If you think that was cute, try this:
Flight of the Dragon-Shifter
Leon was reading a news article in the mess hall with Panther and May when Kyle walked into the room. Krystal was cooking what was obviously a meal for two, Wolf was at another table with Lucy sitting next to him, Slippy, Amanda, and Bill were at the table across from them, and Razuul and Dash were at the table behind them.
It was unexpected, then, when Kyle pulled Krystal into his arms, kissed her, and put her back onto her feet.
Morning, babe, Krystal chuckled.
Morning, babe? Leon repeated. Did I miss something?
Dont ask, Krystal and Kyle responded simultaneously.
They sat down next to each other to eat, laughing and joking like a newlywed couple.
Fox and Fara walked into the mess, and, noticing how Kyle and Krystal laughed and joked together, made a sly comment.
I see we have a new couple among us, he said.
Speaking of which, Kyle said, getting up to approach Fox, I was... hoping youd let Krystal and I head off to a place that has... sentimental value... to me. A place where I can be what I am and no one will be running.
Fox smiled as he weighed his words. After twenty-three years of fighting through hell, mekh fredt, he responded, you deserve it. You and Krystal both. Kyle smiled, and was about to salute Fox traditional Dragonarian-style when Fox stopped him. Kyle... theres no need to salute me. Head of Star Fox I may be next to Wolf and Star Wolf that doesnt make this team the Dragonarian military. On Star Fox and Star Wolf, were more than a band of commandos; were family something youve been missing your whole life.
A single tear left Kyles eye as he contemplated this. Seconds seemed like hours as he thought this over.
Finally, he spoke, Thank you... malsibblus. He sat back down with Krystal to eat his breakfast as Fox walked over to Razuul.
What did he call me? he asked.
He called you malsibblus, Razuul replied. Its Dragonarian for brother. With a pause as he glanced to Kyle now leaving with his lover Razuul added, What you told him struck home.
In what way? Fox asked.
To a dragon-shifter to Kyle family is everything, Razuul explained. He was orphaned from the moment he was created. He had no family until now.
I know, Fox stated.
No, Razuul corrected, You dont. Family to dragon-shifters like Kyle is much more complex. To Kyle, we are the angels of his redemption. We embraced him as part of our family; we saw who and what he truly is, and we did not cast him down. We are his family; we are in his mind and in his heart and what a dragon-shifter keeps in his heart, he will fight to protect.
Fox smiled as he
ched Kyle and Krystal leave. Thats... pretty deep, he said.
A dragon-shifters life is one of depth and meaning, Razuul said. Kyles is no different. When we sheltered him, took him in as one of our own, he became a part of us in a manner that not all of us yet realize. When we are hurt by foreign hands... when we call out for help in a galaxy of evil... when we bleed from wounds of despair, he will be there the spirit of vengeance. The ghost of redemption. The phantom of hope.
It seems we got more than we bargained for when we got him, Wolf remarked.
There is never more than one bargained for when one never bargained in the first place, Fox said.
Though none of them spoke it, all of Star Fox and Star Wolf acknowledged that Fox was right. They had been given a new member to aid them in the fight against the Tondam Corporation one who they knew could destroy Tondam. But in his unification with Krystal, they had received so much more.
In the end, they were not only warriors on the same team, but brothers to the same cause.
* * *
Kyle was finishing packing his and Krystals sundries onto his JX-70 when Krystal came into the hangar.
So, this... special planet you have in mind... what is it called?
Its an out-of-the-way world called Leona IV, Kyle replied. I mastered my dragon-shifting skills there; on that world, I can wander around in dragon form and no one will bat an eyelash.
Wow, Krystal remarked. Sounds like a nice place.
It is, Kyle added as he finished loading the last of the items onto his JX-70. After I burnt down the... lab... I headed there. I was only six at the time and I stayed there, under the noses of the people, until I mastered my dragon-shifter skills at age twelve. After that, I joined the Dragonarian military, and I havent seen Leona IV since then.
So how can you walk in dragon form amongst the populace without their fear if no one knew you were there?
I became a local hero on my twelfth birthday, before I joined the military, Kyle replied. Stopped a hostile takeover of the Leona IV Trading & Commerce plaza by one of Tondams rivals. I saved more than ninety lives that night, and ever since then, the people of Leona IV regarded me as Wingett Marudakh the Winged Marauder.
Alert, Katts voice said over the intercom, Exiting slipspace in thirty seconds. Kyle, Krystal, be ready.
Shall we? Kyle asked, extending his hand. Krystal took his hand, and they entered the JX-70 together.
Wow, Krystal commented. The interior is larger than I thought.
Yeah, Kyle answered as he settled into the pilots seat, The tech behind this... spacious interior is very complicated. Suffice to say, it can make a small, enclosed room seem as big as a small moon.
Wow, Krystal said. Id quite like to see that.
There was a very slight jolt as the Great Fox II decelerated, exiting slipspace. Moments later, the hangar doors opened. Kyle flipped a few switches, and the hatch in the back which Krystal and Kyle entered closed and hissed as the room was pressurized, and beeped with a green light.
Sit tight, baby, Kyle said, Were taking off.
Okay, Kyle, Fox said, Since I dont need to clear you for take off, I will say this; take care.
