>>SKIN TIGHT — CHAPTER ONE: THE SILVER PATH IN FOX'S DREAMS::
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Fox… Star Fox and all chars © Nintendo. Kitsune Sakura, Cornelius, and other not Star Fox © me.
Fox had lain down to rest for another evening, hoping to find peace within his troubled soul. He had recently become a new year of age, and alas, his mother and father had both perished before hand of his land-marking "sweet sixteen". Fox had grown passed that, and grew into a fine young man, but many emotions still stirred upon the heart of the nineteen-year-old. He had just gotten through a war and didn't know what to make of his life.
Golden dust, orange fire, and crimson blood streamed across the evening sky as the young vulpine let himself fall into silken red and black sheets upon a Gothic bed. With emerald eyes glowing, Fox stared up, up onto nowhere and at a complete nothing. He was letting his mind wander. It was the best thing he could do at the moment, while gathering thoughts of his past. He could have never imagined feeling so lonely and so forgotten at this age; with both of his parents long passed and nowhere to turn, Fox found that suicide may be his only option. He had tried everything else- talking, counseling, and medications, nothing worked. The pain was too overwhelming, and there was just one last path he could walk down.
Fox's guardian, Peppy, had noticed a change in the usually quiet and shy teenager. The wise hare had noted Fox had grown even shyer, and whenever questioned or retched out to, would snap into a fit of mixed emotions, and then withdraw into his room. Fox was now unusually quiet and shy, with a few added problems to boot. In the past month, it was noted that strange markings and cuts where appearing upon Fox's body. They would appear everywhere imaginable — his arms, his legs, his chest and back. These markings would even show up in areas best not discussed. Peppy had shaken off these warnings and passed them off as something just a bit of a phase which would pass in time, but he really should have paid more attention to the things stirring up in the great cauldron which was Fox's mind.
Fox now sat in front of his dresser and mirror, looking himself in the face. A candle upon the wooden panel was lit brightly with a flame that flickered and danced. Fox seemed rather professional in his looks, green sweater, sleek hair style, but he felt like intolerable shit. He glared deeply into the mirror upon this dresser; he stared coldly at the candle-lit fur which was his own. He glared and peered at every inch of the male body that sat as and before him. A deep and insufferable feeling overwhelmed Fox at that moment as shadows danced upon him and the walls; this pain surged and boiled deep within him. Was it pity, was it anger, what was it?! He didn't know, he didn't care, and he only knew one way to calm the angry daemon which stirred in his belly. He had to destroy this figure. Fox punched and shattered the mirror. Oh, how badly he wanted to annihilate the image that was staring back at him, but this reflection that now lay in the shattered mirror pieces WAS him. So, did this mean that Fox wanted to kill himself, that he saw no use for the gathered fiber and essence?
"Yeeesss…" the vulpine hissed to himself. "That's right… You do not belong here, Fox. You belong outside this body and FREE upon the other side!"
Fox had lost it, his eyes shot around the room, looking for an easy escape, and at last, he found a bottle of pills. It was simple expired pain medication that had been prescribed to him a long while back. It was useless now, unless taken in large quantities, and that is what he was planning to do. He scrambled with his fingers and claws to open the lid sealed tight to the orange plastic jar; he counted every single pill as they poured out onto his paw.
"Seventeen," Fox counted. "That's NOT enough!"
Recklessly he scrambled through his dresser drawers, he scrambled for white bottles of aspirin and black bottles of cough syrup; he scrambled for anything that had a caution label slapped upon it. He even grabbed for an old bottle of liquor Falco had left behind as a gift from many days passed. Fox shoved a handful of pills in his mouth as the sun set and the sky painted a scene of eerie red and purple glows. The stars and the city lights danced up through the window of the Cornerian building in which the full Star Fox team dwelled, and this uncanny twilight setting urged Fox to commit a gruesome act of gluttony upon the cocktail of medications. Fox guzzled down the strong alcoholic fluid from the deep cherry colored glass bottle his best friend had given him with the sincerest of thoughts. What other way is there to use a birthday gift but to bring true happiness?
