A/N I am not a huge patriotic person. Fourth of July is cool, but not that big a deal to me. I dunno, I'm just more of a universal person than a patriotic one.

However, I can't deny the beauty and allure of fireworks.

Disclaimer: I Own Nothing, I Regret Nothing, I Let Them Forget Nothing.

Also, Melanthe is Yoshi- my somewhat out-there interpretation.

Light 'em off!

Fox sauntered through courtyard as he made his way to the party, and with good reason to be proud- he had just won the Second Annual Smash Tournament, and the Melee medal was to be awarded to him tonight amidst the bombastic celebration. He wore a huge grin as he adjusted his suit and tie, articles of clothing rarely worn on him.

As he made his way into the festivities, he saw Falco waiting for him with a smirk, but Fox knew that his way of congratulating him. He was just Falco. Fox felt his friend clap him on the shoulder and shout "Well, look who it is, the man of the hour. Nice going, Fox."

Fox chuckled, beaming. "Ah, I got lucky."

"Damn right you did," Falco responded, elbowing him. Fox smirked at his response- had it been anyone else but Falco in the last match, and it would have been 'you smoked their ass so bad they had no chance!' At least his partner didn't hold a grudge or anything; that he could be grateful for.

"Anyway," Falco grinned, "check out the ladies! Look, over there, Fox, that one hot Yoshi woman."

Fox burst out laughing at Falco's suggestive eyebrow raising.. "Falco, I'm not here for the ladies, you dense tweet. Krystal, remember?"

Falco smirked. "Not for you, Fox McPrudent." He raised his eyebrow one more time, causing Fox to shove his friend aside in laughter, he reminded him "She's almost old enough to be your mom."

"Meh, as far as I'm concerned, she's just one hot mama."

"Oh brother." Knowing not to carry on a woman-related conversation with Falco, Fox deftly changed the subject. "So, is everyone here?"

"Well," Falco stretched the word out as long as he could to figure out the best way to answer, "everyone except Samus."

"Samus didn't come?" Fox raised an eyebrow, disappointed since he had hoped his training partner would show up.

"Bah, apparently not. Probably still PMSing over the fact that she lost." Falco grumbled with little couth. Fox was surprised to hear the 'hot mama' from earlier laugh out loud at the bird's statement.

"Got that right," Melanthe grinned crookedly. "Woman was waaaaaaay too focused on winning. Probably sulking or some shit like that. Hope we left her enough ice cream for her to sob into. I mean, after the first few matches, I was like 'screw it, I can live with twenty-third.' Medal ain't gonna win a man if you're scaring him half to death being near him."

Fox was somewhat surprised at Melanthe's crude statement- then again, it wasn't like the leader was ever known for her subtlety. In polite protest, he suggested "She's never been very social. Probably didn't feel very comfortable out here." It was true- Samus was never very known for associating with others that much- in fact, her relationship with Fox was only that of a sparring partner. Either way, though, he was hoping that one of his closest tournament partners would be there to see him get his medal. Ah well. Can't push people too much.

Melanthe seemed to agree. "Bah, no use crying over spilled milk, especially if it's already sour." Clapping Falco on the back, she added "Let's just have a good time- speaking of which, where's the wine?"

As Fox grew annoyed at the situation and walked away, behind his back he noticed Falco eye-point at Melanthe and give him a thumbs up. Not impressed, Fox rolled his eyes and flipped the metaphorical bird to the true avian as he went to socialize and accept his congratulations.

A half-hour of polite socialization, cheese and crackers and all that jazz, and Fox sat in the front row of the garden, in front of the temporary wooden stage where he was expected to accept his medal after a short speech from Master Hand himself. While Fox was still proud of his victory, he wasn't quite as sure it deserved a whole ceremony dedicated to him- hell, less big of a deal was made for his harrowing rescues and mercenary work.

May as well enjoy it, though.

He smiled as everyone took their seats and Master Hand floated up to the podium with the microphone. When the appendage was sure everyone was listening, he announced "Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to welcome you cordially to the awards ceremony! Glad you all could make it!"

The audience nodded, waiting for him to continue.

"Again, I would like to apologize that we were not able to get the fireworks operational," he continued. "I know that a large number of you were looking forward to it."

The mention brought a brief air of melancholy to the crowd; really, everyone was looking forward to it and everyone was still kind of disappointed. Before they could dwell on it too long, Master started everything off with "Well! Let's get down to business! The bronze medal and third place goes to Jigglypuff Purin, of Kanto City!"

Eagerly, the jubilant puffball floated up to the podium before the applause could even start, accepting the bronze medal necklace as Master put it around her neck. She giggled in delight, but apparently opted not to make a speech- one could tell since she dashed off of the stage back to her seat, slapping a high five with Fox on her way back as the audience died down.

