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>>skin tight — chapter six: give the lady her corset, part one::

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>>SKIN TIGHT — CHAPTER SIX: GIVE THE LADY HER CORSET, PART ONE::

Passion Wovstah

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

 

Silence filled the hallway, and the audience before Fox, Falco, and Bill was awaiting the answer, the truth. Fox smirked, his eyes closing, a giddy chuckling arising from his throat. He lolled his head back and went into uttermost hysterics. Breaking away from Falco, Fox put his paw upon Bill's shoulder and shook his head.

"What in the world are you getting at Bill? What a riot! How drunk were you last night compared to us? Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to show you the drunken idiot! Be amazed at the illusions alcohol gives this pooch, as he sees us wrestling over the last bottle of booze and misinterprets it as us having sex!"

Fox's chuckling continued, making Bill infuriated, knowing what he had witnessed the previous night. Those on the elevator followed in suit with young McCloud, bursting out in laughter to something so gauche and away, such the greyhound had told. Falco shoved Bill into the elevator, just before it closed, into the cage full of cackling mundane beings that now placed themselves higher than he, when in truth Bill was to be respected more.

Strolling down the steps, the odd couple carried out a conversation for the late morning event. At first, Falco didn't know what to say, but the perfect words came to mind as he pulled Fox close and tightened his grip upon the feminine male's rear and spoke his droll remark only to get such a reply.

"Why, Fox, darling! That was superlative! Not even I could have thought of an excuse to be witty as that."

"You could have done just as well, my belovéd Falco. Don't underestimate yourself."

The two were taking their time down the staircase, and as they reached a point in the middle of their destination, Falco pulled Fox to one side, out of sight from any doors leading into the hall. Fox didn't get the time to question Falco before he was pulled into a dark corner, hidden from normal travel. Confused, and a bit dazed from the quick turn, the vulpine leaned against the wall and looked to the avian. Falco's hand brushed Fox's cheek and neck, and he continued to do so until Fox let out soft murmurs. Fox's awareness ebbed away as his lover's hands traveled lower, coming to rest on his stomach; however, that was it. No more venturing was brought and Fox looked curiously into Falco's eyes.

"What was that about?" Fox whispered with a slight coo.

Falco gave a quick answer, "Nothing, nothing at all."

Shaking his head and walking back into the hall, Fox's mind landed on the disappointment from Falco being so awkward. Nevertheless, there was satisfaction that the avian had pulled him out of sight for a random body rummage. Falco followed close behind his vulpine friend, continuing their waltz down the seemingly never-ending staircase. Never before had the two taken in the details of the building past the grey of the walls, the cold and unspeaking atmosphere, and the echoing of their own footsteps. Today was different somehow; maybe due to the circumstances and events that had whirled their way and encircled into their lives everything took on new meaning. Stopping in a spot of sun that hazily made its way down onto the floor through a neglected window, Fox kicked up some dust to dance around in the golden beam of light. He watched as the tiny dots of filth made their presence beautiful, floating up and around, and with a sigh and Falco's glare of confusion, he carried on downward.

Yes, their lives had changed all too much, and Fox felt gay in more ways than one. Utter joy was building up inside him, and sooner or later, he knew he would bring it out, sing it upon the world, perhaps from upon the same balcony from he cursed the city. Haphazardly, Fox swung open the door to the cafeteria area, wherein, ended up swatting Bill in the face. Falco looked to the greyhound and snorted softly, simply walking on by alongside young McCloud. With a fury, and holding his bleeding nose, Bill ran up to the two, hissing out his words of anger, still putting them on account of heavy sin. Once again, the looming of many others focused their attention upon the three. Blood ran through the small cracks amid each of Bill's fingers, dying his grey fur an unhealthy crimson. As the bodily fluid dripped to the floor, Fox approached his comrade with even and calm steps; the room growing silent.

