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>>skin tight — chapter two: entering the labyrinth that is corruption::

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>>SKIN TIGHT — CHAPTER TWO: ENTERING THE LABYRINTH THAT IS CORRUPTION::

Passion Wovstah

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Fox… Star Fox and all chars © Nintendo. Kitsune Sakura, Cornelius, and other not Star Fox © me.

 

Fox slowly walked over to Falco with a smirk on his face, he was eager to get out of the cleaner-scented hospital and get back in his own room, but he feared that therapy was in his future. Counseling, drug-recovery groups, and psychiatrists were things Fox was not looking forward to, he just wanted to get back to his dull life, and make it better for himself, on his own. Once Fox met up with Falco, he felt a feather hand ruffle the tuft of hair on his head. Falco was grinning and had a very sly look on his face which caused Fox to ponder.

"We're going to walk straight out of this hospital, you're going AWOL you might say…"

"Falco, that's CRAZY! We'll be caught! I have to sign out of this hospital, and I have to get doctor's permission first for this kind of thing."

"I know you don't want to do that Fox, you just want to leave, you want to get out of here as soon as possible!"

"True, Falco, that's what I thought at first, but I still have enough sense to sign out!"

"They're not going to let you sign out, now come on!"

Before Fox could say anything, Falco had him by the collar of his shirt and pulled him into an abandoned stairwell that should have been locked. The spiraling hall had caught on fire a few years ago, and nobody dared to use or fix the damn thing. It was rumored that many had gone up or down the steps and fallen through rusted and burned or missing steps, but evidently Falco ignored those rumors for he was leading Fox down the hall quite promptly. A stair gave off a snap as Falco passed over it, Fox caught his foot on the hole and tripped face first into rusted and jagged metal; Falco stopped, turned, and looked at his fallen friend. Fox looked up at the falcon and snorted blood out of his nostrils while slowly getting up; Falco lent a hand to Fox and helped him up, slightly.

"Why did you bring me here, Falco? These stairs are dangerous! We could end up dying! Look at me already!"

"These stairs are the only place where the security cameras fail and the back exit to freedom awaits, about your nose, stop babying and keep up. We can't stand here forever."

"With all the cameras, Falco, they most likely know we're here anyway. So let's just go back up the steps so I can sign out honestly!"

"They lost some cameras in a power surge in the wing you were in a few days back, Fox. They haven't re-installed them yet. You're quite the lucky bastard. Now, let's get down these steps before the collapse on us."

Fox looked down the square coiled steps, staring to the bottom. "Exactly what floor are we on, Falco?"

"…forty-fifth…"

"Oh, for the love of… You're simply a pure genius, Andross!"

Falco grinned as he grabbed Fox's paw and started another mad dash with him down the corroded stairs, the earthen colored metal clanked beneath their feet. As they made their way down the repetitive case, they tripped and stumbled over more holes and rough edges, and finally they came to their fear. Falco glared at a gap where a large sum of steps were missing and then looked back at Fox who was shaking his head.

"I told you these steps were dangerous. If we're lucky, we can find a close door that hasn't been sealed and get back in the main hall…"

"We're going to jump."

"I'm sorry, what in the HELL did you just say? It sounded to me that you said we're going to jump!"

"You didn't mistake my words, Fox. I DID say that we're going to jump for it."

"Falco! You're crazy! We'll never make it!"

Falco waved his head from side to side at Fox, and decided to get a running start for the leap, Fox tried to stop him, but it was no use. Within seconds, Falco had run, jumped, and landed over the gap in the stairs; afterwards, he turned to Fox and gestured for him to cross as well. The vulpine's eyes widened in disbelief — there was no way in the entire Lylat system that Fox could cross a gap as vast as the one before him. Falco made it just fine because he was of the avian race, he was meant to fly across gaps like nobody's whose-what, but Fox was a simple golden vulpine meant for agility and stealth. He looked over at his feathered friend and gave a frown.

"Falco, I can't make it across that. I'll end up leaping too short, and I'll plummet to my death."

