Happy Mother's Day, Krystal!

Krystal gazed out the back window of the house she and Fox shared on Corneria. It was nearly ten o' clock in the morning; Fox had taken their son Marcus, now seven years old, out to run some morning errands. He hadn't said what they were going out for, but something in his demeanor had indicated he wanted to keep the reason a secret. Although she was even more curious than usual because of this, she had resisted the urge to pry, and was willing to let Fox surprise her with what he'd had in mind.

Something niggled in the back of her mind, something she was probably forgetting. It wasn't anyone's birthday that she knew of, and she was very good about remembering birthdays. It certainly wasn't her own, nor was it Christmas; it was the middle of May, actually. She gave the matter some more thought before deciding it would be better to just wait and see.

A stirring of consciousness came from the direction of the bedroom she and Fox shared. Krystal smiled and went into the room, stopping by the crib where an alert and awake female kit was even now begging to be picked up.

"Hello, Skye," Krystal cooed to her daughter. "How's my little girl this morning?"

"Mama, up," said the kit in return. Krystal obliged by lifting her out of the crib and letting the kit rest her head against her shoulder. Skye was almost the spitting image of her mother when Krystal had been that age, save for a white forelock in her hair that was clearly a trait she got from her father. Krystal walked out into the living room, where a large portrait window looked out on the driveway and front yard, and sighed contentedly.

Some would think that to someone who had flown in the Star Fox squadron, a normal life would seem boring and monotonous, but Krystal enjoyed the quiet times. She'd had far too many close calls, too many near-death experiences, to want to seek out danger during a time of peace. After the Anglar War had concluded, Lylat had enjoyed an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity. This opportunity had allowed her and Fox the chance to settle down and start a family together, something she'd wanted for a very long time.

Krystal felt Skye stir against her shoulder, and turned her head to see her daughter looking at her with a strangely intent look on her face. "It's alright, little one," she said reassuringly. "I'm just thinking right now, and wondering what your father and brother are up to, and when they'll get back home." Even at this young age, her children had already shown signs of strong telepathic ability; something that had been the cause of numerous amusing mishaps, as well as a few embarrassing ones. She remembered one time in particular, when Marcus had walked in on her and Fox as they were preparing to make love… Both adults had been thoroughly mortified, but Marcus had only been curious about what his parents had been doing that could elicit such strong emotions. Fortunately, the 

innocence of childhood had insulated him from the full knowledge of what was about to happen, and after that, she and Fox had learned to be more discreet about their intimate moments.

Her reverie was interrupted by the hum of a hovercar as it pulled into the driveway. Smiling at the return of the rest of her family, Krystal stepped outside, still holding Skye in her arms. Her son bounded out of the passenger seat, while her husband emerged from the driver's side at a little more sedate a pace. Krystal walked across the sidewalk to greet them both, not bothering to put anything on her feet, since the sun wasn't yet high enough to heat the pavement. Marcus hugged her around the waist, being not yet tall enough to reach higher, and she reached down with her free hand to tousle the fur on top of his head. Skye was beginning to squirm with impatience, so Krystal put her down to greet her brother while she herself gave her husband a warm and heartfelt embrace. She pulled back and looked into his emerald gaze, happy to just be alive and with her family.

Fox felt a surge of joy as his wife embraced him. On too many occasions, he never stopped to think about how lucky he was to be married to such a gorgeous, intelligent, and kindhearted woman. He sometimes thought about how close he had come to losing her for good; if he had, he never would have known the joy of being with her again, never would have been able to enjoy domestic bliss with quite possibly the only woman he could ever love, never would have been blessed with two beautiful and bright children…

"Fox," Krystal whispered against his ear, "you learned from that mistake, and I forgave you. You had good intentions and legitimate concerns; you just went about addressing them in the wrong way. We're together now, so don't spend time worrying about what never happened."

"Sorry, Krys," he said, using his pet name for her. She sometimes complained that it wasn't fair of him to do that because there was no way to shorten 'Fox' any further, but he knew that secretly she enjoyed the emotional intimacy implied in its use. "Sometimes I just… think I don't stop to appreciate all you are to me enough. Today, however… today is your day, and Marcus has something he wants to tell you, as well."

"Oh?" She turned to her son, who was practically hopping up and down with excitement, and concealing something behind his back. "What is it, sweetie?"

"Happy Mother's Day, Mom!" he shouted at the top of his voice. He pulled an elaborately decorated envelope out from behind his back and handed it to her.

"Ohmigosh, I completely forgot!" Krystal exclaimed. Fox had recently explained to her how the second Sunday of May was set aside to honor all mothers, past and present, but they'd been doing so much traveling, until recently, that normal timekeeping hadn't applied to them. In the rush to move most of their possessions out of the Great Fox II and into their newly purchased home, the event had completely slipped her mind. "So that was why you left a note to dress nice today?"

"Exactly," Fox replied. He himself was wearing a white button-down shirt and a red-and-silver vest with black slacks; not his usual casual wear of a T-shirt and blue jeans, but like he said, this was a special day. Krystal had debated what precisely nice had meant, but since it was early in the day, she had gone with formal wear instead of slinky nightwear. More than once before she had intentionally worn lingerie instead of a formal evening gown, and then been entertained by Fox's agog expression when he had seen her. It was nice to know that, even after eight years plus of marriage, she could still render him speechless with a flirtatious wink or a sexy outfit. Her current outfit was a sparkly blue evening gown that stopped just above her ankles, so that it wouldn't interfere with her footsteps any. When it came time to actually leave, she would put on some slipper-like footwear; no matter how long she spent in Lylat, she refused to wear high heels, since they were both uncomfortable and impractical. Along with this, she has donned the necklace, tiara, and choker that were relics of her homeworld, some of the very few possessions from there that she still retained after all this time.

Krystal opened the envelope that Marcus had handed her and pulled out the card inside. It read: "To our wife and mother; no one else can do what you do." Fox's name was signed in precise calligraphy, which contrasted with Marcus's kid scrawl. Fox had also added Skye's name, since the kit was still too young to properly read and write yet. Krystal smile and felt tears of joy moisten her eyes as she read the words and names, and more importantly felt the sentiment behind them.

"As soon as everyone's ready to go, we have lunch reservations at Desiree's, at eleven-thirty," Fox announced.

"Fox!" Krystal was astounded. "That place has a waiting list of a month, at the least!"

"I placed them a month and a half in advance, to make sure we got them," he said a little smugly. "One of my errand's this morning was to make sure that everything was in order still, so we didn't have any nasty surprises."

Krystal shook her head in astonishment at the forethought and planning that her husband had put into this day. "We'll be all ready as soon as Marcus gets dressed and I get Skye dressed to go," she said. She went back inside and headed for the master bedroom, where Skye's clothing was kept. She noticed that Fox went with Marcus to the boy's bedroom, to help him get dressed for the occasion. One of the good things about having telepathic children, she mused, was that Skye and Marcus seemed to sense the importance of the event and didn't give their parents nearly as much grief about dressing up as some children did. There wasn't much to do for a four year old girl, but Skye still seemed to be a little more conscious of her outfit, and was checking herself out in the full-length mirror in the hallway.

Krystal emerged from the bedroom to see Fox and Marcus putting the finishing touches on Marcus's outfit. Marcus had on a shirt and vest that was similar in pattern to Fox's outfit, but with a plain black vest instead of a red and silver one and he also had on a pair of black slacks. Fox offered his wife his arm, and she slid her own into it, her hand coming around to take his. Marcus took hold of his mother's other hand, while Fox picked his daughter up and carried her in his free arm. Together, as a family, they went to the car and set out to celebrate this special day.