Bill stood there, now in fear, witnessing an unruly, half-dazed glare of desire in Fox's eyes he had never seen before. He couldn't step back or to the sides, no movement at all, and Fox took advantage of that. Tenderly the vulpine took the blood-stained paw into his, slowly lifting the shuddering fingers to his lips, letting his tongue slip forth and slide over every small inch, lapping up the liquid scarlet. Falco's eyes widened just as much as Bill's did at Fox's actions. Silence ruled the room with the exception of the occasional statement of wonder and curiosity, some of disturbance. Whimpering, the greyhound remained frozen as his muzzle was licked and kissed, suckled upon, and soon the unsettling sensation took to his lips. Closing his eyes, Bill grimaced as Fox's tongue darted into his gaping mouth, even more so did he tremble when a single light paw graced his rear. His fear grew to its peak as Fox pulled away softly, gaining a locked gaze as his eyes opened, amber meeting emerald. Fox asked him one simple word.

"Jealous?"

Bill gasped and covered his mouth, tears welling in his eyes. No more was said, no more was done, and he turned tail and ran up the steps. Noise took its place once again in the commons; however, eyes would not cease their stronghold on the strange couple. Fox licked his lips and grinned, Falco held him closer than before, and as they made their way to grab a bite to eat, Fara made her appearance once again. She stood there by a vending machine, holding a bag of potato chips in her left paw, her mouth still in half-chew. Her cheeks compressed as she swallowed, but before she could speak, Falco took up words very sarcastically.

"I bet Katt loves watching you do that."

Fara gave a huff and trailed them, wailing at Fox for the most part, trying to get him to admit various false ideas within her troubled mind. Only harsh reality was brought to her as she was ignored and the boys passed on by. Fox couldn't be her little toy anymore, Falco owned him… no it was more than that. He was better than she ever could be. How could she have been so naïve to let Fox slip from her paws? She tried to rule over him with no true emotion, now she had lost her pet. Slamming her fist down on a vacant table, screaming out obscenities, all in vain were her attempts to grab their gazes. Nothing was normal this day, the world was being hurtful, and that was great…for Fox and Falco.

As the two sat down to eat their lunches, they carried up a conversation of new ideals. Such a topic was brought on sometime during the Swiss and mayo by Fox. Falco sipped on a can of cherry cola as he listened to Fox ramble on about how he felt about his life, and what was deep inside his soul. It was a bit too insightful for Falco's tastes, but he did his best to listen to his lover. It started with childhood, meeting Falco, worked its way into the war, and into the present. Fara was mentioned, alongside Katt, and just as he began to speak about them, Miyu and Fay sat down at the outside table with them. Welcomed rather warmly by Fox, they sat in the mix of breeze, shade, and sun of the early summer and nosed in on the topic.

Miyu yawned, his ears leaning back, his phthalo blue eyes wandering up Fox's belly and chest, brought from his daydreaming when Fay smacked him lightly atop thehead. Quirking her head to one side; and speaking so lightly, Fay asked what the topic was amounting to. Fox gave the most unusual answer that anybody had ever heard from him. Beauty… His mind had been circling the thought ever since he saw Tokoyami and the demon children, but he didn't mention that. With a simple gaze, he turned his attention to the male lynx and female poodle-saluki mix and reiterated his thoughts.

Fox's eyes appeared to glow as his words came out with an eerie power. Understandably, his views were locked to, but no argument was brought about due to how out of the ordinary they were. In fact, his ideals were far past that, which made Fay's own blue eyes water and her white fur stand on end. Cold chills went up and down Miyu and Fay's back as they continued to listen upon the bewildering principles that were shelled out from the vulpine's mouth. He stated that in their society that females were the only ones allotted the best of the glam and glitter, in which; the males had no power to be sleek and gorgeous. Cross-dressers were shunned for the way they dressed, but why was it wrong to look such a way? Just when in time was clothing designated to a specific gender. It was disappointing to Fox that females could ware males' clothing, but it could never be the other way around without discrimination. Such perplexing terms and comprehension could only be taken by Falco, who in the end slowly nodded his head and placed his hands upon Fox's paws.

"So, what does this all mean?" Miyu added on.

"I want to achieve my view of beauty," Fox bluntly put. "I feel that unless I grab the opportunity to become my own person, I am not living as myself."

