December 23rd


"All right Slippy you're good to go."

"Thanks Fox. And you're sure you don't want to come with me?"

The vulpine grinned to himself and shook his head, "Yes Slippy I'm sure," he replied, speaking through the communicator in the control room, "Plus I'm pretty sure Amanda wants to spend Christmas with you, not me."

After a few seconds pause the frog finally caught on and sheepishly laughed to himself, "Oh...I suppose you're right. But just try to get out and do something this year rather than sit on the ship all alone again. That's no way to spend Christmas."

"Yeah, yeah I know. But you never know when duty will call." he answered, knowing he was trying harder to convince himself than Slippy.

Keep telling yourself that, maybe one day it will work.

"Well...I guess," the toad murmured, flipping the last few controls over in his Arwing for take off, "Just promise me you'll try and have some fun."

Once more the vulpine allowed a small grin to cross his lips as he too finished the preparations for take off from his perch above the hanger.

"All right,"

Without giving Slippy the opportunity to reply the vulpine opened the hanger and rested his paw on the release override button, pushing it as soon as the doors were open far enough, not giving Slippy the opportunity to do so himself and surprising the amphibian as he had done so many times before as the Arwing blasted off the launch pad.

"Dangit Fox! I hate it when you do that!" Slippy yelled from his headset, his Arwing already a few miles away.

The vulpine laughed to himself and stood from his seat, placing his hand on the communicator one last time. "See ya in a week Slippy." With that he turned off the two way channel, took a final glance around the empty room, and made his way out towards the bridge.

So that's everyone but me, Falco, and Krystal. That's two more than last year, maybe this wont be so bad.

He couldn't help but feel a bit of sadness at remembering the previous year's Christmas. He had woken up around seven, eaten cold cereal alone, watched old Christmas specials on television, and opened the two gifts that Peppy and Slippy had left him. The whole time though he had been wishing there was there someone to share it with, some family that would want to have him for the joyous occasion, but it didn't happen and probably never would.

But at least this year would be somewhat different and he tried to look on it with a hopeful attitude. They had just finished a mission around Fichina the day before, cutting it close from a holiday point of view, but Fox was glad they had gotten back with 2 days to spare. Regardless of how lonely he knew he would be Peppy, Slippy, and even Falco had family they wanted to see, and they didn't deserve to miss out on that.

Well, Falco could care less, but Peppy has a huge family and Slippy has his own as well. But then there's Krystal...

The sapphire fox was on his mind almost constantly in some way or form, and as Christmas drew nearer and nearer he found himself wondering how she would take it. It wasn't until the week before that he had finally found the nerve to ask her if Cerenians even celebrated it, in which the vixen smiled at him and, with a distant look of sadness in her eyes replied, "We used to."

He had almost asked her why they had stopped but managed to catch himself, his brain finally pulling its own weight and doing its part in preventing him from looking like a complete idiot.

She's kinda in the same situation I am. Neither of us have anyone left to share it with. Everything and everyone she had is gone.

Unfortunately Cerenia had been destroyed the first week of January, right after the previous Christmas, and he could only wonder if the event, occurring so close to the holidays, would affect her in a bad way. He knew it would. He had been without a family to spend the 'most wonderful time of the year' far too many times, and he liked to believe that at this point the pain was all but gone, that he had numbed himself from the memories he once had with his parents. But even after all this time it still hurt, not having anyone to spend Christmas with.

But how will she take it? Will she be sad or just act like it doesn't bother her? Guess we'll just have to see...

He entered the lounge, surprised that Falco wasn't laying on the couch watching television. Narrowing his gaze and perking his ears the vulpine easily heard the bird in his room and made his way down the hall to his door, not bothering to knock, simply poking his head in and looking around.

"What's all the noise?" he asked, catching Falco across the messy, cluttered room, digging through his closet and tossing clothes out.

"Just hunting for some clothes," he answered, holding up a red t-shirt and sniffing it.

Fox stepped inside the door and rested against the wall, his gaze falling to the duffel bag on Falco's bed. "Going somewhere?"

Falco stood up, a satisfied look on his face as he tossed a handful of clothes into the bag. "Why you wanna know? You afraid of being alone again on Christmas?" he finished by looking up at the vulpine with a grin on his face before zipping the bag shut and throwing it over his shoulder.

He ignored the insult, "Like you have anywhere better to run off to?"

"Actually I do!" the bird replied, stepping across the room and grabbing his jacket.

"Oh this should be good." Fox retorted, bringing a paw to his chin, "Let me guess. You're going to go to Corneria, get drunk, get put in jail, and spend Christmas next to some guy named Tony who will try to have his way with you."

"That happened like 4 years ago," Falco replied, shooting him a look that harbored both annoyance and a distant, unwanted memory. "Besides if I show up to my parent's house with alcohol in my system my dad will kill me."

The look of amusement instantly faded from the vulpine's face as he struggled to stay standing.

"You're actually going to see your parents?"

Falco shrugged and made his way towards the door, "Yeah I guess. My old lady asked me to drop by, said she and pops had a gift for me that would really 'help out' if you know what I mean."

Fox stepped aside, following the avian as he made his way down the hall and towards the lounge. "Oh I get it, you don't visit your parents for five years then when they say they're going to give you some credits you come flying back to the coop?"

"Exactly." he answered, stopping at the stairway and turning to face the vulpine. "And don't tell me you wouldn't do the same thing. Now, be a lad and get things set up for me in the control room because I'm outta here."

With that the bird grinned and hopped down the first few stairs before disappearing around the corner, leaving the surprised and somewhat disheartened fox alone in the hall.

I wouldn't do the same thing. Not that I'll ever get the chance to...

Sighing, he turned and made his way towards the control room to repeat everything he had just done for Slippy a few minutes before.

Peppy, Slippy, and even Falco. Looks like its just going to be me and Krystal for the next week.

He froze in his tracks as the realization set in, his palms instantly beginning to sweat and a nervous feeling overtaking his stomach. The possibility of the two of them having so much alone time together never occurred, he had always assumed that someone would be there to buffer the awkward, nervous feelings he had around her. In this case that was Falco's job, but with him leaving there was no one there to keep the tension between the two foxes in line.

