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Could Have Said No

Alpha Sapphire

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Just something I jotted down...

Star Fox Oneshot: Could Have Said No

- Corneria City - Six years after the Anglar Blitz -

As his old fashioned motorcycle rumbled beneath him, he couldn't help but grin as he leaned his weight into the next turn to make the tight corner on his path through the alleyways of Corneria's capital city. Above him, the occasional hover car or bike would fly by, the drivers oblivious to the biker down below. A long time ago, they would have stopped had they seen him, stopped to say hi, to ask for an autograph, or just to thank him.

But that was a long time ago.

If he was honest with himself, he really didn't mind it that much. He used to have to go to great lengths to disguise himself if he wanted to ride his bike through the city. His entire team did, but things had changed ever since the end of the Anglar Blitz, where he had failed to lead his team to victory.

They had broken apart, the team that he loved like a family drifted away from each other over the years. Each one of them went their own ways, and the people of Corneria who had once celebrated them as heroes found new idols to cheer on.

He sighed inside his helmet as he exited the back alleyway and slowed down to enter a parking lot. He moved his restored bike over to a small storage space and leaned it against the wall before he punched in the code to open the doors. As the doors slid open and he walked the bike in, his helmet connected to the systems in his apartment.

He set his bike against the wall as he blinked at an icon in the corner of his helmet's visor, triggering a set of commands inside his apartment. Lights turned on, some coffee started to brew and the helmet connected to his video call system to see if he had received any messages. He noticed that he had a few waiting for him to listen to when he actually set foot in the apartment.

He left the storage locker and locked the door behind him, whistling softly as he headed for the stairs leading to the upper floor where his apartment was. He reached into his pocket for the DNA-coded key card and swiped it against the pad next to his door. In response, the bolts inside the door unlocked and the door opened for him. He tapped the close button as he stepped through, the door locking as it closed.

He flicked the strap that held the helmet to his head loose as he pulled it over his ears, shaking his head to try to get his headfur to fall back flat as he walked into his apartment's hallway.

Fox McCloud set the helmet down on his side table as he walked into his small living room. He took off his jacket, hung it on a peg, and stopped to study himself in the mirror. His jeans and white tank top were nothing that stood out; yet for some reason, he felt odd in them, even after all this time. Shaking his head, he brushed his hand across a control panel in the wall and the shades that covered the window started to rise while the video screen against the wall jumped to life, showing his missed messages. He tapped the screen as he walked past, and his messages jumped to life.

He walked into his kitchen as voices started to play from the vid-screen. A gentle male voice echoed out first. "Three new messages. First message received two days ago."

"Hey Fox, long time no see." Fox stopped what he was doing and leaned around corner to stare at the vid-screen as Fara Phoenix continued talking. "Do you know how long it took me to find your contact information? It's a good thing my business has made me enough money to fund it all." The fennec brushed a loose strand of hair over her large ears before she continued. "Anyway, I just wanted to see what you've been up to. It's been a long four years since you vanished into the bustle of Corneria city." She paused again. "I...uh...I found our yearbook from the academy. I saw what you wrote back then, and well..." She sighed. "That's a topic for another time I guess. I actually have a job opportunity for you. If you might be interested, you should give me a call back." A voice spoke up from the background and Fara looked distracted for a moment before she nodded. "Got to go—duty calls."

Fara's face faded away and Fox leaned up against the wall in thought. His attention was pulled back to the vid-screen as his next message started playing.

"Fox! You are not going to believe who walked into my shop today."

"Your shop?!"

Falco Lombardi flinched on the screen as he glanced over his shoulder. "Our shop, our shop, my bad." He shook his head and turned back to his camera. "I swear, she's been getting more and more cranky as the pregnancy continues." He shook his head. "I thought I was the hot headed one."

"What was that?!"

Falco flinched before he glanced back over his shoulder again. "Nothing, just a joke between old friends." He frowned as something clattered behind him. "Anyway, Fara freaking Phoenix came in here looking for you today. Said she had a job offer for you, I know that you've just been living off the money from selling the ship for now. But I figured I would pass along your contact information." He paused. "It surprised me that she even knew that I worked here with Katt. Back in the academy, she only ever seemed to have eyes for you, if you know what I mean. Just think about it, man – you've been alone for a long time now. It might be time to look into getting some female company." He glanced over his shoulders quickly before he lowered his voice. "Just don't get them pregnant, they get cranky over everything!"

