Alright folks, I finally decided to post this rather than add more stuff into this chapter, so if it's a bit short, I apologize for that. I am also REALLY sorry that I haven't updated for so long. No more promises, as there is a TON of stuff to occupy my mind with right now, including at least four other fanfics I've had on my mind for a while, one of which I'm still trying to think up and thus has yet to be written, one of which already has its first chapter up, and the last two have already been started but still need a little work before I can post them. On top of that, I just got Skyward Sword for Christmas, and thus will likely be playing that a lot, as well as Minecraft, Terraria, or Team Fortress 2 whenever I end up on the computer instead. Once I finish Skyward Sword, I will probably continue my experience-grinding in Goldeneye. In other words, it may be quite a while before I actually start writing or even thinking about the next chapter. Lastly, sorry to disappoint you, but this chapter turned out to be more of a filler, which even I am bummed about. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you won't hold the delay against me. Now start reading!

Chapter 8: Bakin' Bacon

Spyro and Cynder woke up early the next morning, despite the late night they had. This was because the strong smell of roasting meat intruded on their dreams until it was so strong that it woke them up.

"Mmm, what IS that?" Cynder said, sniffing the air as she walked out of their cabin.

Spyro followed behind. "I think it's…wild boar?" he said.

"Nah, it's probably wild ape!" Shike said.

"AAAH! Where'd you come from?" Sparx yelled out of surprise.

Spyro and Cynder just laughed at Shike's joke, not surprised in the least that he had snuck up on them. They were already too used to that by now, due to the recent war.

"Do you really think so?" Spyro asked.

"I doubt it. The apes were condemned to be skeletal ghosts for the rest of their lives, remember?"

"So do you think it could be wild boar after all?" Cynder asked.

"Probably, but I wouldn't know. I've actually never had wild boar before. Although, if it's anything like pork, then I can cook up a GREAT side-dish!"

Spyro was almost drooling now. All the food talk was making him hungry!

"And what would that be?" he asked Shike out of curiosity and hunger.

"It's called…" Shike paused for effect, "…BACON."

Sparx looked confused. "I thought that was a method of cooking."

Shike laughed. "No, Sparx, that's baking. I'm talking about BACON."

"Yeah, that's what I said. Baking," Sparx said again, obviously thinking Shike had just contradicted himself.

Shike shook his head in annoyance.

"I'll just have to show you what I mean, Sparx. You just don't seem to be getting my point. Now, who's up for breakfast?"

"Well, well, well, look who showed up just in time for breakfast!" Hunter said upon seeing the group of heroes enter the encampment. "Come on over and enjoy yourselves!"

Shike walked over to a small plate with sliced meat on it. He picked up a piece and tasted it. "Yep. Just like pork!" he said. He realized then that there was another boar still lying near the fire, waiting to be cooked. Shike walked over to Hunter.

"Hey, Hunter, can I try something with that boar?" he asked him, pointing to the one he'd spotted.

"What is it you want to do?" Hunter answered, curious. "If it's for target practice, then no."

Shike laughed. "No, it's not for target practice. I wanted to see if I could cook up a side dish from my own world with some of the meat. It's got AMAZING flavor when you cook it right!"

"Oh, in that case, go ahead!" Hunter replied, a grin suddenly stretching across his face.

Shike walked over to the boar and stooped down next to it. Then, he pulled out a sheath sewn out of a strange black material (nylon). It had what looked like a large knife, probably for hunting, and a small pocket on the side of the sheath with a smaller identical knife in it. The word "HUMVEE" was embroidered in red on the front of the pocket. Each knife had a handle that seemed to be made of a black-colored wood, with grooves in it to allow for better grip. There was one groove for each finger minus the thumb, for a total of four evenly spaced grooves. The hand guard and the base of the handle seemed to be made of metal. The hand guard curved toward the base a little in front and was shorter in the back, whereas the base curved toward the hand guard in the same fashion in the front but didn't extend at all in the back. Shike pulled out the bigger one, the blade of which seemed to be about 7.3 inches long and about 1.5 inches wide at its widest point, where the dull edge began to curve inward toward the sharp edge. For some odd reason, it seemed to have a small blackish design on one side of the blade, on which that same word "HUMVEE" could be seen in the same blackish color.