Christmas week, just me and her? Oh man...


The tv flashed light across the dark room but she ignored it, only leaving it on in hope that it would keep her thoughts occupied from what was really troubling her.

I cant stop thinking about them. I knew this would happen. I knew that I'd feel this way when Christmas drew closer and there would be no one left to share it with.

She hated feeling like this, hated the tears that ran down her face and the memories that continued to replay over and over in her mind. But never before had things been like this, never before had she been without anyone to turn to at this time of the year, no family or friends to exchange gifts or spend time with. She was completely and utterly alone.

But that's not true. I have the team, I have Fox...

She wiped the tears from her eyes and tried to focus on that instead, on the friends that she had made and the vulpine who cared so much for her. Even though a year ago she couldn't have ever imagined herself in such a place, surrounded by such teammates as these, she was okay with it. Plus the idea of getting to spend Christmas with Fox sounded more than appealing to her. She figured Falco would stay secluded in his room or in the lounge, which would give them a chance to spend a little more time together than usual.

Ever since I met him he's been so kind to me. And the way he thinks around me, how he feels and acts, maybe he feels the same way about me as...

The vixen was jerked out of her thoughts as the sound of someone knocking on her door diverted her attention. Instantly she let her mind flow across the room, easily identifying the vulpine.

"Coming." she called, quickly making her way over to the mirror above her dresser and doing her best to cover up the indication of tears that had been running down her face.

This is my problem not his, I'm not going to make him feel bad for me.

Figuring she was looking as best she could the vixen stepped over and opened the door, a kind smile on her face as she met the vulpine's usual nervous gaze.

"Hi Fox," she said kindly, amused and curious at his already red faced expression.

"Hey," he answered, returning her smile and doing his best to hold her gaze. "I just thought I'd let you know that we've got the ship to ourselves for the week."

Oh really...

"Falco took off?" she asked, tilting her head to the side.

"Pfft, yeah. He says he's going to see his parents but I'm still doubtful about that."

She lightly laughed, "Well he should." she answered, her voice still playful but hinting with sadness that both of them noticed and related to.

Shouldn't have said that. This isn't his problem remember? The goal isn't to make everyone feel like you.

But the vulpine had noticed it and she could tell he was thinking similar thoughts in his own mind. He had told her about his life, his family and how it all had went down. In a way the two of them were in the same situation, the only difference being that one of them had just recently lost all they had, whereas he had lost his over a long period time. She could only wonder which one hurt more.

"Listen," he continued, changing the subject, "Christmas Eve is tomorrow and, I know it may not sound like much but I was wondering if you'd like to go down to Corneria with me? You know, see the sights and stuff. Its really beautiful this time of the year down there and I haven't been in a while and...well...I'd like you to come with me."

Even after that he's still trying to help me...


"If you want to!" he added hastily, his face tinting red now as he struggled to hold her gaze. "We don't have to, it was just a thought."


"I just thought maybe we could grab a bite and maybe check out the stores...

She leaned forward and wrapped her arms around him, determined to hide just how happy she was on the inside. Timidly his arms made their way around her and the vixen struggled to keep her voice steady as she whispered, "I would love to."

For a brief moment she rested her head on his shoulder before stepping back and allowing the smallest smile to cross her face as she saw the relieved, surprised look he wore.

"Oh...O-okay then," he stammered, both of them now blushing, "Great! That's great. I um...I guess we'll leave around 12 or 1 so I'll leave you alone and let you get some sleep."

She nodded at him, her smile causing his face to grow more red by the second until he finally forced a nod at her in return and began to head down the hall towards his own room.

"Good night Fox." she murmured, pulling her door shut and immediately falling forward onto her bed.

Are we...did he just ask me out on a date? Are we going out on a date?

She tried to tell herself that it was just a friendly invitation, an attempt by the vulpine to ease both their Christmas pains as they were left alone with each other. But deep down the vixen knew it was more than that. She had seen the look in his eyes, she had felt those feelings inside of him the entire time.

This is a date. Fox asked me out.

"What took him so long?" she muttered out loud.


"Wow. It looks amazing."

"Wait until the sun sets," he replied through his headset, "The whole city is lit up with Christmas lights. Its something you'll never forget."

Just like you.

He was still amazed that she had accepted his offer, and even more amazed at how she had done it. The previous night the vulpine had gotten one of the best sleeps of his life, remembering the vixen's arms around him as she rested her head on his shoulder. That, coupled with the thought of getting to spend the next day with her made his night's sleep unforgettable.

I cant believe I asked her that. No. I cant believe she agreed to it. Maybe I've got a shot with her...

As if fate was helping to make the day even more memorable as soon as they entered the planet's atmosphere they met layers upon layers of clouds and by the time they cleared them they were flying through a steady snowfall. Now, as they readied themselves to land, he could see the entire city was blanketed in the white powder. For Cornerian City it would be a white Christmas this year.

"I'd never forget this." she answered, causing him to blush.

He was trying to think of a reply that would work but before he could say anything his communicator flashed to life, the somewhat familiar face of the current on-duty flight director appearing before the vulpine.

"McCloud, you both are cleared to land but make it quick, we've got holiday traffic coming in and going out as fast as possible."

"Roger that," he answered, realizing they had gotten rather lucky at getting a spot so soon.

The two of them had been circling above the city out of the way for only a minute or so and the vulpine finally pulled out of the rotation and lined up with the runway, Krystal flanking his right and matching his pace perfectly.

She's gotten so much better at piloting that I would've ever imagined. That just makes her that much more amazing.

Within the next minute the two of them had touched down and rolled off to the side towards one of the hangers for smaller planes, a blue heeler wearing just about every type of winter clothing there was, waving two orange lights to direct them into their assigned hanger. By now the snow had really started to fall and the vulpine began to wonder if they'd be able to do anything at all if it kept up at this pace.

Can't really walk around in this, its too cold for that and it wouldn't be any fun.