Falco looked at the clock upon the tower across the street and shook his head, and with a quick nudge of his beak to Fox's shoulder, he notified the time. Two hours and a half were left for them to get ready for their mission. With a small wave to their company, Fox and Falco stood up and made way back to their rooms. Clouds gathered overhead as they stepped through the double doors back into the cafeteria. It was like that nature was trying to find her own beauty with Fox. Looking back, the vulpine noted the wind picking up random cherry blossoms in a wondrous spiral. He gave a smile and thought to himself that it was his mother and father reaching out to him, telling him that they loved him no matter what his thought of beauty was. This was calming. To know his parents didn't care what he looked like made him smile, but he knew that if Peppy ever caught him in drag that there would be a quarrel for the ages to remember.

Loads of questioning came to Fox and Falco as they crossed paths into an ever-waiting crowd. Disciplinary actions were going to be taken against them because of Bill, but all of this fell onto rather deaf ears. Waves of hands and fingers grabbed at the strange pair, but managed only to lose grip as they disappeared into the stair hall. With a sigh, Fox's paw stiffed out to block Falco's stride. He looked up at the Falcon and frowned, giving a glance back into the crowd at the other side of the door. Should they go back in and explain? What was going to happen now? They certainly weren't normal by their standards anymore. Yet, that was the entire fact. What was sought as normal wasn't so for Fox or Falco. Lovingly, Falco moved Fox's paw down to be held by his own and led him to the stairs. Slowly, at first, they made their way back up the twisting passage that led them to their rooms, but so sadly did it become a chase as several of the horde decided to follow. Fear struck their hearts as it dawned upon them the identity of these persons — paparazzi.

Anything to get a headline! They could see it now, "Fox McCloud and Falco Lombardi: Practices of Sodomy and Vampirism". Such a title could even bring about fortune to the smallest circulated tabloid. Thoughts raced through Fox's mind about being revealed in such a matter under such untrue circumstances, but also the wonderment of whom in the right mind would bring upon this horrid state of affairs. While possibilities buzzed his brain, Fox was jerked into the same alcove as when coming down the steps, taken out of sight by Falco's lovingly tight grip. The vulpine would have screamed as well if it weren't for the avian's strong hand over his mouth. Nearby, a door slammed open and slowly shut, the men of the press passing through into a hall in which they thought Fox and Falco went down. Just as the hinges creaked no more, Falco grabbed Fox's wrist and ran him up the stairs like a bat out of Hell. Sounds of the horrific media ebbed away as the two made it to their hall and into Fox's room. Making sure he locked the door and deactivated the control panel to the lock by pulling associated wires, Fox slid down against the wall and sat on the floor, finally having time to give a sigh of relief.

He looked up at Falco with such a cheerless expression, not knowing how ghastly their circumstances would become within the next few hours. Surely enough, when they returned down stairs to take off and catch their mission flight, the press would be there, wanting to take pictures and ask questions. Tears fell down the fox's cheeks, but he did not sob. In an awkward gaze he glared off into the non-existent distance, refusing to blink. Offering down his hand, Falco coaxed his partner into standing up, and walked him to the bathroom and the cleansing his fur had been awaiting. Fox's mind went blank, not being able to sort out his thoughts. Once again he found himself being bogged by endless material from his life, and then the memories of the beast came back. More he let his tears flow down to his jaw line, dread striking into his soul. On no account had he ever felt so vulnerable in his time in the mortal world, not even when he lost his mother, or his father. A tender hand lifted Fox's muzzle skyward, and now he was gazing into those mysteriously blue eyes of Falco's. How they always calmed him, even from the beginning of their friendship when they met on the streets.

Up and over came Fox's shirt, blinded for a moment when the fabric covered his eyes. He hadn't spoken a word to Falco, nor did the bird bother to ask why. There was an eerie tranquility about them, and breaking it might cause inclusive, unreserved pandemonium. Fox was softly pushed to sit down on the edge of the bath, his shoes and socks to be taken off, then with another passing memory, his pants were in the corner of the room. Fixing his eyes on the falcon, young McCloud noted that he had been out of it for too long. Neither of them was dressed now, and the porcelain tub was filled halfway with steaming water. It was now that Fox broke out into choking sobs, bawling his eyes out. Falco could read Fox's thoughts, apparently, for he held him close and nestled his beak within the fur upon Fox's collarbone. Still, no words were spoken as the bird sat down into the water, slowly brining the smaller male down into the warm and soothing of the water and his embrace. Ever more so weeping, Fox's eyes rolled back, his vision hazy as he looks around at the white tiles in the dim light. He felt dizzy, and so ill, as if he were going to vomit, but not so happened.