Thanks, Fox, Kyle replied. The hangar doors had finished opening when the JX-70 pushed off the deck. The hull vibrated as the ship lifted off.
A little cold in here, Krystal remarked. Is it always like this?
Every time I travel in this thing, Kyle affirmed. But the computer adjusts atmosphere according to the body temperature of whoever is in the craft. Needless to say, itll warm up soon.
So... where exactly are we going? Krystal asked.
To the place I lived in when I was mastering my dragon-shifter skills someplace that no one would think to look, Kyle replied. The planet Leona IV got bigger by the second, and Krystal saw lush jungles, rivers, lakes and oceans.
But the view once the JX-70 hit planetside was nothing short of spectacular. Rolling plains filled with roaming animals extended for miles, with jungles, lakes and rivers beyond that, and one such river went into a deep canyon.
Where is this place of yours? Krystal queried.
Kyle didnt answer as he brought the craft to a sudden halt as a landing platform appeared near the edge of the canyons right-hand top. Kyle settled the JX-70 on the pad, and moments later, as he was shutting the systems down, the pad began to descend. Krystal soon found herself in a cavern-sized hangar.
A dragons lair, she realized. Kyles lair. Kyle opened the hatch, allowing Krystal through, and Krystal gasped in awe at the beauty of this lair she now found herself in.
You lived here? she inquired.
Kyle smiled. Long ago, yes, he responded. Originally, this place was much smaller. But, upon my claiming of this place, I made it bigger extended the size, made room for my JX-70... Kyle paused as he approached one console in the wall, tapped a few buttons, and the sound of powerful machinery filled the cavern. Moments later, the wall next to the console began to lower, turning it from a wall into a platform. And I even managed to add this, Kyle said, pointing his thumb to the platform. The platform was massive, with the wall as the main support for a smaller but still large enough for Kyles dragon form, no doubt platform that extended into the canyon.
Krystal walked carefully onto the platform, taking in the awesome view. Wow, she scoffed, This is... pah, this is nothing short of beautiful!
Kyle shifted to his dragon form, slowly walking onto the platform. He nudged Krystal with his snout, and Krystal cradled the dragons head in her arms. Come with me, mekh luff, Kyle whispered. I want to show you a place... not too far from here. The place that has the true sentimental value to me.
Take me there, Krystal whispered back. She hopped onto Kyles crimson-scaled dragon back, and he faced the expanse of canyon before them. He slowly spread his wings, leapt off the platform, letting it close behind him, and raced gently along the canyon path. Krystal
ched as the canyon raced past her as Kyle navigated through the canyon. Krystal held on tight as her dragon-shifting love dodged this-way-and-that, avoiding a rock here, or a boulder there. He continued along the river that ran at the bottom of the canyon until it emptied out into a lake in a box canyon with a tree and grassy area at the far end. The river continued through the lake, making another river off to the right. Kyle decelerated, gliding to and finally landing on the soft patch of grass before the tree. Krystal gently got off Kyles back.
In my dreams alone had I seen this place... until I found it, just two years after I came here, Kyle explained. I met my wife here.
Oh, baby, Krystal said, Dont open old wounds. She stroked Kyles scaly dragon cheek. You wont lose me the way you lost her. You just wont.
Kyle leaned his head against Krystal, making a soft dragons purr as she held him. They cradled each other for a moment, cherishing the moment, until Kyle spoke,
Mekh luff, do you know how a Dragon shifter is united with his woman?
In a place like this, no doubt, Krystal replied. But I know little more than that.
Thats correct insofar as it goes, Kyle said.
Is that a dragon-shifters way of proposing? Krystal queried.
Kyle chuckled. You could call it that, he answered.
Though Ive only known you a few days, Krystal stated, I cant imagine saying no. I am, and always will be, your love.
Ikh luff youk, Krystal, Kyle said in his native Dragonarian, Ad Ikh svett, bikh mekh onn bluud... Ikh vitt prottec youk. Nefett vitt Ikh hamr youk ash uthress khaff hamrett mekh. Ikh alvas khaff bidd, ad alvas vitt bekh youkrss.
While Krystal wasnt fluent in Dragonarian, she knew that this was Kyles way of saying that hed stay with Krystal for as long as he drew a breath in his body. It was his pledge of eternal love. In that instant, she knew how deep his feelings for her went. She knew that from that moment on, she would always be in his heart and knew that what a dragon-shifter keeps in his heart, he will fight to protect. He would destroy a planet if only to protect Krystal. He would slaughter entire armies, even stand alone before the fury of every assassin in the galaxy to protect her.
I love you, too, Kyle Anderson, she whispered. Kissing Kyles dragon snout, she added, Let it be known between us, that on this day, I acknowledge you as my life and my love; let it be heard across the stars that I now live, breathe, and fight as one with you, and let it be seen to the galaxy that I will honor you, as I honor those that I lost when Cerinia fell.
Kyle smiled, revealing his gleaming, spiked teeth. Then it is done, he said. He drew a deep breath, reared up in his hind legs, spread his wings, and let loose a roar that shook the stars signifying his unity with Krystal. From that moment on, they would be inseparable.
From that moment on, in Dragonarian eyes, they were one.
... gotta work on the next chapter.