"Well, it's either jump to gain access to freedom, or die trying."

"Falco, I can just go to the hospital office and check out honestly. Ok?"

"For what, Fox, to get put into a psych ward and put through years of aid-groups? I know you, buddy, and you're not the type who would go into that calmly. Now, just make a bound for it, and if you miss, I'll catch you."

Fox sighed and nodded, he knew Falco was right, he didn't want to go into some psycho-help-group and be poked and prodded mentally and made into a goody-goody-gum-drop guy. He wanted to be himself. With his mind made up, Fox made his way to the top of the steps to get a running start, much like Falco had. He bolted towards the end of the line and pushed himself off the ledge in a fine and graceful leap; however, he was an inch short and grasped the jagged metal with his left paw. Fox started to panic- he reached up with his other paw and started to scramble wildly. His claws tore at the metal and made scraping sounds and clangs, his feet battered at the side wall while his tail tucked up to his front — he looked like a pathetic cub trying not to fall off a tree limb.

Falco was holding onto Fox's shoulders, but it was no use, the vulpine was not cooperating and making the situation worse for the both of them. Falco lost his grip on his squirming friend and fell backwards just as Fox lost his grip to the staircase. He got up instantly and his mind triggered that his friend was falling quickly to the hands of death. Falco made a mad bound to the stairwell banister diagonally below him, quite a far gap, but he glided for it. His ankle gave a loud crack at the heavy landing, and Falco winced in pain. He repeated this procedure good number of swift times ignoring his ankle, knowing his friend was in a desperate situation, and on the fifth leap, he intersected Fox's path of descend and caught him, landing roughly back onto the stairs with a roll into the wall.

The friends just laid there, in the position they were forced into, Falco's arms still tightly wrapped around Fox's body, Fox settled against Falco's chest. Both were heaving for air, had the life scared out of them, and their breath was taken away with impact. The shadowed stairwell was cold and rusted, akin to a scene from a horror movie- Fox and Falco were gasping like scared little children; the sight around them was dreadfully chilling, and Fox's fall only added to the terror. Falco looked down at his friend who returned a petrified gaze. Fox shivered and his eyes closed halfway, tears ran down his cheeks as he started to sob. Falco couldn't blame his friend at all, they both could have died, and crying was better than either one of them breaking out in maniac laughter about it.

Falco murmured soothing words to Fox while running a single finger through his hair, it was the only thing he could think of to calm the both of them at the moment, and doing such seemed to work. Fox quieted down and relaxed his tense body, but not bothering to move out of his friend's arms. He felt safe and secure once again, just like in the hospital room, as Falco's arms were wrapped around his sleek body. Fox didn't want to move at all, he just wanted to stay where he would be safe and where he could rest. Falco must have known Fox's intentions, for he was not moving either, instead, he brought up a conversation.

"Fox, why did you try to kill yourself?"

Fox was silent.

"Fox, could you tell your best buddy what is bothering you so much?"

…silent again…

"Is the loss of your parents finally getting to you, the shock results of the war, or is it Fara?"

One of those comments must have hit a string deep inside Fox, because he began to cry.

"Come on, buddy, what is it?"

Fox finally broke his long silence and softly spoke, "All of that, and then some."

"Is that so? Well, why didn't you tell anybody sooner, why did you let it ball up to this point? I never let it ball up!"

"Falco, you do so let it ball up! You act with drunkenness and violence in many bursts, where I did not want to be violent to others — so I…"

"So you wanted to rid the world of yourself and take a one-way ticket to Fire and Brimstone City — population demons and pitchforks? Fox, it's the worst thing you could do; not only are you harming your own destiny, but those still here would miss you dearly!"

"They would not miss me… I'm nothing but a burden! There are so many things in my life I want to bury and keep hidden, nobody would understand, nobody would treat me the same if they knew all I kept inside!"

"Well, then tell me what is inside, I will understand everything Fox!"

"You won't understand!"

