A Star Fox work of Fanfiction by Stinger – VXR42
After the First Lylat War, Fox is under pressure to find two more pilots for his team – but his only two real choices he wants set off a chain-reaction of anger and resentment amongst his colleagues and friends. As the year 3000 approaches, does Fox care more about his reputation, or his inner happiness? A FyFxMy triangle story.
The door slammed shut again, leaving Fox McCloud alone in the dimly-lit room, just as he had been for the last few hours, his crew members having vacated the interview room nearly five hours prior. Falco Lombardi's absence was due to his claims of boredom; Peppy Hare had apparently lost the will to live, and Slippy Toad was simply tired. All of these reasons came down to the same problem though, and it was one that the young vulpine was attempting to tackle head-on.
Ever since their decisive victory over the Venomian forces and their mad leader, the simian Dr Andross, the Star Fox had lived on as the close-knit team of four male pilots that nearly every child on Corneria knew about, and looked up to in some way; whether it be Falco's cockiness and way he drew the women's eyes, Peppy's wisdom, Slippy's comic appeal and mechanical genius or Fox's quiet demeanour that masked the true person within him – he was on posters in teenage girls' and young boys' rooms alike as a true hero of the Lylat system.
Good as life had been, however, having only four members on the team was a little boring at times, and when this had slipped Falco's beak at a press conference a few months back, it was almost immediately that every parent in the Corneria Flight academy was sending letters to them begging for a place on the team for their child to enter. Soon the list of mail increased to letters from fans desperately asking if they could come to the ship to spend some time with their heroes, and their old teachers at the school recommending new recruits.
Just as the mail list was starting to become physically overwhelming; a message had come from their old employer, General Pepper, suggesting they look at a list of those who had scored above average in the flight simulators and were flying with the Cornerian navy, and who didn't mind joining Star Fox – something of a new years' special gift for the academy where Peppy, Slippy and I all went at some point to learn to fly and fight.
As much as Fox wanted to see his old friend Bill Grey on the team, the hound was perfectly happy as the leader of his own squadron, but put up a list of his personal suggestions, most of whom were on Pepper's list as well. Sticking with his instincts, Fox had taken the General's list, crossed off the names Bill hadn't mentioned, and dragged his team down for a bunch of interviews.
"I'm beginning to see why they left…" he thought resignedly, referring to his team as he crossed out the final name on the joint list he'd drawn up. He'd been seeing the interviewees in pairs, and as of yet still had to be impressed by one of them. None of them were the sort of person he'd really let within a mile radius of his ship, or within five miles of himself again. Four pairs had actually walked into the room evidently filled up to the eyeballs on something undoubtedly illegal, and had just been shown right back out again by the vulpine and the avian; and another pair just wanted his autograph.
Fox began to crumple the three lists – His, Pepper's and Bill's - into a ball, crushing them between his silver gloves with a hint of anger, attempting to compress the paper into nothing. Just as he had a perfect sphere of rejected candidates though, he noticed a scrawl on the back of Bill's sheet. Unfolding the paper, he quickly skimmed over the short note, his emerald green eyes zipping across the sheet.
"Hey, Fox? If you can't make your mind up, then try these two – don't be fooled by first impressions though. Bill."
Fox noticed the two names scribbled in the corner of the page, being one of the select few who could read Bill's handwriting, some of the others being Beltino Toad, and Mrs Grey herself. The two names seemed just to be first initials, along with a last name, or maybe a gender and race description; he couldn't tell.
M. Lynx F. Spaniel
Glancing over his friend's otherwise incomprehensible handwriting, Fox shrugged, and decided to give these two pilots a go. Maybe, if he was lucky, they might be suitable for the team…
He flicked open his comm.-link and opened a line to the academy switchboard, Vera. Vera was well past her fitness prime, but the hedgehog's abilities with people were legendary. Hitting one of the quick-contact buttons, a hovering holographic image of the woman flickered to life on the screen, and Vera turned a hazel eye to look at him.
"I thought that was the last pair of candidates you were interviewing," she cut in, shuffling a sheaf of pages whilst still retaining eye contact, a note of concern in her voice. Fox nodded, but glanced down at the paper again.
"Yeah…" he began tentatively. "But I may have another pair," he explained, causing the hedgehog to swing round in her specially modified chair and give him her undivided attention. At her raised eyebrow, he read out from the page. "Do you have an 'M. Lynx', and an 'F. Spaniel' in your database?" he asked. At this, Vera's eyes lit up and sparkled mischievously.
"Miyu and Fay? Of course, I'll have them right in," she replied instantly, turning away, but not lifting her usual phone, but bringing out her mobile phone, and keying in a message rapidly, causing Fox to tilt his arm-comm. in an attempt to see past her. His prying attempts came to naught though, and within a few minutes of the most furious keying he had ever seen, Vera snapped her phone shut, and turned to face him with a sly grin on her face. Then, without another word, she terminated the connection.