The golden-furred embodiment of a disgruntled kitsune kicked at the black and wooden paned double door and its glass to the balcony which was ashen in color with bends and curves all done like a Gothic cathedral. Red and coal curtains fluttered in a rouse as the city wind and noise kissed them with the insanity of everything impure to the world. Fox cried out loudly into the endless and tainted hours of darkness with such a shrill, one would swear a fallen angel of Hell was announcing the apocalypse. He looked down into the city streets, and climbed up onto the ledge of the platform that hung over the city life.
"I am the child of James McCloud! I was born from Vixy Reinard! I have no meaning upon this planet and in this life! I bid you heartless devils all a painful trip to Hell…
Fox wrinkled his muzzle and gagged on a pill, thus causing him to vomit into the urban maze below. He didn't care at all about this small matter, instead he forced the last bit of capsules he had, four in total, down his throat and made his way back to the black and red silken sheets of his bed. He glared up at the nothingness again, his vision now became blurry as he pulled off his shirt and kicked off his pants only to rest in his boxer shorts. Fox shifted under the covers and lay on his back, closed his eyes, and shifted into a ghostly and grey slumber.
With his emerald eyes fluttering open, Fox found himself in a strange new world. The light was dim and foggy, a melancholy mist danced across a silver path with dead trees and grass. He felt drawn into this path and walked along it almost instinctively. The path was narrow, but glossy and perfect. Winds and curves sent him in back turns and twirls in what seemed to be a never-ending labyrinth. Fox felt so exhausted at the end of this trail, that he just wanted to kneel down and die. Die. What a word to think at that moment. Fox realized that he only felt tired because that is what he would be in the normal fiber realm that is the real world. His fatigued vanished with realization that he was not in the real world at the moment. Was he dead, or was he dreaming? He didn't know, for sometimes there is a fine line between dreams and the spirit realm.
Fox looked up and saw an extremely ominous sight — a lake of blood and many dead bodies strewn through it. He became sickened by this, then his curiosity got the best of him; he wanted to explore this massacred land and wanted to examine the bodies which lay scattered upon it. Fox slowly walked to the lake, and out in the middle of the miasma that covered it, was a small island with a graveyard. Should he take a dare and walk out in the blood to that lonely isle? He shrugged his shoulders and shook his head as he took a single step into the red water of once living beings. Surprisingly, he could walk almost upon the blood. He only sank ankle-deep into the crimson life-liquor, and upon his bare hind paws, it felt very odd and pleasing at the same time.
"Some wild dream this is…" Fox said out loud to himself and what he thought was an empty land.
With upon arrival to the land mass of the lake, Fox noticed a group of colorless vulpine and lupine children gathered, nude, around a dead body, which was unclothed as well. He stared wide-eyed for a slight second and became appalled at the appearance of these young souls, yet at the same time, felt attracted to their abnormal beauty. The children were all white, all fragile and thin, starved it seemed, and none of them had any eyes to speak of, just gaping holes dripping with blood where the white orbs of vision should have been.
Fox then fixated on the charred corpse the children had been messing with, playing with, all so giddily. He could tell the corpse was a thin, fragile, female once been. Her hair was still as golden as the sun, and her open eyes, green, a very bright forest green. A green… like… emeralds. Fox jumped back for a second; then leaned in closer, his muzzle wrinkled up in disgust. Could this be who he thought it was?
"Fox…" the smallest child whispered. "Can you say…?"" The child's voice changed to a voice very familiar, "Momma?"
"No…" Fox shook his head. "It isn't… Mother… is it?"