Fox curled up and whimpered, feeling sorry for himself. He whined and whimpered, putting more stress upon his body with sudden sobs and raked his claws across his arms, making bloody gashes. Falco growled deep in his throat at Fox's actions and smacked Fox across the face, grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him like a rag doll. Fox snarled and snapped at Falco, giving a few swipes to the falcon's face and adding a few decorative scratches. Falco grimaced at the injury and blood ran down his heated face; it felt like cold, thick, crimson water delivering relief to all his pain even as it was pain itself. Falco held Fox by the shoulders still and breathed roughly and angrily; Fox returned Falco's chilling gaze and synchronized his breathing with that of Falco's.

The vulpine gazed upon Falco's bleeding face; the three claw swipes from above his beak down to his left cheek trickled and dripped with blood. Fox felt the same tingling oddity that he had felt when he ripped out the IV tube and he leaned closer to Falco, resting his paws upon the bird's shoulders. Falco narrowed his eyes to a squint while wondering why Fox was getting so close; he shuddered as one of Fox's claws ran through the fresh blood. His blue eyes watched as Fox brought the blood-stained claw to his muzzle and licked it clean. Fox's emerald eyes seemed to glitter with delight of semi-satisfied blood-lust and this frightened Falco severely. Was his best friend going to kill and eat him now?

Falco watched as Fox slowly leaned to his gashed cheek, and when he felt Fox's muzzle make contact to his skin through his feathers, Falco took in a sharp breath of shock. Falco was even more surprised as the vulpine's tongue lapped at the wounds, cleaning up the blood; no, Fox was drinking the blood. Falco closed his eyes and shivered from feeling so disturbed by Fox's actions, but as he felt Fox's tongue slip up from cheek to above his beak, Falco felt a strong hint of pleasure. There was something arousing about the warmth of Fox's body and the feel of his tongue against the gashes. Falco opened his eyes in time to witness a stream a blood run down his beak and Fox run his tongue along it.

Time seemed to stop then, Falco was gathering his thoughts all at once. What had happened to Fox to get him such a desire for blood? Falco came to the quickest conclusion that it was only some mental effect the drugs had left, and it would pass with time, but only if Falco knew. Only if he knew more about the hellish children in Fox's dream, and what really had happened in that nightmare, only if he was there to experience it. "…But, I WAS there…" were Falco's thoughts. He was going through a deep denial about what had happened, and how he was going to tell Fox the truth. Falco slipped back into reality as Fox's muzzle came into contact with his beak. What happened next was a bolt from the blue for Falco.

Fox's tongue lapped at Falco's beak, and took advantage of a small opening made from a mix of fear and shock. Fox moved his muzzle to connect softly against Falco's mouth, and Fox steadied his balance from where he sat up on Falco's lap. Yes, it seemed to Falco that Fox was kissing him, it was loose, but still a kiss. Falco was confused and didn't know how to react — pushing Fox away was an option and embracing and reinforcing was another. Was this really a kiss though? The copper taste of crimson life water was covering Falco's tongue now. So was this a way of Fox saying for Falco to taste his own soul?

Falco's hands shuddered as he slowly moved them to Fox's back, to hold in an embrace, softly at first, but then with a tight grip. Was this the right thing? What felt so wrong also felt so right at the moment; not even Katt had given Falco a kiss this impure and sinful and made it enjoyable. Sure, Falco had done many shameful things in the past, but this felt like a burden that would never be lifted, kissing a being of the same gender, it was disgusting, yet, somehow, it was enjoyable.

The lustful kiss grew hotter as Fox pressed his muzzle deeper and rubbed his tongue against Falco's. It was like some horror rape scene with neither of the beings willing to go on, however, they were willing deep within by some entity that consumed their souls in full. Thus time was slipping by as two souls engaged in a bath of what was seen as sin, as what was wrong and impure — Fox's paws upon Falco's hips, and Falco's feathered fingers rubbing at Fox's tail — chaotic romance that was nothing more than a freak spur of the moment, somebody had to snap back into reality, and that was Falco.