Fox stared for a moment where the image had been before, and then shrugged, trying to push off the odd feeling that he may be in for a surprise he wasn't altogether prepared for. He resumed his crumpling of his, Pepper's and Bill's list, and lobbing them into the waste paper bin across the room. Managing to get a direct throw into the bin third time with Bill's list, he responded by punching the air, mouthing the word 'Yes!' silently, and it was at that point the door opened. Fox quickly turned round to see a figure at the door, and nearly fell off his chair in shock.
"Didn't anyone tell you we were coming?" asked the girl in the doorframe, eyes narrowed teasingly. Fox was suddenly aware his mouth was open as he stared at the lynx, leaning against the doorjamb. He quickly closed it, and re-arranged himself on his seat, clearing his throat and nodding.
"Yeah, sorry. Come on in," he managed, his mouth slightly dry. The feline smiled, winked, and then sauntered across the room, dropping her body into one of the chairs, placing her boots on the desk just as Falco had done before he had left. The girl's fur was a whole range of contrasts – orangey brown was the most prominent, but there was a splash of white under her muzzle and scorched brown stripes crossed her arms and face, one shaped like an arrow meeting just between her eyes.
Before the startled vulpine could say anything, a canine with bright white fur entered the room, looking a little flustered. She didn't have much of the tomboyish appearance as the lynx, for there was a smattering of cobalt eye shadow above her eyebrows, the same colour as her bright, bold sky-blue eyes. Her earrings weren't the same brash metal hoops as the ones that adorned her friend's tufted ears, but were pinned moons and stars made of shining metals, unclear to Fox's eye whether they were genuine gold and silver or not.
"Sorry," she panted, clambering into a chair beside the lynx. "I was in the shower when you called for us." Fox's stomach gave an uneasy lurch at this information, and he tried to keep his mind from forming images of what that might have looked like. He had been exposed to precious little female attention during his life, and to find himself alone in a room, preparing to interview these two for a place on his ship, finding they were his last chances, had come as a shock.
Fox wondered for a moment whether this was yet another one of Bill's many tricks he'd played on him concerning this unfortunate inability to relate very much to women – Bill himself was always the compromise between Fox's shyness, and Falco's darn brashness, and often tried his best to get the two of them in situations with girls they couldn't get out of. Pepper didn't have them on his list, so they hadn't managed to pass their flying tests, or at least without flying colours.
"On the other hand…" Fox remembered the 'dear' General's attitude to females in his navy, and in fact all women in general. It was very likely that Pepper had 'accidentally' 'forgotten' to add their names in, and it was only by trusting his friend that Fox had met these two. The vulpine suddenly realised that Miyu was smirking slightly, and Fay was going a little pink around the muzzle.
Noticing that he may have been staring a little, he swallowed, and folded his arms on the desk in a professional, but casual way as well.
"So… so you must be Miyu?" he asked, looking at the lynx, and getting a short nod in response. Turning to the canine, he simply asked, "Fay?" and got a nod in reply, along with a little blush. Turning red himself, he looked down a little and cleared his throat. "So, let's get on with the interview shall we?"
"That's what we're here for, isn't it?" asked Miyu, a brown stripe of an eyebrow rising as she looked at Fox intently through – and this gave him an extra surprise when he noticed it – a bright purple eye. Fox swallowed slightly under the lynx's gaze, feeling a little bit oppressed by it.
"Yeah, but I was just…" he stammered slightly, feeling himself go even redder. Oh, how he was going to kill Bill if these two didn't make the team, and he had spent the interview with Miyu making him look like a complete tool. "Trying to get my words in order, that's all." Bravo Fox, what an excuse; now even Fay was giggling. Fox cleared his throat, and did his best to look serious.
"Do you two have your flight pass grades on you?" he asked, trying to launch into something. The smirk was wiped off the lynx's face as she felt around in her breast pocket, and didn't pull out anything, her violet eyes going into a panic.
"Damn, I left it…" she began, but her friend, the spaniel, cut her off.
"I know Miyu always does that, that's why I have both of ours," she explained, passing the two sheaves of paper across to him over the desk. Fay gave Fox a devilish little smile, glancing at Miyu – who had gone red this time – from the side of her eyes. He took the paper, returning Fay's smile; it had done a good deal to lift a weight off Fox's chest, but he remembered that fact about Miyu being forgetful, and wondered if it amounted to plain laziness at times.