With a bewildered chuckle at her energetics, Master Hand continued. "And in second place, with the silver medal, Falco Lombardi of Corneria!"

With a smug smile, Falco smoothly made his way to the podium and, after yanking the medal out of Master Hand's fingers, grabbed the microphone and gave a suave grin, wink, and finger-point towards Melanthe.

Fox audibly groaned. "Jesus Christ," he almost shouted in embarrassment as he facepalmed.

Master Hand, amused, told Falco "If you have a speech, go ahead."

"Alright!" Falco grinned. "So, anyway, dou-"

Interjecting, Master added "Just, please, try and keep your swear words out of it."

Blinking in surprise, Falco frowned, and with a loud "Well, screw that then," he tossed the microphone in the air as he walked back to his seat. Master fumbled towards the cord, catching the mike before it hit the ground. "Heh heh... anyway, and now, for our grand winner of our Second Annual Smash Brothers Tournament and the one and only possessor of the Melee Medal, ladies and gentlemen, Fox McCloud of Corneria!"

Fox grinned, making his way up to the stage and allowing Master Hand to place the medal around his neck, beaming with pride. "Way to go, kid," he heard the hand comment in his ear before lightheartedly shoving him towards the microphone and shouting "Ladies and gentlemen, our champion!"

Applause echoed throughout the entire audience, wild and cheerful. Falco gave him a grin and a thumbs up, seated now next to Melanthe, who also raised a celebratory fist in the air. Blunt as she was, she had a good spirit, Fox would admit. All in all, though, while he tried not to dwell on it, he still knew that there should have been one more person cheering there-


"Did you hear that?" Fox called out to the audience instinctively, and, indeed, everyone had turned toward the left and the surrounding river and park fields where the sound had come from. It wasn't a violent boom, more like a light explosion.


Now everyone was certain that they were truly hearing something. Rigidly, the crowd refused to take their sight off of the North side.



Cheers started to erupt as the first firework glowed in the night sky, a bright green one that took up a large portion of the sky. It had no shape in particular.


A series of fireworks- blue, red, green, yellow and pink, in that order, shot through the sky in succession as if they were shooting stars.


It was a large white one's turn this time, dropping its shine through the sky like glowing rain far in the distance, and then many fireworks started to go off in succession, causing the crowd to ooh, ahh, and generally go insane.

Fox grinned at the good luck- apparently the fireworks were working after all. Turning to Master Hand, he grinned and said "Hey, thanks for getting it up after all- everyone's psyched!"

Master Hand chuckled. "Wasn't me," he stated in amusement. "I had no idea this was coming."

The statement caused Fox to grin widely, wondering what had caused the fireworks to go off after all. It wasn't until the Starfox Logo went through the sky in bold blue did he piece two and two together.

With a loud, satisfied laugh, Fox dashed in front of the crowd and took a seat on the riverbanks, allowing himself to recline onto his back and gaze at the fireworks.

With a grin, he thought about how glad he was that he never gave up on a friend.

Samus grinned as she kept at work a half mile away at the side of the river, lining up more massive fireworks to be launched in the sky. She pressed some buttons on her Varia suit, and then, taking some space, shot at each firework in succession and watched with pride as they launched high up into the sky and exploded in the blackness in all different colors.

It all turned out just right, and she was a fan of things turning out just right.

Five minutes later found her climbing into her spaceship; she decided to put on the grand finale. It was still in gear from some of the sparse, fancier fireworks, but this would be the show they were waiting for. Running along the field and into the sky, she got her cannons ready and started firing into the sky.

Not many people knew of the Coldplay CD she had in the music player it was a pain in the ass to install, but she figured that playing "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" was the single perfect accent to the event. Personal tastes, she supposed.

The ship was shrouded by walls of color from every launched firework she could come up with, causing a veil of rainbow colors to cover the sky from head to toe. She spun around the crowd's site, encircling them in a large wall of the colors, creating an Aurora Borealis effect. She hoped the crowd was going nuts, cheering, celebrating and possibly making out like the crazy kids they were. After all, Fox did a bang up job, and he deserved the goddamn fireworks.

She grinned as she mumbled "Way to go, Fox, old pal."

A/N I included Melanthe if only to break the whole "Ocs are just there to be perfect" kind of cycle; making her a bit more real. Not that she's entirely an OC as much as a loophole. :3

Well, I hope you enjoyed! Happy day-before-Skylar-Grey's-new-video-is-out! is shot


P.S. Did you know every story I write turns out much longer than I mean for it to be? Case in point- 500 word story becomes 2,000. :3