Stuck within the recesses of his mental capacity was that horrid monster Tokoyami had released on him. Hideous white fur, horrid blank eyes and those gold horns… It all showed so vividly in his memory. Shuddering with this image, Fox turned and curled to Falco, burying his face into the wet feathers of his mate's chest. Falco's fingers ran over Fox's body, carrying soap with them, cleaning his fur, scrubbing him down softly, and this pacified him to an outer extent. Now, Falco could remain silent no more. He had to know why Fox was being overly spastic about his feelings, and how in any way shape of form this disaster could be dealt with. So, as Fox turned to show his back to Falco, he placed his hand upon the vulpine's shoulder and twisted him back around. The reaction from the elegant face of the fox was wide-eyed and shocked to say "how dare you!" Falco paid no attention to this and held him close once again, letting Fox's head rest upon his chest.

"Fox, tell me what you're thinking about now. I know it isn't anything about beauty."

"It's Tokoyami. How could somebody become so horrid to unleash a frightening beast upon an unsuspecting lover? I almost died in a realm of ever-lasting pain!"

Falco didn't know what to say. Fox was right, but it didn't happen that way. However, the words had to be right. Upsetting it would be to just blurt out a cliché and let it be at that. None in the worst would happen if he did just come out with the first thing on his head, or maybe it could. Within all this thinking, his hesitation cost him dearly. Fox's eyes narrowed and his muzzle wrinkled in repugnance and irritation. Claws raked down Falco's chest, leaving shallow gashes from pectorals to naval. Once his blood started to flow, Falco knew what would come next. Already it had happened to him once, and to Bill, and now again to him — Fox was going to feed.

Whatever brought on this first case of blood-sucking was not known to Falco. He knew about Fox's first occurrence with the demon-children, but he did not know what had turned his buddy to vampirism. Nonetheless, he knew that each time it had happened Fox had been irritated before hand. Now Falco had some apologizing to do, but before he could speak, Fox took his anger out with calm words.

"Does it not matter to you that I could have died in that world? You would have been better off without me? Is that what you're thinking you fucker? Huh? Is that it? Well, I'm not going to put up with that kind of shit. I thought you wanted to care for me and protect my heart, but here you are not supporting me and my emotions!"

"FOX!" Falco sneered. "Listen to yourself. Like hell I'm not helping you. Do you not feel my touch or my breath? Did you not hear my heart beat calmly for you? Do you not remember me pulling you out of sight of the damn paparazzi?"

Fox whimpered, being overpowered by Falco. His licks to the wounds he created became more of an apology than a feeding frenzy, and more over did the avian prove his prowess. Fox yelped as he ears were tugged on, his licks guided to another wound that needed cleansing. Maybe Falco had a right to take him to the Blood Lust gang. The possibility of being Falco's little doll in a gang society was his place in this life. He gasped as now the scruff of his neck was gripped and his head forced lower upon the wounds. Fox could lap up water from his head being so far down, but then Falco sat up upon his knees. Why was he doing this? He was being forced into such a humiliating sexual act and he wouldn't stand for it. He pulled away and glared up at Falco.

"That's what I thought, Foxy."

"What?"

"You're stronger than what you're making yourself out to be. Think about it. If you're letting little nightmares to you, but you can pull away from abuse without hesitation, then you're just letting some sort of game get to your head. At the moment, I could hurt you worse than any damned demon, but still, you chose to be more powerful than me."

What an awful trick of domination and submission Falco had played upon Fox, but nonetheless it worked. Fox began to think, but he was more responsive than what he had been within the last few minutes. Actually, what Fox had thought to be only fifteen minutes or so turned out to be an hour and a half. It was now time for the falcon and the fox's venture to the docking bay and catch their ride to Eledard. With great care and grace, the vulpine stepped from the tub, water sliding down in small drops from his fur, and ever so roughly Falco pulled upon the orange-furred tail and lifted it, admiring the younger male's buttocks. Snickering, the bird let the tail go and stood up swiftly after Fox, but not before letting the drain unplug. Looking upon the water going down the drain in clouded swirls, Falco spoke up.