"I heard that!"

Falco flinched. "Oh crap." He looked up and his eyes widened. "Hey! No! That wrench is for working on the cars!" He looked down at the camera. "Gotta run." with that Falco's face faded and Fox shook his head before he turned back to his kitchen and grabbed an apple from his fridge, giving it a quick wash in the sink before he started eating it. As he walked back out with his fruit, the messages continued to play.

"Last Message. Sent today, three hours ago."

"Hey Fox, I'll keep it short, but I'm meeting up with some friends at the old bar tonight, I know you're off on your motorcycle ride this weekend, but if you get back in time, you should join us. It's been a while since we got a chance to talk face to face." Bill Gray gave a quick one handed salute as his voice and face faded.

Fox looked at the time displayed in the corner of his vid-screen. "I did get back earlier than I thought I would." He shrugged his shoulders. "Might as well go meet up with them later." Fox paused and sniffed his arm fur. "But first, a shower."

Forty minutes later found Fox locking his apartment door behind as he quickly moved down the steps and headed for the sidewalk. His outfit had changed a little, his blue jeans had been swapped for black, and his tank top for a long sleeved dark green shirt with a vest pulled over it. He made his way through the street of Corneria city, eventually arriving at a small bar tucked into an alleyway. He walked up to the entrance and locked eyes with the Bouncer.

The bar was normally for pilots and military men only, but they had changed the rules recently, and if you were willing to pay the price, the Bouncer would let you in. He had been to the bar when he led Star Fox, but it had been quite a few years since then; and he doubted that he could get in for free anymore.

The large wolfhound blocked the door as Fox walked up to it. He reached for his wallet, but as he began to pull it out, the Bouncer waved his hand in front of him. "You don't have to pay, McCloud. Not everybody has forgotten what you've done for us."

Fox paused for a moment before he pulled his hand out of his pocket and nodded. "Thanks." he ducked past the Bouncer and into the bar, his nose immediately hitting the smell of food and his ears twitching at the low music and the gentle hum of quiet conversation. He made his way to a table at the back and pulled out a chair, sitting down and nodding at the two people around him.

"Fox, glad you could make it." Bill Gray gave him a warm greeting with a firm handshake before Fox turned to the other table's occupant.

"Peppy. How's the military treating you?"

Peppy Hare frowned as he pulled off his general's hat and set it on the table in front of them. "There are some days where I sit around doing nothing, and others where I curse the fact that Pepper requested that I replace him." He sighed and rubbed one of his ears. "Then there are the days that I have to call Star Wolf for something, and I usually end up here at the end of those."

Fox frowned when Peppy mentioned his old rivals. "What's going on?"

Peppy shook his head as Bill spoke up. "Nothing serious, just a little dust up with some rebels on Macbeth, and they were the closest people who we could get out there to settle it."

Fox took a moment to order a drink from a passing waiter before he turned back to Bill. "How did that go?"

Bill frowned as he stirred the straw in his own drink. "About as well as you would expect, Star Wolf may be the new 'heroes' of Lylat, but they still play rough." He paused to take a drink. "The Rebel leader isn't expected to make it through the night, and the four that served as his second in command are sitting in the morgue on Macbeth right now."

Fox shook his head. "What are you guys going to do about it?"

Peppy took over. "We'll dock their pay for the casualties and for the damages that they caused, but there isn't a much more that we can do beyond that. We paid them for a job, and they completed it." Peppy's frown deepened. "I wish I could just dismiss them, but the public still treats them as heroes, and doing that would make them distrustful of the military." He leaned back and smiled wistfully at Fox. "Things were so much easier when I didn't have to worry about what people thought about the military."

Fox chuckled. "Yeah, back when we took our jobs from them."

Bill nudged Fox. "Speaking of jobs, are you planning on getting back into flying anytime soon?"

Fox was silent for a moment. "Not really. After selling the Great Fox to the military, I still have enough money to live comfortably for at least another year. Yet..."

Peppy spoke up quietly. "You can only go on so many motorcycle trips, right?"

