marth and I wanted to see if we could do that here, so we asked some of the AW soldiers if they could help us out. Of course they knew better than us, but we persuaded them."
"Don't most action movies have warnings about not trying dangerous things at home?" Mario asked as he shined a flashlight on Marth's wound. "Did you two do any drinking before this?"
Ike and Marth shook their heads for a moment before giving in and nodding, albeit begrudgingly.
"A little... Maybe just a pint." Ike chuckled and rubbed the nape of his neck. "We're not drunk if you're wondering. Anyway, after we got a few soldiers to help out, Marth decided he wanted to be the first to go. He cut three bullets in half before the fourth one shattered on his blade and put a chunk in his shoulder."
"Sore wa odorokubeki monodatta yō ni soreha, orokadatta!" Marth exclaimed with a grin. Ike concurred enough to pat his comrade on the shoulder, which only enticed a yelp of pain. "Itai! Baka!"
"Don't worry about Marth everyone," Mario said to the company of little infantrymen and tanks nearby. "You all should go and rest. Just don't let them talk you into any crazy stunts, okay?"
The little reddish-orange military sprites saluted and scuttled out of the clinic. Though most characters were superhuman in some way, they still got wounded from time to time. Mario, after he was finished discerning where the shrapnel was, reached for a pair of tweezers and grasped Marth's shoulder to steady himself. He piloted the tweezers down and grabbed the piece of shrapnel without much difficulty. The doctor pulled the shrapnel out from the swordsman's shoulder and deposited it in a nearby tray.
"There we go, bad bits are out!" Mario chirped. He produced a wet swab and some alcohol next. "Time to clean the wound now. This may sting a little, then it's time for stitches!"
"Dono yō ni shite, Aiku ga fushō shinai akinai kuru?" Marth asked before cringing as he felt Mario rub alcohol into his wound.
"How come I don't get wounded? Well, I've got a high defense stat," Ike replied. He looked to the Italian man in scrubs. "Thank you Mario. It's good to have a doctor around who's willing to put up with foolish men like us."
"Prego my friends! You're welcome, but there's no need to thank me," Mario replied with a bright smile. He tapped the mirror on his forehead. "It is my job!"