"Filth."

"What did you say Falco?"

"All that is in that water is the filth of our bodies, and how easily it was washed away and gotten rid of."

"Your point to that?"

Falco grunted softly, "My point is… Why can't emotional and spiritual rubbish be gotten rid of as easily as that?"

Fox sighed and took a minute to gather his thoughts, and when he spoke, his voice was delicate. "We really aren't getting rid of that filth, Falco. Soils which were upon our body return to the earth, and we pollute with all the perfumes and oils in our soaps and shampoos. More chemicals are used at the purification plant, but indubitably, some chemicals get loose and pollute so much more. Nothing can get rid of corruption. Even if it is dealt with, somehow, a small hindrance will allow some to be preserved."

Falco stood there, thinking deeper than what Fox did. So true were his words, that it scared him. His concentration was broken by a kiss to the cheek from his soul mate, thusly resulting in their preparation for Delta Peer's space port. They packed their bags with casual and formal wear, since they didn't know exactly what kind of situations would be encountered upon this mission. Sure, it was only cargo duty, but they wished to be prepared for any circumstance. Choosing to take the back stairs and alleys from the building, they met up with Peppy and Slippy only at the port itself.

Mumbling to himself, Peppy approached Fox with a look of concern upon his face; nevertheless, his voice was just as cheerful as always, soft in tone and full of wisdom. He expressed his anxiety for venturing to a planet they never had before, of how everything could go wrong and what if this and that. This was not normal of the middle-aged hare. Although he was the foster parent of young McCloud, never before had he been so shaken up before as mission. What was he hiding, why were his eyes so glossy with tears building up? Before Fox could speak up his own worries, Peppy put a gentle paw upon Fox's shoulder and looked into his eyes tenderly.

"… I almost… lost you, Fox. Your father would never forgive me if you died before my time was up. You're too precious to lose to something so dreaded. I want you to take care of yourself. Settle down with Fara, have some pups, make a great life for yourself…"

Peppy slowly walked away, not even waiting for Fox's answer. ROB, the team's esteemed robot, was counting inventory, Slippy was making last-minute mechanic adjustments, Peppy went to study the maps, and Fox and Falco entered their mothership, the Great Fox. Upon entering the main bridge of the ship, Fox let out an aggravated sigh. Sensing this provocation, Falco made sure to unhurriedly come within reach of the vulpine. Not have hearing what Peppy had said, Falco didn't have a clue on what was making Fox so upset; for that reason, he asked in such a caring and hushed tone.

"Fox, what's crawling under your skin?"

Fox answered in a screeching yell, "How deaf are you? You were standing right next to me when he said it!"

"I knew the old rabbit had said something, but what was it?"

"Gah! Falco, I cannot believe you didn't even catch the end of it."

"Fox, just tell me," Falco pushed this in with a tone of anger and impatience.

"… He… He's expecting me to follow in my father's footsteps."

"We all are, Foxy-boy, and you're doing just that. You're just like him."

Fox sighed, "Well, maybe ability-wise, but there is one minor detail that nobody was expecting."

"…and that would be?"

Almost wanting to cry from Falco's dense head, Fox choked out, "I'm gay. I always have been, I always will be! There will be no more sons of McCloud to carry on the family name. I'm a complete failure, and my father is most likely watching me from the heavens with a frown and furrowed brow!"

Falco snorted, "Dude, you're not gay. You're bi! I mean, there was Fara, then Fay, then back to Fara…"

"Fay is my best female friend… I believe she sensed it from the beginning. She told me that maybe she wasn't right for me, but she still wanted to remain close for support…"

"And Fara?"

Fox hesitated.

"See? What did I tell you? You're bi!"

"No."

Falco quirked his brow in confusion and inquired, "What then about Fara is it?"

Still, Fox didn't come with an answer to this question, and the only thing that kept him from doing so is at that exact moment, Peppy, Slippy, and ROB made their way into the bridge as well. By this time, Fox's mood had quieted, but it was still there. Falco didn't know if anybody else could see it; maybe ROB with his heat vision could see where Fox had been crying, but the android wouldn't break into alarm unless core temperature of the body would rise. Not even a question was asked to Fox of why his cheeks were slightly wet. Everything was falling in place finely upon the Great Fox, yet the tension between Fox and Falco remained.