Fox nodded. "Yeah, that's why I'm here right now, I ended up turning back early and getting home ahead of schedule." he looked at Bill. "Fara called me a few days ago."

Bill spluttered slightly as he inhaled part of his drink, as he cleared his throat he stared at Fox. "Fara Phoenix? As in the CEO of Phoenix Incorporated? Also you old flame from back in the academy? That Fara?"

Fox shook his head. "Yeah, and she was calling about a job offer. I might end up taking her up on it."

Bill leaned back in his seat and crossed his arms. "Well, it's about time you got back out there."

Fox rolled his eyes. "That's the second time I've heard that today, and it's not like that." He paused and thought about what she had said in her message. "At least, I don't think it is anyway." he paused again and glanced down. "If something was to happen, I don't really know if I would say no."

Bill glanced at Peppy who spoke up. "You've been alone for a long time Fox. It might be time to start looking around."

Fox nodded and looked up with a smile. "I know Peppy, it's just..." he trailed off and raised his glass. "Hey, let's move onto other topics, alright?"

Peppy and Bill nodded, raising their own glasses in a silent toast.

Fox left the bar an hour later right after the sun had set. After saying goodbye to Bill and Peppy in the parking lot, he began walking back to his apartment. It wasn't too long before he reached the building and headed up the stairs. His hand already held the card to let him in, and he touched the card against the pad. As the door slid up, he grew tense.

He had never heard the bolts in the door disengage.

He moved back a step from the door, crouching down to the side and peeking inside to see if anybody was waiting for him in the hallway. He crept in, keeping low to the floor as he made his way to the wall where he had hung his jacket earlier. He moved the jacket out of the way and reached into the holster there, pulling out his blaster and thumbing off the safety. He glanced around again before he moved further into the apartment, keeping his back to the wall as his eyes roamed.

He glanced around the corner to his kitchen, but didn't see anybody. Then, he quietly spun around to glance around his living room.


He frowned and moved towards the only other way out of his living room, the small bedroom and bathroom that composed the remainder of his apartment. As he moved past the couch, he glanced down at it and felt his eyes widen when he realized that somebody was lying on the couch.

The figure wore a large cloak that covered most of its form, but Fox could tell that it was a vixen from the tail resting on her chest. Her basic form was all he could make out in the gloom. As he slowly started backing away from her, he kept his weapon trained on the intruder.

"You can put the gun away. If I was going to hurt you, it would have been while you were opening the apartment door."

Fox stood up and hit the light switch behind him before focusing on the intruder, who moaned at the sudden light. "You've got five seconds before I blast you."

The vixen sat up with her hand covering what little of her face was exposed by the hood of her cloak. An arm-length sleeve covered the hand blocking her fur color; and as she sat up, her tail vanished behind her. "That would be impressive." She moved two of her fingers, revealing the charge pack to a blaster that she held against her palm with her thumb.

Fox glanced down at his weapon as she chuckled softly. "That's what happens when you spend too much time out of the field, Fox. You forget the weight of a blaster with its charge pack."

Fox glanced down at the hilt of his weapon and frowned when he saw that the weapon had no power. He raised his eyes to the intruder. "Who are you?"

The vixen chuckled again as she reached up and pulled the hood of her cloak back. "You don't recognize me?"

Fox gasped softly as he realized who was sitting on his couch. "You're Kursed. A bounty hunter."

Kursed frowned. "I suppose a lot has happened. It makes sense that you wouldn't make the connection." She sighed, pulled her legs up underneath her and tucked her arms underneath her cloak. "You used to know me by another name, Fox."

Just as it clicked in his mind, Fox blinked. Aside from the purple hair that ran down her back, the rest of her fur was...


Krystal smiled at sadly. "Hey Fox, long time no see."

Fox let the blaster fall from his loose hands and clatter on the floor as he stared at the woman whom he had chased away so many years ago. "What...what are you doing here?" he asked softly as he slid down the wall, shock still evident on his face.

Krystal closed her eyes and sighed. "I've given up on being Kursed. I wanted a change of pace, so I came back to Lylat." She shrugged off her cloak, revealing blue jeans and a green vest over a purple t-shirt. Her right arm was covered in the full length sleeve and Fox noticed something amiss with what little coloring that he could see of her arm at the shoulder blade. "One of the first things I did was look up Star Fox. Imagine my surprise when I saw that you had disbanded the team and sold the Great Fox. I've spent the last few days tracking you down." She glanced at him. "Did things really go that badly for you after I left?"