Hyper and nodding with laughter, the child went back over to the corpse and pulled the eyes of the deceased Vixy down so her irises would show more. The young white vixen then stuck her hands down under the loose decomposing skin "shirt" of the corpse of Vixy and pulled off a piece of rotting flesh. Another white child, a wolf, took that rotten meat by force and devoured it hastily. Fox KNEW then he was going to be ill; he could feel the heave of bodily fluids gathering in his throat. More of the children gathered and began to feast and gorge themselves on the decomposed body of the once-beautiful and loving vixen. Blood was splattered and sloshed all around; the noise, sight, and smell of it all was too much for Fox, he couldn't stand it. He grabbed at his abdomen and opened his mouth, putrid fluid from his gut gushed forth and onto the ground. Some of the children stopped feasting upon Fox's dead mother and slithered over to the mess which was on the ground. They started lapping up what they could of his vomit, hungry for anything that was slightly food.
Fox backed away slowly, still trying to grasp onto what was exactly going on, his eyes in shock. The whines and cries of these ghostly children were all too much, all so deadly and depressing. One of the older wolf children leapt upon Fox, knocking him to the ground, causing him to fall with quite an impact. He couldn't breathe; he couldn't find what was right in his mind. There he lay in the blood of the lake and his own vomit, as well as the rotting flesh and gut of his own deceased mother, and all he could do was stare upward. Demons were these children, very relentless of letting go of a fresh meal. They wanted a satisfying feast, one they could kill for, and they would be killing alright — they would be killing Fox.
"GET OFF!" Fox screeched as the children started ripping off his clothes. "STOP!"
Fox tried to push off these demons, but they kept piling onto him in a great horde of ravenous, mischievous sprites that had surely sold their souls to Satan himself. Fox swatted, kicked, and punched, his limbs thrashed wildly, trying to break the grip of the phantoms. His attempts were as worthless as trying to get Falco away from a bottle of beer, it just couldn't be done! Many demon children were upon him now, tearing away at flesh, breaking open skin and causing Fox to bleed profusely, giving him pain, causing him to die. He screamed in sheer horror as claws and teeth severed off sheets of flesh from his body.
Then, when all hope seemed to be vanished, a new light entered in the dim world, but the light was just as evil in appearance as the children around Fox. He looked up at the light and saw a figure that was very familiar and oh so calming to him. The figure came down from the crimson blood glow, lending his wing to the distressed vulpine. Fox grabbed the royal blue and silky feathers and was pulled up with mighty strength. Fox cried once the shock and terror tore at his mind, his purity shattered, his body battered, relief was settling on his mind, knowing he was surely out of harm's grasp. His tears flowed down and light shone around him to form a flowing scarlet and black laced robe that took a form-fitting course down his body. Fox swore he could feel angel wings on his back, for he felt like such a heavenly being; he looked up to see his savior, Falco.
Falco's eyes were bright, yet deep and dark cobalt sapphires glittering in this haze of the world, his feathers shone with the light of a million stars, cherry markings surrounded his eyes, his beak was the color of Corneria's beautiful golden sun — with his strong body and those long and thick eyelashes to complete his perfect look, anybody would fall in swoon over Falco. The demon children seemed to be in awe at Falco and stopped dead in their tracks to gaze upon him. Falco turned his face and looked down at Fox, who was in glorious paradise being in his friend's arms, and comforted him with reassuring words.
"Fox," the falcon whispered soothingly, "I have come for you, to get you out of this dreaded realm. You are my best friend, and I would kill myself if you were lost here. Now, Fox, wake up from this nightmare. Wake up, wake up, beloved Fox. Wake up."
Fox closed his eyes in that dominion of pain, and slowly opened his eyes to find himself in a small room with dim lights on. Many wires were attached to his body, and he could hear various machines. He looked down at his muzzle to find an oxygen mask on it. He knew where he was in reality, he was in a hospital. Fox shook his head groggily and fluttered his jade eyes once again before looking up to see Falco standing next to him. Falco had a single feather-covered finger stroking through Fox's hair.