How irritatingly dimwitted they must have been not to notice the growing atmosphere of self-destruction that was forming around the vulpine once again. Within Fox's reasoning, dozens of situations and their consequences were playing out in his mind. What he was numbing over was the contemplation of suicide. Not in any of the visions did he see anybody bothering to come to the funeral, apart from Falco. In one play-out, however, he saw Fara making through with the press, putting his name out there with so much shame that people paid to piss on his grave. He shuddered at this disturbing daydream, being brought to by the warbling crackle of Slippy's voice talking about supernovas.

Time had passed by so quickly, Fox lost in his psyche and all. They had left Corneria and were nearing the asteroid field when Fox had regained his senses. How amazing for his brain to be on autopilot for him! Having run the routine of the ship so many times, orders and commands to the crew and ship itself were second nature. He had said nothing out of the ordinary to anybody, he had kept his thoughts completely separate from his speech, and that is quite a challenge for anybody. Soon, just the few hours traveled turned into twelve. Stopping at a space port near Fortuna's atmosphere seemed like a very intelligent idea for the moment. It was agreed to dock in and have mechanics checked yet again upon the massive ship, for the age of it was wearing down the walls faster than what termites would through soft wood. Even though they were at a space port, the team decided to stay inside their mothership for the night. Besides, they were not about to pay even more money to stay at a worn-down space station hotel with cockroaches in each room. Despite the hustle and bustle about them, and the conditions of their night stay, nothing would prepare Fox or the rest of the team for the day ahead of them.

Everything began like any morning would, the sound of an alarm from a clock opening the eyes of those in dream land. Fox took a slow daybreak walk through the ship, only to come back to his room and find a note on the outside of his door. Peppy and Slippy had gone out to explore the space station to find parts for ROB, whom had malfunctioned during the night and thrown a mess of waffle batter and eggs all over the kitchen area. Fox startled as he felt a hand grab his shoulder. With no further surprise, Fox turned around to see Falco standing there, now before him.

"Hey, Fox, why don't we go explore the station? I'm sure that the old rabbit and toad won't be back until late."

Fox grumbled, "This is going to set us back on our mission. Why don't they just shut ROB down for once?"

Falco laughed, "You know, I thought the same thing, but I figure that Slippy would be heartbroken to pull the plug on his lover."

Fox wrinkled his muzzle at this comment and gagged out, "Eh-yuck, Falco! How could you say something like that? That's more disgusting than…"

"Than us, Fox?"

Fox administered a quick shove to Falco's shoulder before walking fully into his room, but the falcon retaliated with a tackle, pinning the vulpine down upon the bed. Raising his brow in tune with the action, Fox found his position rather… queer. Being sprawled out on the bed, held down by Falco was bad enough; however, to have his legs spread wide and wrapped about the bird's hips added frosting to the almighty cake of sexual innuendo. He quickly heaved the bird off of his body and sat up. It was clear from the expression on his face that Fox did not like the comparison that Falco made. Sick? Were they really as disgusting as Falco was making them out to be. Surely, that is how the general public felt about a gay relationship, but what was so wrong with it? Why did Falco have to come out and say something so idiotic? Giving a soft sigh, Fox looked up to his lover and hinted a smile.

Somehow, Falco's blue feathers stood out against the grey and dingy browns of the mothership, like so sort of living decoration. Fox looked at the white sheets of the bed and could imagine Falco upon it, awaiting wild rough and tumble. Shaking his head, Fox brought himself out of the daydream and stood up, walking now to the drawers of the room. Falco came up to him and once again, helped to pick out a suitable outfit. Looking back at the avian, Fox now registered his feathered friend of being already dressed for the day. Consequently, there would be no rough and tumble at this moment, yet Fox prayed deep within his mind it would be so sometime during their trip to Eledard. With a little bit of friendly assistance from Falco, Fox dressed in his usual khakis and green shirt, topping it all off with the signature red scarf.

"So, will we be doing a bit of exploring, Fox?" Falco inquired quickly.

Nodding, Fox responded positively, "Sure, Falco, maybe we'll even do a bit of shopping."