Fox found himself shoved away hastily as Falco stood up and ran off down the stairs, the avian stopped for a second to look up at his vulpine friend. Falco shot a glare of rage and confusion as Fox equaled that with a stare of serene anarchy — such an oxymoron living in true symbolism. Fox followed closely to his friend, awaiting freedom promised, not knowing how long their little peccadillo festivity had lasted. Both of them looked like they had come out of a house of ill repute, satisfied from luscious and sinful rapture. Fox's fur was matted, and Falco's feathers were ruffled and ripped, but the two friends said nothing as they fought their mental states while running down the seemingly endless stairwell.

Falco slowed as they reached the last rusted stair, and an old door with loose hinges stood before them. It was the old hospital exit, a very pitiful emergency escape door used during the fire a year or two back. The metal of the square archway creaked and crackled, moaning with the pain of abuse it had been put through, as Falco forced it open for one last ceremonial time. Fox stepped out hurriedly as Falco let him pass first into the dreary and rain-cursed day. Falco grinned as Fox hooted and hollered, knowing they were free, but they still had to get into the back alley, which Falco was working on at the moment. An old rusted fence supported and reinforced with wooden planks separated the hospital back way from the trashy street gangs and rubbish-filled dumpsters.

"Fox, a little help?" Falco called, "I need you to use your claws on this metal."

Fox rushed over and leaned down to the fence and snipped at the rusted wire with his claws, all the while he spoke to Falco. "I didn't know that it would be so easy to escape from a hospital."

"Once again, I must say," Falco stated, "that you are one lucky bastard on how these events unfolded…"

"… yes, I am lucky. And what about you, Falco? You were limping down the steps."

"Oh? Me? Well, that was just from twisting my ankle when I was working to catch you, it's nothing much. I just need to go back to the government apartment complex and take a breather."

"What about the scratches that…"

"Fox, you don't have anything that would kill me, and plus, I needed a few scars, but I doubt they will scar, they're shallow wounds."

"I feel bad Falco," Fox murmured as he pushed a loose board of the fence up, "I feel bad about everything, except…"

Falco seemed to be ignoring Fox, since he was now crawling thought the little escape route; he was in one big hurry to get out of the area. Soon after he went into the back street, Fox followed and easily slipped through. Fox was a slender vulpine, and had a feminine touch to his body, but on the other hand, he was strong and could easily punch the lights out of somebody who was up for a fight. Falco was taller than Fox, and had wider shoulders, his whole body was wider than Fox's, but not by much, and that's why he always dug through things first, he could widen the path for the rest of the team following.

Fox looked up at Falco, who was now in a stiff fighting stance, he only had to wonder for a moment what was going on. When he heard shouts coming from the middle of the alleyway, Fox knew Falco had encountered a gang. Falco took off running, hiding his limp to his best capabilities as he charged at the gang. Fox looked around him, still lying on the ground, upon his back, he looked to count the number Falco was against. Odds were against the falcon, he couldn't possibly go against all ten of the punks. That was when Fox decided he should help, and that was to be a major mistake.

Falco heaved a large canine over his shoulder and slammed him to the ground, with impact, the canine let out a pitiful whimper and groan. Yes. Falco was kicking major ass, and he was going to need to open up a few more cans of it if he was going to pull through this. Though, through the fight, halfway finished, he happened to note out of the corner of his eye a large badger, and in the grips of this badger was Fox. The badger grinned sinisterly as he tightened his paws around Fox's neck, and laughed as the vulpine cried in pain, but it didn't last for long. Fox looked down to the badger's face of pain and shock and then to the large metal pole jutting from the badger's gut. Deadly grip of the badger's paw was no longer a worry, for he fell back, letting go of Fox at the same time. The badger was dead, and the rest of the gang had run off.

Fox laid on the ground, gasping for air, he was in shock of almost being killed, and how the badger was killed… by Falco… The tall bird stood there, his hands covered in dark ruby blood, his chest heaving with angered breath, his eyes colder than arctic ice.

"Nobody messes with my buddy…" Falco mocked at the dead badger. Falco made his way over to Fox and leaned down. "You alright?"

"No…"

"What's wrong? Tell me… please… Where are you hurt?"