"Wake up, buddy. We need ya 'round, you know." Falco softly stated with a grin. He turned around and looked at a desert vixen standing in the doorway. "Yo, Fara, Fox is up now, but I don't know he's going to react, he still seems lost."
Fara, a fennec, came rushing into the room as Falco walked out; she instantly wrapped her arms tightly around Fox and cooed and called at him. She nuzzled up and down his neck, and just couldn't stop yapping about how happy she was that he was alive. Then she started scolding him for what he had done with all those pills and the bottle of liquor, she was the one to find him sprawled out on his bed in the hands of death.
"FOX! You almost killed yourself! You're such an idiot for doing something so, so, so… CHILDLIKE!"
"I know," Fox replied, "That is what I was aiming for."
"You were aiming to kill yourself… Why?!" Fara screeched louder.
"I don't like the way I am, Fara. My life is useless, and Heaven knows you only want me around for the sex."
Fara puffed up her cheeks in anger and stomped out of the room. She KNEW Fox was right, but she didn't want to admit it, instead she wanted to continue her cute little act of being loveable, but it seemed like she would only act like such a bitch around Fox when they were alone. Fara would lie sweetly around everybody else, and would take out her anger on Fox for anything and everything bad that happened to her. Falco walked back in the room as Fara stomped her way down the hall; a look of concern came over his face.
"Fox, what's with Fara? She seems a bit… pissy."
"That's the way she always is, around me at least."
"I kinda noted that several times in the past, but I didn't know she was THAT bitchy!"
Falco pulled a chair up beside Fox's bed and sat there in his casual punk position, he was always like that. Only Falco would come to a hospital dressed in a tight leather shirt and bondage pants and have the face get up to add to it. He fiddled with his spiked jewelry a bit before looking at Fox once again who was staring back at Falco with a very anomalous look upon his face.
"What?!" Falco sneered. "Something on my face other than the get up?"
"Were you actually there?" Fox asked.
"Actually where, Fox? What are you talking about now? You still got drugs in your system even after that stomach pump and a full day?"
"No, I know what I saw, and it was you."
"What was me?"
Falco grew exceedingly hushed at that moment; his eyes closed slowly as he sat back in the chair. Fox started to explain about the silver path and the demon brood in his nightmare, the details became more and more so gruesome, and Falco was not at all bothered by it. Fox sat up in bed and clasped Falco's hand in his own. Fox looked up at Falco with a gaze of trepidation and admiration as he spoke the last part of his dream.
"… and then you came, and lifted me up, and held me close. You're the one who brought me out of that Hell!" Fox ended.
Falco huffed through his nostrils and glared at Fox with antagonism in his eyes. "Fox, I have no clue where you're going with this, but it really creeps me out!"
Falco jerked his hand out of Fox's paws then crossed his arms as he pushed further back against the chair. Fox sat there with a blank expression on his face that turned to one of disappointment, his eyes dropping down to stare at his chest while his paws cuffed around each other and rested in his lap. Falco stared at Fox with little regard for the vulpine's feelings at the moment; he didn't seem to want Fox to even think about talking, however Fox did talk and broke the silence of the room.
"I wasn't going anywhere with my thoughts except our friendship. We're the best of friends; everybody knows that, I just was stating that you appeared in my nightmare to save me. That vision of you tells me how much of a friend you truly are, Falco." Fox's voice was soft and dismayed. "I wasn't trying to mean anything… … well, you know."
"Fox, you WERE trying to be that way, don't lie to me!" Falco snapped.
"I was not! I just wanted to let you know what you mean to me!"
Falco wrinkled the skin above his beak as he shifted his eyes over to Fox; the poor vulpine was coming to tears, a pitiful sight. At that moment, Falco could feel his heart sinking, he knew Fox was telling the truth about being very deep companion, but Falco didn't know how far of an extent Fox was trying to push out. Fox closed his eyes and sighed, looked back at Falco, and whimpered, as if he were sharing Falco's pain upon his own. Falco looked to the door of the room, got up, and shut it, then returned to Fox's bedside. Fox perked up his ears in surprise as Falco came up to him and placed a feathered hand to his soft furred cheek.