Fox flipped the two files round to the overall summaries, giving the overall marks for each of the main subjects pilots were expected to take: languages, sciences, physical education, literature and of course, flying technique. Fox ran his eyes over both pages in depth, not skimming as he had with some of the later applicants, occasionally looking up towards one of the girls when he read something particularly positive or negative about either of them. He found himself nodding in appreciation of their flying marks; granted a fair portion of other applicants had better marks, but often they dropped in other fields quite dramatically. The girls both had average marks all round; though when he mentioned this to them they both shuffled uncomfortably.
"We help each other with the subjects we're not very good at," explained Miyu, Fay having seemed to have sealed her muzzle shut and become very interested in one of her earrings. "I help Fay with Languages and Mathematics; she helps me with Sciences and Literature," she finished, now looking extremely guilty and rubbing the back of her head through her long black hair. Fox looked back down at the notes the teachers had made on them, did a few basic sums in his head, and arrived at the conclusion that she was most likely telling the truth. The vulpine considered it for a moment, but didn't say anything.
"Fay is a very likable, clever and energetic girl who is determined to complete tasks she's been set, and I see a good future for her," Fox read out approvingly, unable to stop himself. He looked up to find Miyu smiling warmly at her friend, who in turn had gone a deep shade of pink. "Miyu…" Fox then began to read from the lynx's paper, smiling wickedly at the lynx, and she paled noticeably, the red fading slightly from Fay's muzzle. "Is an adaptable, capable and effective pilot, who I'm sure will go on to great things," Fox read out, nodding in time to his words. Fay and Miyu grinned at each other, resisting the urge to give each other a high-five even as Fox made a mental note that he didn't care that they were girls rather than guys, he wanted these two on his team, and that was just by their records. Whole new reasons began to open up once you actually looked at them…
Fox swallowed, keeping his imagination in check and mentally reprimanding himself. Nuh-uh, he was not going to hire two girls if one of the reasons he would put down on their CVs was so he could ogle them; he was going to be a perfect gentleman with Fay and Miyu. Or at least as much as a mercenary could be a gentleman…
Suddenly, Fox saw the note made by General Pepper at the base of the reports, and his eyes widened to the size of saucers. There, in the General's favourite maroon ink was a dashed off sentence, exactly the same in both girls' sheets.
"This girl will never amount to anything."
"Did he even look at the rest of the sheets?" exploded Fox angrily, throwing the two sheets to the table in frustration. "Bloody hell… and they let him command an entire army…" He looked up in horror as he realised he's been shouting out loud, and both canine and feline were staring at him in an odd mix of apprehension and was that… approval? "Sorry…" he whispered, calming down and resting his head in his arms. "I just get mad when I see that sort of stuff," he mumbled into his crossed arms. He half expected to hear the grind of chair legs on the stone floor, and the slam of the interview room door; but it never came. There was moment of silence, until Fay broke it.
"We're used to it," she whispered, reaching out a hand and lifting Fox's muzzle out of his arms. "Please don't worry yourself with it." Fox couldn't help but shudder slightly under the canine's touch, but it brought a smile to his face just through the contact. The words, however, sank in brutally.
"It's a regular occurrence for you?" he asked, drawing himself out of Fay's hand and looking at them both now, shock in his eyes. He'd heard that women had rough times in the flight schools, but he had no idea it went this deep. Fox instinctively felt his hands curl up into tight balls as both girls looked at each other and nodded slowly. This was something he had to sort out; something he didn't like – and he was determined to sort it out.
"Well, I promise I'll get back to you," he insisted, shuffling his papers and smiling at the pair of them. "Honest," he added, noticing Miyu's eyebrow rising again; but he seemed to have missed the intended humour in it; the lynx was smiling too.
"Thanks, foxy-boy," she said, rising to her feet having removed her boots from the table. Fay nodded as well, returning Fox's smile the vulpine sent in her general direction. Both girls got to their feet, as did Fox, and he shook hands with the pair of them, the first time he had this day. However, the girls did seem a little surprised when he offered a hand, and Fox noticed they leant back a bit, as if they had been bending forward previously. Fay and Miyu still managed to put on a good face as they shook hands, and then they turned to leave. Fay winked at Fox as she left the room, as did Miyu, but she nonchalantly flicked her short tail just before she left, which Fox found his eyes following intently. As soon as the door shut, and he was alone again, he turned to Bill's sheet, which he had hidden underneath Fay and Miyu's reports, and a list of questions he had used on some of the past candidates.
Slowly, Fox raised his pen, his favourite one that he'd kept since his induction into the rank of his father – a solid aluminium that gleamed its silver light all around as he lifted it out of his pocket and into the light. The now worn grip of green rubbery plastic felt comforting to the mercenary as he gave the tip a short lick to loosen off the ink. He reached out with his right hand, holding the paper in his hand, and slowly and carefully, drew two clean loops in emerald-green ink around Fay and Miyu's names.