As they put their planes into the designated spots he continued to try and plan out what they would do. In his mind everything had to be perfect for her, she deserved nothing but the best in his opinion. Sure he felt bad as well not having anyone to spend Christmas with, but Krystal was hurt more and he knew it. Her wounds were still fresh, her memories still lingered in her thoughts whereas his own scars were covered up and pushed to the back of his mind.

The Arwing's powerful engine slowly died down as he unstrapped himself and pulled on his coat, rolling down the sleeves to the white jacket yet still refusing to button it up. He threw open the canopy, stepping out onto the wing and looking back inside to make sure there was nothing he had forgotten.

I've got my wallet and a decent amount of credits set aside. I can make do with that, it should be more than enough...I hope.

On the inside he knew no amount of credits would ever be enough for the beautiful vixen but seeing as money wasn't something that he came across as often as some he knew he'd have to work with what he had. Which was a pretty decent amount when he thought about it.

Jumping down to the ground he began to feel the temperature change sink in, instantly envying the thick coat and hat that the blue heeler had on. He did his best to brush it off and ignore it, not wanting to show any signs of being a wimp in front of her. He stepped under the nose of his Arwing and made his way over to the vixen, her blue paw just beginning to pull herself out of the canopy. He reached his hand out to her, figuring he might as well push his luck a little further, only hoping that she wasn't insulted by his attempt at chivalry.

She lightly smiled at him and took his paw, jumping down and landing by his side. Yet as they began to head towards the exit she never let go, holding onto the vulpine's paw and matching his pace as they neared the door.

Okay just go with it. Don't screw up, just...go with it.

"S-so..." he stammered, opening the door and feeling relief overtake him once more as she continued to hold onto his paw. "I'm thinking maybe we should hold off on walking around for a while, you know, until the snow lets up."

The hangers were all connected, a door at the top corner of each one that would eventually reach the main building of the airport just beside the terminal. They were still inside from the snow, but even there the vulpine realized the temperature outside had to be as low 20 degrees, if not lower.

I wanted to explore the city, show her the town and all that, but in this weather is that even possible?

He casually looked the vixen over, realizing for the first time that she hadn't worn the best winter attire. In fact, he realized with a pang of guilt, she had probably worn the closest thing to cold weather clothing she had. Sure her flight suit was long sleeved and would retain heat, but much like himself she hadn't wanted to pretend this was a professional visit. No this was just the two of them spending the day together. No missions, no battles or fighting. He had dressed casual, wearing his boots, jeans, red shirt, and white jacket. But Krystal had dressed far lighter, wearing a very light coat over her black t-shirt, and jeans.

(check my profile for 2 links I have of how picture both of them, labeled casual Fox and casual Krystal)

"I don't mind," she answered, stepping closer to him and allowing that small smile of hers to cause him to blush as he felt her fur brush against his own.

"You sure?" he asked, doing his best to stay level headed, "I mean look out there." he added, nodding out the window at the massive amount of snow that continued to fall. "You wanna walk around in that?"

In the background he noticed numerous trucks and plows running back and forth in a desperate attempt to keep the runway clear and he realized once more how extremely lucky they were to have gotten approval to land in such conditions.

"Do you?" she asked, a playful look in her eyes as they entered yet another hanger. "Or are you scared?"

"Of what? Snow?"

She laughed and pulled him to the side, looking up at the number above their head that read 4.

"C'mon, just three more hangers to go. I promise the snow won't hurt you." she said teasingly, surprising the vulpine even more as she opened the door that led outside of the hanger they were currently in.

Instantly the full effect of the bitter weather hit them both and he confirmed his earlier temperature guess of 20 degrees. All around them the ground was white and snow continued to fall in heavy, thick flakes. Along with it came a harsh icy wind that brought tears to his eyes and caused him to look away.

"Still think this was a good idea?" he asked, not being able to hide the amusement in his voice as he made his way to her side to block the wind.

"No," she answered, holding her arms in an attempt to stay warm but still harboring that same playful look in her eyes, "I vote we go back inside." she finished, pulling him back towards the door.

"Oh no you don't!" he retorted, wrapping his arm around her waist and and picking her up.

"Fox!" she laughed, throwing her arms around his neck, "What are you doing?"

He returned the laugh, taking off in a jog through the snow towards the terminal with the vixen clinging to his side. "What's wrong?" he asked, having to raise his voice to be heard, "Are you scared of a little snow?"

"No!" she answered, still laughing, "I'm scared of you slipping and falling and dropping me!"

I'd never let that happen. I'd never let you get hurt.

He didn't know if she had heard his thoughts or not, but for that one moment he felt her hold around him tighten, her muzzle resting on his shoulder, and could've sworn he felt the vixen kiss him on the cheek. But it was too difficult to tell and the moment was over just as soon as it had begun, leaving the vulpine to wonder as he finally slid to a stop beside the door that led into the terminal.

She met his gaze, a look in her eyes that seemed to make everything around him vanish except the two of them. He wasn't sure if what he felt back there was real or just his imagination wanting to run wild again, but either way he'd never forget it. Slowly he let her down, reaching forward and brushing the snow from her hair before looking away in nervousness.

That was a stupid move. I don't know what came over me, I just picked her up and took off. I'm lucky she thought it was funny.

"Fox," she murmured, causing him to look up at her and meet her loving gaze, "Thank you."

So...she did hear that...

He blushed and looked away, the snow still falling heavily all around them but being the farthest thing from his mind at the moment. Part of him wanted to make a move right then and there, to just try it and get it over with. But he didn't, mainly because he was too scared of her not feeling the same way, but also because at that instant the door beside them flew open, an exhausted looking rabbit holding a clipboard standing in the entrance.

"I'm terribly sorry," he said, allowing them to step inside, "I had no idea this door was locked from the outside."

Fox prepared to tell him the truth, that they hadn't been waiting on someone to let them in, rather than waiting on his heart to figure out what to do next, but the hare took off just as soon as he had arrived and once again they were left alone. He turned back towards her and shrugged, the vixen lightly laughing once more as a lump of snow fell from his shoulder and to the floor.