"Falco, you just killed somebody! Please stop acting like everything is normal! Please stop acting like you forgot about the stairs already, please…" Fox was frantic for answers, and Falco was not willing to give them.

Falco stayed silent as he aimed a punch right at the vulpine's head, it wasn't a full blast, but it was strong enough to knock the young Fox McCloud into a cold sleep. With that, Falco picked him up and carried him through the alley, and back onto public streets where everybody started to stare. Both of the friends were leaving a trail of blood from injuries caused by the gang battle, but many could only wonder what they had been doing. Some whisperers also pointed, some cars even stopped right in the road, everybody seemed to be staring and discussing Fox and Falco.

With all the chatter about them, irony flowed through with nobody knowing who they were. They were Lylat system-wide heroes, and the inhabitants of their very own native planet didn't even recognize them. A few police officers stopped Falco in the street to inquire him about what this scene was all about. Falco kept walking as he said one little phrase — "Gang war, and that's all you need to know." The officers continued to pester Falco with threats of arrest, but Falco kept walking and spoke with a calm voice — "We are no more than mercenaries who happened to turn down a wrong street. We paid our duties to this city by riding you of one more law-offender." After that statement, the police backed off, mercenaries were known for turning on government officials at any moment, and they didn't want to get involved with somebody who just came from a fight.

The falcon grinned and chuckled at the thought of being a law offender himself. He had just helped Fox escape from a hospital and just killed somebody, but it was all for the right thing. Falco decided that it wasn't the right time to take Fox home just yet; he wanted to take Fox to someplace special and at the end of another dark alley, Falco knocked on a corroded door of an abandoned building. A slide in the door opened, and two ghostly eyes peered out, Falco grinned at the eyes and leaned close and mumbled towards the inside.

"Hey, Murk, it's me, and I brought a friend with me. He's code seventeen in book five- if you know what I mean."

"I can't let you in that easily, Lombardi, who is he, and why do you say code seventeen, book five?"

"This is THE Fox McCloud; you know I work with him. He has some issues and injuries that need worked away. So let me in, bastard, or I'll peck your eyes out!"

"OK! OK!" Murk screeched. "Just give the week's password or Beau will have my head on a silver platter!"

"Severed fingers attack the one who cut them off unrightfully."

"Eh-hah, right you are, Falco! Come on in!"

Murk, the Chihuahua " small and scrawny and smart-mouthed, opened the door and let Falco pass in quickly before slamming the door shut again. Many animals looked up from their cards, or drinks, or looked away from the exotic dancer on the stage to see who had come in the room. A Japanese bobtail cat walked up to Falco and looked at Fox in his arms. She tilted her head and ran her claws through Fox's fur — she smiled as she placed her slender white paw onto his chest and found his body was warm with a heartbeat and breath.

"Oh, good, I was worried you had brought in a casualty of the Door Jammer gang."

"Nah, this is my buddy Fox. I just knocked him out to buy myself some time with the questions he kept asking me, Shui." Falco remarked as he laid Fox down onto a ragged couch.

"Well, how nice, Falco! Couldn't you have just told him to wait, and why did you bring him here?"

"A lot of odd things have been going on, Shui, and I think he can become one of us. He's shown a connection to me, and I want to…"

"Let me guess, you want to move up the Blood Lust gang ladder?" A tall white cat with grey hair, left eye green, right eye blue, stepped into the room.

"Beau!" Shui ran up to the cat and nuzzled against him, purring. "You're back safe!"

Beau walked up to the couch upon which Fox was laying, he took a deep breath of thought as he examined the vulpine, and then looked to Falco. Shui tilted her head as Beau held his paw over Fox's body, but aimed not to touch it. Falco knew what was happening, Beau could feel energies rising from Fox's aura, and this was a good sign for Falco, maybe not a good sign for Fox. The plans Falco had for his buddy were greedy and lustful, all in the name of having higher power. Time seemed to stop in the dwelling as Beau took in a breath of shock and said two simple words: "Kitsune Sakura."