Work Header

Coward's Instinct

Work Text:

Luigi's getting used to controlling this gooey doppelganger. He slips through grates with ease, and even melting doesn't bother him the way it did the first couple times. The one thing he doesn't think he'll ever get used to is, well, the whole concept of the thing, the uncanny experience of having his consciousness transferred into what was before only a cylinder of fluid. It's strange, knowing that even as he wills this body forward and feels each sticky footstep he's not himself: that's himself, over there, asleep on his feet. (Can't be in two places at once, or anyway if you can the Professor hasn't mentioned it yet.)

There's a ghostly laugh behind him, and he turns—that is, he wills this goo to turn—and perceives through ectoplasmic eyes a gang of Goobs approaching him from all sides—that is, the real him.

And unexpectedly there flares up in him a fierce protective impulse. Luigi hates cruelty more than anything; he never could stand seeing innocent people get hurt. So when a ghost reaches out to grab the sleeping figure Gooigi forgets all metaphysical musings and rushes forward with just one thought: you leave him alone!

A heedless step, a splash, and Luigi is himself again, the original model, and that fire still burns in his breast. It's not until after he's cleared the room—finishing the job with a triple-ghost slam that takes out a row of cabinets—that he recollects himself enough to be surprised and a little ashamed at how hard he'd been fighting.

Luigi's used to fighting for his life; he can always count on the healthy coward's instinct for self-preservation. But it's strange. For a minute there it was as if he wanted to save himself because he himself was somebody worth saving.