"Maybe you were right," she said, stepping up beside him and wiping the snow from his coat, "Maybe we should hold off on walking around until the snow lets off."


"You two have a Merry Christmas!"

"You too," they both echoed in return to the sparrow as they exited the cab and stepped out into the snow.

In the time it had taken them to hail a taxi and find a nice place to eat the snow had finally began to let off, the flakes now much smaller than before but still falling at a decent pace. She allowed him to take her by the paw as she stepped out behind him, throwing him that smile of hers that still caused him to blush and look away for what she figured was the hundredth time that day..

He's so nervous around me, and he's trying so hard...maybe it can happen...

It would be the best Christmas of her life if the two of them finally coupled up. Just the thought of spending Christmas day with him, in his arms, it was enough to make her forget about everything else, even her disheartening memories.

She stepped up alongside him and continued to grasp his paw as they entered the little restaurant, not surprised to find it all but deserted. There were two or three customers at the counter but that was it, and she could instantly tell they were more better suited to brave the elements than either of the foxes were, wearing thick coats and hats, gloves sticking out of their pockets.

"After this how about we check around for some better clothes?" he asked, obviously noticing the same attire on the other patrons before leading her over to one of the small booth tables by the window. "It's way to cold out there to be wearing 'this'" he finished by showcasing his body.

She nodded in response, looking out the large glass window at the still somewhat busy streets of the city. Snow had covered almost everything but the roads themselves, yet the massive city refused to stop for it. Traffic was still rather dense and the streets still had a good number of citizens on them who were willing to put up with the icy wind and cold snowflakes. The vixen could easily imagine the city later that evening, having already noticed strands upon strands of Christmas lights running along the buildings and wrapping around street lights for miles on end.

He followed her gaze out the window and she easily let herself into his mind to see what he was thinking.

There's so much I want to do with her. I want to make today perfect, I want to make Christmas perfect for her. I'm glad it snowed but I just wish it would hold off for a while...

"Almost looks like Fichina out there," he murmured, dragging her back to reality as she turned back to face him. "So much snow and ice."

"If there was a threat of the planet exploding it would be just like Fichina." she answered with a laugh.

He grinned back at her and returned the laugh, "It's a beautiful planet now though," he added, holding her gaze and forcing each of them to do their best to not blush.

"Yeah," she replied, remembering how it looked after they had gotten the weather generator back online. "Thanks to you all those amazing things are able to survive."

He looked away at her compliment before blurting out one of his own, "Well, I mean the planet itself was beautiful."

"I...I think I see what you're saying...

"I love the blue color it has." he said softly, finally getting his point across to the vixen and causing her to blush and look away as well. "Blue is a beautiful color," he finished, looking over at her and trying to decide whether or not he had made a good or bad move.

Is he saying I'm beautiful? Is that what he means?

She decided to play along, "So is brown," she murmured, looking up at him through her bangs and seeing a blush accompany his small grin.

"No its not," he answered with amusement, "Brown is a lot of things but it is not beautiful. Blue, however, is."

She couldn't help but allow the smallest of laughs to escape her bowed head, looking up only enough to catch his amused and nervous gaze before laying her right paw out on the table. He studied it for a moment, and she was almost afraid he wouldn't be willing to make the next move, but those fears were almost immediately dashed. She felt his fingers intertwine with her own and finally looked up at him, a loving smile on her face as she met his nervous, but relieved expression.

Getting closer...

"I've always loved brown." she said softly, running her fingers across the back of his paw. "Since the first time I saw it."

She looked up and met his speechless gaze and could tell that his mind was racing as he tried to interpret what she meant by that. It's so simple Fox...I love you. Don't think about it so much, just realize it already! Just realize it and tell me how you feel...

"I've...always loved blue." he finally managed to murmur, "I just never thought a color like brown could have a chance with it."

"It has more of a chance than you'd ever believe."

Just do it already...please...

The static between the two of them was amazing, both finally hitting the right notes and moving to the same key, willing to take a chance and finally go after what they had been searching for all this time. The outside world seemed so far away now, their hearts and minds not caring about any of it at the moment, focusing only on the fox across from them. However it was this deep state that prevented either of them from remembering that they were still in the real world, and that it wouldn't wait on them forever.

"You two going to order something or not?" the Siberian husky asked for the 3rd time, finally jerking the two of them back to reality. She didn't care enough to notice what had been going on, and apparently wasn't willing to find out, merely standing back and tapping her order pad with a pen as the two foxes gave each other a final reluctant look before turning away.

No...we were so close! I know it!

"Uh yeah," he answered, a nervous cough leaving him as he quickly looked over his menu, "Just give me the special, coke to drink."

"And you?" she asked, not bothering to look up.

"The same," she muttered sadly, knowing they had been so close to finally taking their relationship a step further.

"Okay. Give me five minutes." the husky replied, emotionless as she turned back towards the kitchen, leaving the two of them alone once more.

Timidly she returned her paw to its previous spot on the table, grateful to see the vulpine's do the same. The moment may have been ruined, but it proved an important point to them both. They loved each other.

Now someone has to find the courage to make a move on it.

000 A/N: Feels rushed but its a oneshot...can't be 20K words. No one would read something that long.

"Still think we should find some warmer clothes?"

Going by how he felt at the moment he knew the answer was no. Despite the cold air and icy wind that lashed at his fur the vulpine knew he had never felt more warm in his life as he and the vixen slowly made their way down the snow covered sidewalk. She had ran her arm through his and was resting her head on his shoulder, matching him step for step as they aimlessly walked around the town.

This is so perfect. What am I waiting for? I've got all the proof I need, I should just take a chance and do it now.

But something was still holding him back, something was telling him to wait a little longer for the perfect moment to approach them. He loved her for all he was worth and could care less where it was when he told her so, but there was something inside him that wanted it to be special. He wanted it to be memorable, he wanted it to be perfect.

Because...she does love me...right?

I've always loved brown, since the first time I saw it.

He knew that not even his pessimistic train of thought could put up a valid explanation for that one, other than the obvious answer. She loved him. Even after he told her he thought he never had a chance, she told him otherwise. All that was left was saying it.