"Yo, I'm sorry, Fox. I thought you were trying to go along the lines of homo or something; I reacted too quickly, and you're right — we ARE best buds. So you better get well soon so we can go out and watch a movie or something…" Falco stated softly to his friend.
"I should be sorry, Falco. I should have been clearer with my words." Fox shook his head with remorse.
Falco shook his head and chuckled while ruffling Fox's hair. He told Fox that they should just forget about the spat and go on being who they were to each other — long time friends, closely-knit soul mates. Fox smirked and pulled off the oxygen mask on his muzzle and set it to one side. He grinned and looked up at the falcon who always seemed to be there no matter what. Fox started to feel calm, he started to feel wanted and most important, he felt loved. Nothing feels better than love, especially friendship, and that is what Fox was feeling. Fox noted the closed door once again before wrapping his arms snugly around Falco who became caught off guard by the vulpine's actions.
"Yo!!! Fox! Get off!" Falco pulled back a bit. "Don't get too mushy on me! I'm the macho dude, not the Romeo of Homo or the King of Queer!"
Fox pulled back as well and smirked, "Well, Falco, thank you for being a friend."
"Oh, what a sarcastic remark, Fox. It hurts! It hurts!"
Falco lunged back in his chair, holding up his fists to his chest, as if he were pulling a dagger from his chest. Fox stifled a laugh and shook his head, but deep inside he was still combating the dream he had and all of the feelings behind it. He still felt lost and frightened, and puzzled over the images of his haunting nightmare. Fox sat back in the bed and got lost in contemplation of why his mother was depicted having her entrails devoured in such a hellish place, in such a gluttonous manner. Fox spaced out, he could hear Falco talking to him, but all of that was ignored while he stared out into nowhere. He jolted back into reality as Falco snapped his fingers to grab his attention.
"Yo, Fox, get back to Corneria!!"
"Ah! Falco, don't startle me like that."
Falco sighed, "I was saying to you that I would like to get you checked out of here so we can go have a little fun for your birthday!"
"…but my birthday was DAYS ago, Falco."
"So? We still can have a little fun, you know. Come on, put some real clothes on, and let's get you to somewhere a little more fun."
With that, Falco shoved some clothes he had brought into Fox's arms and then left the room. Fox sighed and looked at his clothes; at least Falco was thoughtful enough to bring them. Nothing is worse than sending somebody back into town to fetch your clothes so you can get out of the stupid hospital gown. Then Fox realized he had one little problem, he was still hooked up to all the machinery. He let out a sigh and starting pulling wires off of his body and shutting off the computers- the nurses and doctors in the surveillance rooms were probably freaking out. Finally he came down to one last item, the only thing that was actually hooked under his skin, the IV. Fox grimaced as he tore the needle and tube from his vein and blood flowed down his paw and arm.
Fox was still unstable from the feast of drugs he had consumed, and he lost his balance slightly. He sat back down on the bed and watched his life fluid flow like a crimson river down his harm. Instincts took over Fox's mind and he started to lap up the blood; his mind went wild, the taste on his tongue was a new sensation. Never before had he been so attracted to the scent and flavor of his own scarlet water or wondered what another's rushing into his mouth and down his throat would feel like. He looked around for a while after this and remembered he was to get dressed and just walk out of the hospital with Falco. The vulpine stood up and grabbed each article of clothing and rushed to put them on, at the bottom of the pile was a pair of leather gloves with the fingers cut off — most likely Falco had slipped them off and forgot about them. Black leather gloves were the perfect thing to hide the bleeding paw Fox had created by ripping out the IV tube.
Fully dressed, Fox walked out of the room and into the hallway to where Falco was standing. Falco grinned at Fox and signaled for him to come over.