"Dude… You ARE gay!"

There wasn't anything for Fox to do but laugh at this comment. Something so short, so unimpressive, holding together with a childish quirk was not of the ordinary for Falco. It came out spontaneously, tickling his funny bone. His chuckling lasted up to their exit from the Great Fox, and a bit past the first wind of the hangar. Already, the day was looking brighter than Fox could have ever expected; furthermore, traveling around the ocation would bring amusement to the blossoming couple. Space stations, hangars, and bays had evolved past what Peppy always told of. No longer were they dead places for military, but small cities would form upon them, the most unusual and intriguing people living within those walls.

Altogether, this station had to be the best the team laid eyes upon. Simply put, the settlement at it could easily be one-fourth of Delta Peer. Even more amazing were the massive towers and skyscrapers held within the domed city. Bustling were the streets and sidewalks, easy for a stranger to be lost, yet Fox and Falco just had to get the best of their adventure. Since Falco was the type to explore back allies, the duo found themselves turning around dark and tight corners. It paid off in the end with their gawking faces taking in the image of the small ethnic district surrounding them. Never before had they come across such strangely dressed beings, the chattering language was unfamiliar, and the items for sale here and there ranged in high variety. Influence came from many generations and viewpoints of these villagers; such had been proven by what they first took in.

Cautiously, Fox approached a young man who appeared about his age and spoke to him in Lylatian, new script. Hopefully, the youth of this town would know the most common language of the system. Fox was calm and cool, slow and clear as he talked to this strange male ferret.

"Do you understand Lylatian?"

"Nnn, ni! Dajum, bikan joh lashin go rohn."

Fox blinked in confusion as the teen whistled and yelled out.

"DAJUM! DAJUM!! Talhalla!"

Another ferret approached from the end of the street, this one a bit older.

"Kun ha, Joli?" He softly smiled at the younger male.

"Lylatian joh rohn…" The younger male pointed to Fox.

"My younger brother says you speak this?"

"Yes! Oh thank goodness." Fox sighed with relief, "My friend and I want to know a bit about this town."

"Many do. We come from Eledard, but the cities expanded, and life became industrial. As you can see, major parts of our settlement in these back-ways are less 'modern'. This is the way we wanted to keep our planet, but it wasn't so. Those who left and settled here wanted only to keep with tradition. Yet, with tourists and travelers, the newer generations pick up strange customs and styles. Even compare my brother Joli to me, and you will see the difference."

Falco approached, "Yea, he dresses like a strange techno punk and you look like some sort of temple priest, but I don't understand why you're the one speaking Lylatian!"

Huffing, the older ferret snorted, "He chose not to learn it, but he is wondrous with the royal tongue of MacBeth! That is something I never could pick up, and I commend him for that."

Fox instantly became apologetic for Falco's remarks, and as the ferrets looked at the vulpine, Falco sneered. Over and over again Fox explained that Falco was the surly type and didn't mean the words, but that didn't help because Falco kept contradicting Fox's words with his own. Soon enough, the older ferret waved his paw between the augmenting faces of the two, catching their attention and ending their pointless squabble. Stating that it was in the past, and Fox was willing to apologize for his friend's actions was well enough, the older ferret brought calm to their atmosphere. Sadly, the small group had caused a scene within the streets, and they were being stared at by at least a dozen citizens of varying age.

"Come on you two, get up and follow me."

"We're not about to walk off with a stranger!" Falco grunted.

With a deep growl of frustration, Fox nudged Falco, "He's the only guide we have. Trust him."

Falco mocked Fox's words as they followed their acquaintance down the street and to a small building, explained to be the home of the brothers. As they were given privilege to sit down at a table, names were exchanged and food was offered, life stories were told, and memories shared. Dajum, the elder brother, smiled at this company. Never before had he met such perplexing beings in his life, and it was a great joy for Joli to find out what the "outside world" was like through Fox and Falco's stories. After the small gathering and the new-formed friendship, Dajum decided to lead the Star Fox members through their little piece of paradise.