The snow had let off but the sky remained clouded over, the sun already beginning to set in the 4pm Cornerian sky. Already a few of the strands of Christmas lights were flickering to life but he knew it would be nothing now compared to later that evening, and he hoped by that time their beauty wouldn't be the only thing he could say he loved out loud. They continued to make their way down the somewhat crowded sidewalk, enjoying a mixture of the sights, sounds, and each others company, neither of them saying much, but thinking everything.

They rounded the corner and came out along the edge of Cornerian City's park, its playground and picnic area almost completely deserted in the chilly weather.

"Ever been to the park?" he asked, looking down at her.

The vixen looked up at him, still resting her head on his shoulder as she replied, "No. But it looks like we'll have it to ourselves...

He couldn't help but look away, doing his best to hold himself together a little while longer. "C'mon." he said softly, leading her across the street and through the gates.

The snow was all but done falling now with only the occasional flake landing every few seconds, but the storm had made its mark, leaving close to six inches blanketing the city. He looked down at her once again as they made their way across the park, noticing the shiver that had ran through her body.

"Here," he said, stopping and regretfully pulling his arm from the vixen as he slipped off his coat. "Take my coat." The mixed look of love and regret he got from her made the vulpine grin but he continued to hold out the white jacket.

"Fox I cant..." she started, knowing he was just as cold as she was. But before she could finish he slipped it around her, stepping behind the vixen and then back in front as he pulled it into place.

"Sure you can." he muttered, holding her gaze and smiling softly.

Okay...good...keep going with it...

"But what about you?" she asked, resting her head on his shoulder once more as they slowly resumed their walk. "Don't act like you aren't cold, I know you are."

"I'm fine," he replied, doing his best to prevent the shivers that his body was trying to release in order to gain heat. "This is nothing compared to Fichina."

This is worse than Fichina! At least I was in my Arwing then. But as long as she's okay, as long as its for her, then I'll go through anything.

"Fox its twenty degrees," she answered, still not happy that she was wearing the vulpine's jacket, "I know this isn't Fichina but its still cold."

"Which is why I gave you my coat." he replied, adding a little bit of determination to his voice in hopes of convincing her he would not take the jacket back. "So you wouldn't get cold."

She stopped walking, causing him to do the same and turn towards her as he did his best to look back at her.

"That has to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard."

Oh great, way to screw it up, just when every-...

He was instantly jerked from his thoughts as she wrapped her arms around him and fell into his chest, resting her head under his neck as the shock slowly faded from him.

"And the nicest," she added, still resting against him.

His arms gently fell on her shoulders as he returned the embrace, resting his muzzle on her head and breathing in her amazing scent. Yet another risky move had paid off and once again he was in the position he had dreamed of being in since he met her, holding her in his arms, never wanting to let go.

But you know what's missing! Just tell her already! Tell her you love her!

He had just opened his mouth, ready to say those three words that had been on the tip of his tongue for nearly a year now, when the all too familiar crunch of shoes on snow caused the vulpine's ears to flick behind him. He slowly leaned away from her, locking onto her gaze and struggling to decide what move to make next.

Just say it! Who cares if someone else hears!

But the footsteps crunched closer and this time he couldn't help but regretfully turn away from the vixen, an annoyed look on his face as he expected to be face to face with someone. But surprise overtook them both as, at first, nothing appeared to be there. But his gaze fell towards the ground and the look of annoyance in his eyes almost immediately faded as he looked down at the little bunny rabbit before him, still practically a baby as it waddled towards them under numerous jackets, pants, and gloves its mother had put on it.

"Ohhh," he heard Krystal moan, stepping beside him and kneeling down beside the rabbit.

Way to kill the moment kid.

Still he found it hard to feel anything but amusement towards the little guy as he finally made it to the vulpine's leg before taking the snowball he had been carrying and tossing it against his shin.

"Gotchoo." he said, a satisfied tone on his high pitched voice.

Krystal looked up at him and smiled, the vulpine not being able to do anything but blush and shake his head before kneeling down beside the kid as well.

"Where's your mother at little one?" the vixen asked softly.

The little rabbit paused for a moment, as if he was processing the question before finally turning around and pointing back in the direction of the snow covered playground 50 or so yards away. Narrowing his gaze the vulpine could see a family of 4 playing on the swings and building snowmen. Looking even harder he could tell that they were also rabbits, confirming the little guys answer.

"Don't you think she'll be worried about you?" Krystal asked, tilting her head to the side.

The little rabbit seen this and laughed, tilting his head to the side as well in order to mimic the fox. Once again she looked over at the vulpine who merely grinned and shrugged.

"C'mon," he finally said, holding his hands out towards the rabbit, "Let's go back to the playground. That sound fun?"

The little rabbit nodded in agreement, allowing Fox to pick him up and hold him in his arms in such a position to where he could still mimic the sapphire fox's expressions. He looked over at her, trying not to laugh as she stuck her tongue out, the little rabbit immediately doing the same.

Well it wasn't what I wanted to happen, but I guess it's better that we found him that someone else. Or he found us...

They had just about reached the playground at this point, the mother looking up at them and noticing the ball in the vulpine's arms. She quickly began taking attendance of her group and her eyes easily displayed her immediate worry as she came up one short. But the vulpine gave her a kind smile as she met them and the look in her eyes faded as he handed the little guy across to her.

"Is this yours?" he asked, letting go of the bunny.

"Oh yes thank you!" she replied, sighing in relief and giving the rabbit a hug. "He's so curious this one! Him and his brothers just refuse to stick together, there is always one who tries to go out on an adventure and be a hero."

"All kids are like that at some point." Krystal replied, nodding at the other ones who were working on the snowman now.

The mother rabbit set down the kid, whispering some stern words in his ear before allowing him to run off towards the others. "That they are," she replied, standing back up, "But I suppose you two know about that as well."

Once more the vulpine felt his face turn red and he began to focus more on the snowman being constructed rather than the fox beside him.

"Oh..." the rabbit replied, a knowing look on her face as she watched the vixen step beside him and take his hand, pulling his attention back. "Well you will."