Fox nodded slowly. "Yeah, with the system celebrating Star Wolf as their new heroes, there weren't that many jobs left for Star Fox. We all decided to go our separate ways." Fox shook his head. "I still can't believe this. What happened to you? You look different, and your voice, not to mention your arm."

Krystal sighed. "It's a long and ugly tale that would take a few days. To answer your questions though…" Krystal rubbed her neck as she spoke up. "I caught a piece of shrapnel in the neck on a job. It didn't hit anything critical, but it did damage my vocal chords, which dropped the tone of my voice. As for my face, I had to change my looks a little to prevent people from connecting me to Krystal." She reached up with her left hand and rubbed her arm. "I'm a little surprised that you caught on to the arm," she sighed. "That one was a bit more painful than most." She reached up and started pulling the sleeve down, closing her eyes as she spoke up. "Please don't freak out too much."

Just as Fox was about to ask what she meant, he saw her arm, or what was left of it. Just below her shoulder blade, the fur of her body faded away, replaced with a smooth dark purple metal arm that pulsed with blue lines across it. Krystal finished pulling off the sleeve and let it fall to the ground, she held her arm straight out from her body and waited for Fox to say something.

Fox stared wide eyed at the mechanical arm. The hexagonal panels of metal and light and the way the arm moved brought back vivid memories of almost a decade ago. His voice became quiet as he spoke.


Krystal visibly flinched as Fox said the name. However, she nodded a moment later. "Yeah, turns out that there were other places that managed to fight off the Aparoids by learning how they worked and then reprogramming them." She opened her eyes and looked at Fox. "The same explosion that threw shrapnel into my neck also blew my arm clean off and damaged my right eye as well." Krystal reached up with her mechanical arm and tapped her right eye, causing a soft 'ting' to ring out. "Turns out that if you know what you're doing, Aparoid assimilation can actually be used for some amazing medical procedures. Some doctor rebuilt my arm using Aparoids, and attached it to my body without any adverse side effects. The little robots even rebuilt my damaged eye. The only reason they didn't fix my voice was because my vocal chords had already healed up by the time they had been injected into me."

Fox glanced at her arm before looking back at Krystal. "You just let them inject you?"

Krystal tucked her mechanical arm against her chest. "You'll be surprised how easy it is to overlook evil things when you're forced to the brink." She frowned at Fox. "What?"

Fox's face slowly worked its way into a scowl. "So, after all this time, you're okay with the Aparoids? Okay with what they did here? You know that Sauria is still recovering right?"

Krystal stood up. "Hey, it was either this or die."

"Then you should have died!" As he raised his voice, he slashed his hand through the air before he backed away from her. "You should have died, before you let those...things...into you."

Krystal blinked as she stared at Fox, then she glanced away and let out a small huff of air. "I suppose you would have been happy if I had died then?"

Fox didn't answer her. Instead, he leaned up against the wall and looked away. Krystal shook her head and let a small laugh escape her. "I don't really know what I expected. I had hoped you had changed while I was gone."

Fox scoffed. "Changed? Like you? Into a cold blooded killer that accepts evil into her body?"

Krystal snarled and rushed forward, slamming Fox into the wall with her mechanical arm and pinning him there. "Wake up, McCloud! The universe isn't a place of sunshine and rainbows for everybody. There are places outside of Lylat that you wouldn't survive for a minute in."

Fox growled right back at her. "If Lylat is too tame for you, then go back! Leave!"

"I can't!"

Krystal's two words were loud enough that the residents around Fox had no doubt heard them. She released Fox and backed away, dropping limply onto the couch. "I can't," she repeated softly.

Fox rubbed his chest where he had been pinned before he spoke up. "Why can't you?"

Krystal remained silent for a full minute before she responded, "I can't do it anymore."