Shike began to cut a chunk out of the large boar's belly. Once he was done with that, he set down the large knife and carried the lump, which was shaped a bit like a cube but more rectangular, over to a nearby cutting board. He then walked over to where he had been a moment before and picked up the knife. He walked back to the table and began to slice the meat into smaller rectangular chunks about an inch wide, and then set the large blade aside. After he had done that, he pulled the smaller blade out of the sheath. The blade for that one was, as expected, completely identical to the larger one in every way, but on a smaller scale, just like the handle. Shike's hands seemed to fit the handle perfectly for this one, due to the smaller size of grooves. He grabbed hold of one of the rectangles of meat and began to cut it into thin strips. He continued to do the same to the rest of the rectangles of meat, and when he was done, set the knife down and ran over to Hunter.

"Hunter, where did you put that pan I brought?" he asked politely.

"Oh, just a sec, I'll go get it for ya," Hunter said, then headed for his own cabin. He came back out holding a large iron pan. He handed it to Shike, who said "Thanks," and went back to what he had been doing before. Shike suddenly turned around and said "Oh yeah, you can do what you want with the boar now! I won't need any more of it!"

"Thanks!" Hunter replied.

Shike set the frying pan on the table near the meat he had cut, put a few strips in it side by side, and set the pan on a grill over the fire. The grill had been recently built by the Moles as a gift to the Avalarians for aiding in the recent war effort, as cooking on a grill had been getting quite popular lately, and more essential for helping get rid of diseases while still cooking the food thoroughly and evenly. Shike left for a quick moment to go clean off the knives in the nearby river. When he came back, the meat was sizzling in the pan. Shike waited for about another minute for it to finish cooking, then took the pan off the grill. He took the pan back to the table and began to take the cooked meat out of it, putting it onto a plate and replacing it with more uncooked strips, during which he could be heard singing "IIIII've been bakin' me some baaaaacon, aaaaall the livelong daaaaay!" He did this a few more times, catching Spyro trying to sneak a bite in the process, and finally finished the last batch.

"ALRIGHT, BACON'S READY!" he said to everyone within earshot, mainly to the pair of heroes/lovers and their little jester.

He pulled a few pieces off for himself, then grabbed a plate and put some other forms of meat on it, as well as some fruit that was sitting out. He then went over to a rock a little distance away from the crowd of people, which was now gathering around his amazing recipe, and sat down to eat his breakfast. As he sat there, he saw Spyro grab a piece off of the plate, take a bite, then almost faint at the phenomenal flavor it had. He grabbed a few more pieces and handed them to Cynder, then grabbed a last few for himself. He broke off one small piece and gave it to Sparx, then headed over to a spot next to Shike, trying to resist the urge to gobble up all of his bacon at once. Cynder took a small bite as she followed, and then made a face similar to Spyro's when he had his taste.

"MMMM, that is so GOOD!" she said.

"What IS this stuff?" Sparx asked, obviously amazed as well.

"I already told you Sparx. It's bacon!" Shike replied.

"Yeah, I know you baked it, I think we've already established that, but what is the MEAT called?" he asked again.

Shike sighed in frustration, amazed at the thought that anyone could possibly be so dense. He'd already known Sparx was dense, but this was just IMPOSSIBLE.

"Sparx, what you are talking about is BAKING. What I'M talking about is BACON. BAKING is spelled B-A-K-I-N-G. BACON is spelled B-A-C-O-N. I know, it's a strange similarity, but that's what it's called!" he answered, trying to make Sparx understand.

Sparx just got a confused face again, and then suddenly realized what Shike had been trying to tell him. "OOOOOOHH, NOW I get it," he said at last.

"Feh! Took ya long enough!" Shike said.

Alright, there you have it, chapter 8 of one of my most popular fics, Lovebirds! Again, don't plan on another update for quite a while. Sorry about that, but you know life. It can be the best of times, or it can be the worst of times (XD famous quote reference FTW). Oh great. I call myself the King of Irony for a reason. Just watch, now that I've said it will be a while, the next one will be up by the end of the month. Let's see if it happens or not. If it doesn't, oh well. If it does, maybe I should jinx myself into writing the rest from now on. XD Leave a review please!