He felt the paw around his own tighten as she stepped closer to him and rested her head on his shoulder before answering the rabbit, "I hope so."

The bunny could tell all too easily what was going on between the two of them and wasted no time in closing out the conversation. "Well...once again thank you. I really appreciate you bringing back my little Alexander."

He managed to nod in response before clearing his throat, "N-no problem."

The amused look on her face made his blush burn even hotter and he looked away, Krystal and the bunny exchanging a knowing grin and nod before the vixen turned and pulled him with her.

"Have a Merry Christmas!" she called out after they had taken a few steps.

"You too!" they echoed in unison.

She basically just told you she wants to have kids with you. You cannot possibly need any more proof! There is nothing holding you back, just make a move and tell her you love her.


For a moment they resumed their silent walk, her arm still wrapped around his own as she rested her head on his shoulder, matching him step for step. Eventually they made it to the middle of the park where the pond that was there had frozen over. But neither noticed it as the frozen water now covered in inches of snow, and they continued on, their hearts and minds focused on other more important things at the moment.

I cant believe I said that back there. What if he doesn't want to go that far? I mean, I know he loves me, or I think he does, but that doesn't mean he wants to have kids.

For once it was the vixen who was worrying about what she had said and done, a trait normally seen from him. But she tried to ignore it, instead just thinking about what had almost went down before they had been interrupted.

We had been so close. He was going to say something...I just hope something like that happens again soon.

This time it was the vulpine who couldn't keep his arm from twitching in response to the cold and she knew all to well why.

"Please take your coat back Fox," she asked, stopping and pulling him around to face her. "I promise you I'll be okay with just mine."

She could see the look of annoyance in his eyes, not directed at her, but himself for failing to disguise his coldness, and it only made her that much more determined to get him to wear it.

"I told you," he replied with a grin, "I'm fine."

"Well..." she answered with a shrug, "So am I. In fact," she added, stepping back and slipping it off, "I'm a little hot. Two coats is just too much."

She held the jacket out towards him, a determined, caring look in her eyes as she waited to see his response. He's freezing, and I don't have to be a telepath to know that. I mean, I know he cares about me but out here chivalry isn't the best custom to practice.

"You'd be helping me if you took this one." she finished.

For a moment he made no move, rather meeting her gaze and trying to decide what would be the best answer he could give. She could tell he didn't want to accept it, that he honestly didn't mind the cold as long as she was warm, but that wasn't the way she wanted it. If they were going to show just how much they truly loved each other then the suffering couldn't be one sided, they both had to share each others pain, not take it all upon themselves.

"Krystal...really I'm...


Her stern tone cut him off and she finally thought he would take the jacket back, but the look in his eyes suggested otherwise and before she could stop him the vulpine turned and began walking away.

"Fox just put the coat on!" she yelled, taking off after him at a jog.

But when she reached the vulpine her momentum, coupled with the slick icy surface they were unseeingly walking on, prevented her from stopping and she cried out his name just in time for him to turn around and catch her before both of them fell to the ground. The small rush adrenaline slowly faded away as she met his eyes, filled with surprise and amusement as he looked up at her and caused her to blush.

Another stupid move on my part! How did this happen? I thought he was supposed to be shy around me, when did I become the same way?

"You okay?" he finally asked, still holding onto her and looking back into her gaze.

She rested her paws on his chest, not realizing she had dropped the jacket, only focusing on the fox below her and how she loved being in this position.

"I'm fine," she murmured, trying to think straight, "I'm...I'm sorry."

Can't I just make a move? Does it have to be him?

He allowed a small grin to cross his face, "Don't be sorry," he replied gently, "If you want me to wear the coat that bad then I guess I can...for you."

He held the smile for a moment before finally allowing it to fall from his face, now only a look of indecision evident on either of their expressions as they looked into each others eyes. Her paws resting on his shoulders tightened the grip they had on the vulpine's shirt as she remained on top of him, her sight not wavering from his at all and the only sign of life between them being the clouds of breath that left with every exhale.

"I'm not worried about the coat anymore Fox." she whispered, praying that it was all she needed to say.

The look of doubt slowly faded from him and she closed her eyes in relief as the vulpine's mouth finally closed the small gap between them, issuing a soft, nervous kiss to the vixen.

"Neither am I." he replied, pulling away the smallest of margins and looking into her gaze.

No sooner had the words left his mouth did the vixen close the gap between them once again, wanting to get more than just a taste of the vulpine she was so madly in love with. The snow around them, the ice they were laying on, the 20 degree weather, it all seemed to just disappear at that moment. In fact, the only thing she was aware of anymore was his mouth against hers and his arms around her waist as she laid on top of the vulpine and continued to urge him on.

Finally...finally it happened.

It may have been 30 seconds, a minute, or even an hour, before they broke apart, but it still felt like it had happened too soon. She brought her right paw up to the side of his face, brushing some snow from his cheek and not being able to keep herself from laughing as more of it caved in from the imprint around his body and hit him in the ear, causing him to flick it away.

He smiled as well, unimaginable relief obvious in his gaze as he looked up at her.

"I...I love you." he said softly, still nervous but finally saying the three words that they had both been waiting for. "I love you Krystal."

For the first time in a very long time the vixen felt tears running down her cheeks that weren't accompanied with bad news or memories. No, this time tears of happiness and relief silently ran down her face as she fell forward and rested her head on his shoulder, ignoring the snow that fell on her.

"I love you Fox. I always have."

As the words left her she felt his grip on her tighten and looked up at him, smiling in happiness at the small outline of tears that had made their way into his eyes as well. She wasn't sure what it truly was about this moment that got to both of them. Sure admitting how they felt towards each other was a huge part of it, but there was something else there, something about finally having another to love, to be with not only at this time of the year but from now on that made the moment that much more heartwarming.

I may not have any family or friends left from my past but now I have Fox, and that's all I need.

He leaned down and gently kissed her once again, the vixen pushing back against him for a few seconds before finally pulling away and resting her muzzle under his neck, the effects of mother nature finally becoming noticeable to both of them again.