Fox failed to reply; and after another moment, Krystal continued, "You called me a cold blooded killer just now. For a while, that's what I was, there was nobody around me that I cared for. All I wanted was my next mark. The thrill of the hunt, the joy of taking down a target, the satisfaction of getting paid for a job well done." She shook her head. "In a way, it was almost like being part of Star Fox again." Fox opened his mouth and Krystal held up a hand. "Stop, I know what you're going to say. Just let me finish." Fox closed his mouth and nodded, allowing Krystal to pick up where she had left off. "After a while I realized that what I was really enjoying was ending somebody's life. I really was a cold blooded killer; and I was okay with that—more than okay, even. I was happy with myself. People respected me." She looked up at Fox. "Or so I thought. One day while walking through a market, I realized something—the looks in the eyes of the people who moved out of my way. It wasn't respect—it was fear; and it was almost exactly the same look the people of Lylat would give me before I left." Krystal opened her mouth but closed it and swallowed hard.

Fox watched as she glanced away, his frown fading. "Something else happened."

Krystal blinked, and Fox saw the moisture hiding in her left eye. "Somebody hissed at me, just like the people of Lylat had started doing. He was a cat I think, just on his way; maybe he had a bad day and knew who I was, or maybe he just didn't see me and he hissed when we bumped shoulders." Krystal looked down at her hand. "The next thing I remember is leaving him the alleyway, red dripping off my fist." She glanced back up at Fox with worry written on her face. "I killed him, not because he was mark or because he had attacked me. I killed him just because he had hissed." Krystal swallowed. "Who deserves to die for that?"

She stood up and walked over to the window. "I've seen some other bounty hunters, the ones who enjoyed their job a little too much. I always vowed that I wouldn't become one of them, but that night, I realized that I had." She placed her hand against the window. "So I left, I emptied my accounts, and spent it all getting back here."

Fox took a step towards her. "Why? The last time you were here, people considered you a traitor. They hated you. Why would you come back to that?"

Krystal glanced over her shoulder, locking eyes with Fox. "I came back because of you." Before Fox could say anything, she continued, "Back when we were together, those were the best times of my life. I never cared what anybody said to me or what they thought, as long as you were near. That was all I needed."

Fox broke eye contact, glancing away as he folded his arms. "Did you really expect to just be able to waltz back into my life and expect me to accept you with open arms? I moved on, Krystal—a long time ago."

Krystal scoffed as she turned back to the window. "I never expected you to welcome me back. A part of me hoped, but after everything we said to each other, I knew it would take a miracle for that to happen." She lowered her head and her voice took on a somber element. "I don't care if you hate me now, Fox. I don't care if you want to restart. I just want to be nearby...close to the one person who truly knew me..." She drifted off and Fox glanced at her back as she whispered one last word that he almost didn't hear. "...Please..."

As Fox turned around, his mind struggled to understand. "You don't have anywhere else to go?"

Krystal sighed. "No. I spent all my money getting here. I pushed my ship beyond its limits, and I had to ditch it in a field far outside the city."

Fox waited a minute before he moved towards his bedroom. "You can sleep on the couch tonight. I need to think things over." Before Krystal could say anything, He walked over to his bedroom and shut the door behind him, locking it and moving over to his bed. As his thoughts continued to run around his mind, he limply dropped onto the mattress.

Krystal glanced at the locked door before she turned to face the couch. "Thank you, Fox…for listening, at least." She moved over to the couch and laid down, making herself comfortable and quickly falling into the first peaceful sleep she had experienced in years as one thought ran through her head.

"At least he didn't say no."

Inside his room, Fox sat up on his bed, staring at his door. "Can I really just let her back into my life? She's changed so much...bounty hunting...the Aparoids...and yet..." He fell back on his bed, staring at his ceiling. "Yet...at the same time, the moment I realized it was her, this weight lifted off my chest." He sighed and closed his eyes. "I suppose nothing bad will come from letting her stay for a few days...it might even...be nice...I could have...said no..."

With that last thought, Fox drifted off to sleep as well, his own thoughts peaceful for the first time in a long while.

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Mm... an interesting story. I'd like to see a continuation if that's even possible.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, I don't even know why I did this in the first place, but I don't want to let this go any longer. This story is not actually not mine; I copied it from Fanficion.net. I am very sorry for this and it will not happen again.

If a mod could lock or delete this thread, I would really appreciate it. Thank you. And once again, I am sorry.

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