What was so amazing about the small city was the smallest shack sitting next to a towering skyscraper, but no matter big or small their shop, the owners were eager to sell their goods. Half an hour had passed as the trio walked through the alleys jammed with people when Fox's eyes caught a little something special in a clothing store window. He stood frozen in awe. Maybe it was the lighting or perhaps the mannequin or even the red and black fabric, yet whatever it was had him spellbound.

Falco had stopped at the corner of the sidewalk and turned back once he realized his partner wasn't going to follow. So, he stood there next to young McCloud, pondering at what over his jade eyes gawked. Then, once he focused on what caused so much desire in that vulpine's face. Finally, a sudden and heavy brick of comprehension walloped Falco enough to where his face had the most outlandish display of overly-mixed emotion, more so than what Bill had given at sight to Fox and Falco's love-making.

Fox was gawking at a bodice of tantalizing outlandish splendor " crimson base, metallic trim and buckles, with ebony belts and lace. Truly, it was one of a kind, hand-made with painstaking patience put in its wondrous details, flowery patterns of coal thread throughout the scarlet and finely finished gold clasps. Placing his paws upon the window with fascination, Fox's jaw dropped and uttered his high interest in this item. Dajum simply looked back with narrowed eyes and left Fox and Falco at the shop, as if he were disgusted with them now. Neither Fox nor Falco cared, their absorption was in this particular piece of merchandise.

"Falco… I want this corset. I need it." Pathetic was the desperation in Fox's voice.

"Come on, Fox. Why in the world would you of all people wish to wear it?"

"Remember what I said about achieving my own sense of beauty? This will be part of it."

Before the falcon could get his word in, the store had already been invaded by the vulpine. Falco stood outside and watched as the owner became overly dumbfounded by young McCloud's request. Lombardi snickered as he watched both of their expressions, their body gestures, and hand movements. Both acted so anxious: Fox, for wanting and the owner, for her confusion. With a long-consideration on her part, the merchant took the girdle from the display dummy. Carefully, the chosen item was placed into a box, then bagged and handed to Fox. For payment, Fox simply gave over a large sum of Cornerian currency. He knew it would be enough to cover it, and it was a universal Lylatian exchange. No harm would be done.

"This is nuts!" Falco's response came out bluntly as Fox exited the shop.

"Well, that is in your own opinion, Falco. I think it suits me just fine." Fox's breath was snappy.

Falco couldn't help but retaliate, "Hmm! What is Peppy going to think seeing you in that thing? There is no way you'll be able to prance about wearing a tight corset about the trunk of your body."

The vulpine chuckled, "Well, Falco, I think that Peppy's reaction would be worse off than what the clerk of that store gave me. She couldn't believe a male wanted a corset for himself."

"What!?" Flaring voice of being astounded echoed from the bird's beak, "You mean to tell me that you admitted to purchasing it for you and you alone? Why didn't you say that you were buying it for a girlfriend?"

Once again, a giggle came from McCloud's maw, "Now, I don't have a girlfriend. I have you, Falco. And no, it is not for me alone. To wear it, yes, only I; but you will get just the same pleasure of witnessing me fit into it."

They had not been standing still for this conversation, yet walking back towards the docking bay and the Great Fox. Hoping, wishing, and praying started when the grand ship was in their sight. What if Slippy and Peppy had already returned; would they be questioned? Surely, there would be an inquiry of their whereabouts and what Fox held within his shopping bag, but they had a right to privacy and could always lie. Fibbing had never come easy to Fox, though Falco could get away with murder if he tried. Thankfully, though, the ship was still empty. Giving a great sigh of relief, Fox returned to his quarters, allowing his body to fall back upon the bed.

Falco followed him in and sat beside, reaching over to the shopping bag and the box within. For a moment, Fox held it close, like some precious treasure that was worth millions " he did not wish to let it go. Before long, his grip subsided and Falco became victorious. Opening the box carefully, Falco still questioned Fox's peculiar tastes. This was worse than Fox's keeping his deceased mother's dress in a glass case. To keep something like that because it had sentimental value was one thing, but to buy something as outlandish as a bondage-style bodice was clearly next to insanity. But this was Fox, the one he had taken into being his mate. Falco simply couldn't let himself be turned away due to some outrageous fashion disaster. So, now he looked inside the plain beige box and the arranged fabric that lay within. His "lady" would get what "she" desired, and what "she" desired was this corset.