"You have no idea how many times I've dreamt about this." he muttered, holding her tight and looking up into the gray sky.

"Did any of them happen like this?" she asked, breathing in his scent and running her paw back and forth across his shoulder.

"They never lasted this long."

She smiled and looked up at him, the vulpine looking down and accidentally connecting their mouths yet again, but she went along with it and thankfully so did he. She realized this would never get old, that the thrill and passion that came from kissing him was something that she could do for the rest of her life and never grow tired of it. But she also knew it didn't stop here, that their relationship would go much further in the future and that she would get to show the vulpine just how much she really loved him.

He gave up trying to combat her, instead resting his head back in the snow and allowing her to scoot further up his body as she leaned down over him, urging the kiss on and on until they both finally broke away panting for breath. She met his gaze through the clouds of fog that left them with every exhilarated exhale and couldn't help but feel the spark of lust that ignited inside her at the sight of him below her, her legs on each side of his stomach, his eyes filled with love and excitement.

I don't want to stop here, I know all of that just now happened, but there's just so much more I want to prove to him, to show him how close we really are.

In the distance the sound of childish laughter reached them and seemed to calm the lustful waves that were crashing between the two of them. Sighing she slowly leaned down once more and kissed him again, this time softer but neither of them willing to end it until another cry of laughter reached them, this one much closer than before.

"God I love you." he murmured as she finally released him.

"You have no idea." she replied, resting her head on his chest once more and simply enjoying the amazing feeling that had overcome her.

For the next few moments they just laid there, his arms still holding her tight as she rested on top of him, the sound of the laughter and cries of the children steadily growing closer and closer as they made their way across the park.

"Krystal," he finally muttered, causing her to look up at him. "I'm absolutely freezing in this snow."

The vixen couldn't help but laugh, realizing that while she had been on top of him he been lying on the snow this entire time, or at this point the iced over pond which was even colder. She gave him one last quick kiss before rising up, extending both her paws out and pulling him up as well before immediately falling back into his chest, her arms wrapping around his back and feeling the icy fur that had settled in.

"I thought you didn't need a coat," she said teasingly, still resting against him.

"I never said I needed a coat," he replied, resting his muzzle against her cheek, "I just said I was freezing my ass off."

She looked up at him and smiled, meeting the vulpine's grin for a moment before kissing his once more, her arms making their way around his neck as she continued to marvel at how amazing something as simple as this could feel. It was like watching someone else eat the most delicious piece of candy for an entire year before finally getting to have a piece of her own, and now that she had hers she never wanted to stop. And had the repetitive sound of laughter that they had been hearing in the distance not intervene once again she wouldn't have.

"I cant wait to get home," she murmured as she pulled away. "Where we wont be interrupted."

A growl of approval escaped him and she couldn't help but run her hand down his chest as she thought about the next week alone with the fox.

A day ago I would have been dreaming about this, about how the week would go, about how Christmas 'could' be. But now, even though it has just now happened, I know it will be the best week and the best Christmas I've ever had. As long as I've got Fox to spend it with.

He looked down at her, that same relieved, elated look in his eyes that she had as he imagined not just the next week with the vixen, but the rest of his life. They were finally together and now the only thing that either of them had to worry about was how they could prove it in the best way possible.

Finally...we're together.


Across the galaxy, on planets where Christmas was still known and celebrated, breathing animals of every kind woke to the early custom of children jumping on the foot of their bed in happiness and excitement as they noticed a much larger display of presents under their tree than there had been the night before.

Of course this was not the case on GreatFox, but at the moment Fox McCloud realized he could care less if he found an entire sleigh of coal residing in the lounge with his name on it. Why? Because he already had the only gift he'd ever want. The rest of the Christmases for him would only serve as a memory of 'the day after the best day of his life', and Christmas itself would only serve as the best morning he'd ever woken up to as he looked at the vixen who was on top of him.

Her left arm was wrapped around his neck, her left leg resting on top of his waist, and her muzzle buried beneath his chin. Simply put, it was the most amazing sight he had ever woken up to. He could only grin as he imagined what it would be like if Falco had been there to walk in on the two naked foxes, the expression on his face would be priceless he was sure.

How so much could have happened in one day...how we went from what we were to this, it all seems so impossible, like a dream.

They had walked around town only for another hour or so, parting only for a very painful 10 minutes as they each went to separate stores to purchase gifts for the other, that both of them said they didn't want as long as they had each other. Regardless, two presents rested alongside the ones that Slippy and Peppy had left for them and the vulpine knew they would open them later.

But I'll let her sleep as long as I can because...damn she's so beautiful right now.

After arriving back on the ship the night before, having just gotten out of his Arwing, did she push him up against the wall of the hanger, passionately kissing the vulpine the entire time they made their way back up to the bridge and down the hall to his room. The lust between them finally became too much for kissing and the vixen slid off his shirt, stifling the vulpine's objection as he tried to tell her he didn't want things to go too fast for her. But she had known all along, he realized embarrassingly, that she was more than ready to take it to this level and so was he.

The next few hours made everything else that had happened that day seem so childish and silly, and he couldn't help but growl in amazement at how many times the two of them had passionately made love before finally collapsing on his bed and falling asleep in a mass of exhaustion and lustful satisfaction.

Best night of my life. No...best night so far.

He continued to replay everything over and over in his mind until minutes, or possibly an hour later he finally felt the vixen stir. At first she just rested there before finally opening her eyes and staring into the chestnut fur on the vulpine and smiling as she recalled all that had happened between them.

"Merry Christmas." he murmured, pulling her tighter against him now that the fear of waking her was gone.

She looked up at him and smiled, gently kissing him before resting her head on his arm.

"Merry Christmas," she mimicked, running her paw across his chest. "Last night..." she continued, leaning forward and kissing him on the cheek, "was amazing."

He growled in approval, turning on his side and wrapping his arm around her before rolling on top of the vixen, "So...you don't think it happened too fast?"

That's all I'm worried about. Us doing all of that on the first night, what if she regrets it? What if she just felt pressured to have sex with me because I told her I loved her? What if...

"Fox." the vixen said, her voice determined but caring, "I've been dreaming about doing that for far too long. If anything..." she said, her voice softer and more loving, "It didn't happen fast enough."

He held her gaze for a moment before finally smirking and falling forward into another kiss, loving everything about the moment now. Knowing that she had been ready and willing to do all of that, that she didn't regret it and still loved him, it finally put an end to all of his doubts. There was nothing left for him to worry about now except making her the happiest vixen in the universe.

"So..." he finally stated, pulling away and resting the tip of his muzzle against hers, "Since its Christmas and all, you think we should open our presents?"

The playful look in her eyes gave her away but she sounded all too sincere when she answered, "That depends. Do I have to let go of you?"

He felt her latch her arms and legs around him as he rose from the bed, laughing while at the same time savoring the amazing feeling of her perfect, naked body against his own. Yet even if they were the only ones there he knew they'd have to put something on if they ventured out into the ship.

It's amazing though, how easily we can be around each other after just one night. She's mine and I'm her's, and after everything we did last night its like we've been together for years.

He looked around the room for a moment before finally reaching down and grabbing the bed sheet, laughing along with the vixen as the two of them wrapped it around their intertwined bodies before finally making their way out of the room and down the hall.

"I don't see how you can open your present without using your hands though," he finally said, sitting down on the couch next to the miniature tree that Slippy had insisted on putting up before he left.

He felt her paws leave his back and slowly make their way up his chest until they popped out around his neck, pulling him forward once again and connecting their lips. But she went further than he had expected and the cocoon that the bed sheet had formed around them prevented the vulpine from catching himself as they fell onto the floor, the vixen still kissing him.

"Sorry," she finally gasped, the familiar fire in her eyes, "It's just...its...

"Amazing." he finished, closing the gap once more and enjoying the feeling as he had so many times before.

Is it always going to be this great? Will every kiss always be this passionate and hot?

"I hope so." she muttered, slipping away from him and catching his gaze with a smirk. "But we'll never get anything done if that's the case."

"Hell we cant even open Christmas presents," he retorted, smiling at her and issuing another, softer kiss, that both of them somehow managed to pull away from after a few seconds.

He worked his arm up through the covers until he could reach over his head and feel the few presents that had been piled up beneath the little tree. There were only four, Falco having already grabbed his before he left, so it was no trouble for him to find Krystal's, it being the smallest of them all.

"Here." he said, pulling it down and checking it to make sure it was hers. "Merry Christmas."

She laughed and took the present, holding it out above her in order to open it. He watched in satisfaction as the full effect of everything continued to play out in his mind. Here he was, Christmas morning, wrapped in a bed sheet cocoon with the vixen of his dreams, both of them still naked nonetheless, after a night of unbelievable sex. It was still hard to believe and he was still waiting for himself to wake up like so many times before, but it never happened, and he figured that until it did he might as well enjoy this the best he could.

"Oh Fox..." she whispered, finally getting past the wrapping paper and finding the jewel case, "It's so beautiful..."

"Like you." he replied, reaching forward and taking the necklace from the vixen, only to wrap it around her neck.

"I cant believe you spent so much on me," she continued, holding it out and looking over the ruby that hung from it inside a silver encasing. "You're going to make my gift look horrible." she finished by playfully knocking him on the shoulder, causing him to grin and lean forward.

"You are my gift." he replied, softly kissing her, "and you don't look horrible. You look amazing."

Tears rested on her eyes but she brushed them away, reaching over him and grabbing his present which was almost three times as big as her own.

"Here," she said handing it to him, "It's not much but..."

He once more leaned forward and pressed his lips against her own, interrupting her attempts to sound pessimistic about her gift. He was sure that whatever it was that she had gotten him would be perfect.

Not that it matters. Just having her is enough, I could care less about getting presents.

He got the paper off and was surprised to find a regular brown box, giving him no heads up as to what company might have produced the contents inside. Shooting the vixen a look of amusement he popped off the lid and looked inside, only to find yet another box. Once again he cast a grin at her before tossing the larger box and opening the smaller one, only to find, surprise surprise, an even smaller box. At this point he was genuinely curious as to where she was going with this and opened the third box to find, as was tradition at this point, another box.

"Last one?" he asked, holding a box now about the same size as the one her necklace had been in.

"Open it and see." she replied, nodding at it and forcing a small smile to her face.

He grinned and popped the lid off, this time actually seeing something other than a box, something that took him completely by surprise. Something he hadn't seen in a long time but would never ever forget.

"You cant buy this at a store." he murmured, holding the shard between his fingers. "You cant buy this anywhere."

The purplish tint that the crystal gave off reminded the vulpine all too well of the encasement that he had first seen her trapped inside of. That was where it had all started, on Sauria, collecting the Krazoa Spirits in order to save her, to have her freed from that jeweled cell. Somehow she still had a piece of it, a memory from the first time they had met, and she was giving it to him.

"It was stuck in my arm," she murmured, knowing what he was thinking without using her powers. "It was the only piece that we didn't leave behind, I assume the rest fell off."

He continued to look over the shard, remembering the adventure that had taken place on the planet and everything that had went down then up till now. So much had happened, yet this piece still remained to remind him of where it all started. Seeing that sapphire goddess trapped inside this shard when it was whole.

"Krystal I cant take...mhfmm...

She had no intention of letting him refuse the gift and he figured that was the case as her mouth met his own. He closed his hand around the shard and wrapped his arms around her, generously returning the unexpected kiss.

The gift was amazing, but still nothing compared to you. I got what I really wanted for Christmas, it was you. That's all I ever wanted and that's all I'll ever need.

She pulled away only for a moment, the vulpine dropping the jewel in her paw as she put it back in the case and on the table.

"I forgot to tell you," she said lustfully, "there's two parts to my gift."

Before he could ask what the second part was her mouth had already reconnected with his own and he easily put the pieces of the puzzle together as he felt her paws slowly make their way down his body.

"I hope the second part is as good as the first," he managed to pant after she pulled away for only a brief second.

"No." she answered, her eyes filled with lust as managed to whisper one final thing in his ear, "It's far better."

000 End