- Bird's Nest -
Summary: The blue avian is sick with an unforgiving cold he can't shake off. Falco wouldn't feel half as bad if it didn't come on the frequently postponed, much anticipated, space-race against he and his pink feline friend, Katt.
"Huh.... huh... hhhh------heeACCTTCHUUUUhaaaahh..."
Being confined to his quarters in the Great Fox was one thing, being confined in his bed with thick blankets covering every inch of him was another. The hums of the large spaceship floated endless into space and was nearing Corneria orbit within several hours, once clearing had passed through. Slippy Toad occupied his time doing their Arwin ship maintenance repairs, undaunted by the damage they had received during their last mission; Pepper Hare was in the main room, establishing contact with several of the ship's main computers to ensure a nice and gentle ride back home; Fox McCloud was in his own quarters, but unlike Falco, was fully active and taking a lighthearted jog around the ships hallways as a means to stay fit. Everyone had something they could do to abide their time to sleep off the remaining wait, but only Falco, the fourth crewmember of the StarFox team - was confined in bed for the last several days.
Signs of the cold crept up a few days ago, but Falco mistook it for merely a nagging itch in his beak. Sneezes were brief and far apart; he was certain his Arwing cockpit was nice and neat, and his room was just as well-kept. The Great Fox itself was the epitome of clean machinary and hardly left for naught by the foursome, and the ships robots were always swift to take action to make sure efficiency was one-hundred percent.
Falco tried retracing his steps if anyone he knew was sick, or had been sick, but coldn't quite think far back. He was far too angry being sheltered in his own room to think that far behind; he should be out there giving his artillery weapons a spitshine, or getting a feel for the new weapons training room with the newly released standard issue Cornerian handgun weaponry. Alas, his hound was pounding, and his beak was starting to feel numb with each passing itch that gripped him: he felt rather cold, and buried himself deeper into the blankets for warmth. Overall the feeling was pretty miserable, as to be expected, and the moaning feeling of being trapped did not make him feel any better. When this was all said and done, this bird was going to make up for lost time and get back in the game!
Trapped to watching old movies he'd stocked up in his quarters, a respectable television link to the planet, he couldn't do much but sit and mope. One could watch so many cornball comedies before figuring maybe he should give into sleeping in. The service robot, ROB 64, might stop by again towards the near end of the trip with fresh medicine and a glass of water.
It was only until both eyes were nearly closed when his videophone suddenly rang, coming in from an outside source. Normally channel links were limited to the general that assigned them in space, and Fox, Slippy, Peppy and the robots. However, Falco had managed to get Slippy to tweak the system a bit to let him make outside calls to anyone else he knew the number to. In such case, a pink feline named Katt Monroe - friend, and playful rival, so attached and yet so far apart of each other, it was a wonder why the two never got together.
"Hey Falco! It's me!" chimed in the perky feline, accompanied by a silly ringtone the videochat made to accompany her presence online. "Okay so, it's going on how many weeks now? Six weeks? C'mon buster, you can't keep getting assigned on so many missions all the time - when're you gonna get some leeway in, huh?"
Katt and Falco made a challenge to one another earlier in the year. One space race, from one corner of the galaxy to the next, past a barrage of familiar asteroids territory, anc back. The loser buys dinner on the next date. So far, the challenge had been accepted, yet failed to gain traction. The avian had every intention to get going today, but now the cold was standing in his way. As for mission assignments, well, that couldn't be helped: General Pepper, generally speaking, wanted he, Fox, and the rest to stay fit and pro-active while they were going to be assigned under his name. It wasn't his fault, it was just being signed to the regiment. Still, it put a cramp on things, and he couldn't try to keep Katt down for too long.
The feline was anxious to get things going to see who the best was. A large portion of it was Falco's big mouth, as well, making her want to put his mouth where his money was.
Falco had barely opened his mouth to speak, but the urge to sneeze suddenly overcame him. His body convulsed completely, lurching him forward and a chill going down his back from the release. It was loud, a bit rough, and from what Katt remembered hearing from a friend one day about it - admittedly tender. This would be her first experience seeing it on the phone; to see it live would be quite a strange moment for her.
Katt tried to conceal a blush. His feathers raised when he shot forward, his eyes squinted, and part of his body wobbled a little bit. She could see soe of the spray but quite, on her end. Seeing him sick made her sigh, though, as it would only prolong their competition further - and as one could tell already, she didn't want to wait much any longer.
"I'm sthick," Falco finally replied, looking back at her on the videochat while reaching for the tissue box beside him, "Sthorry, Katt, you're justhh gonna have to wait a whittle bith longer." He said it in such a mock tone that made it sound like he was getting a good kick out of this, finding more reasons to avoid her. The feline didn't look too impressed as a result, and huffed with anger a little bit on the other line.
She shook her head. "You're kidding me, right?"
"Babe, as long I'm shivering here like I shpent the lasth couploo nightz in an igloo-- yesh, I'mbg gonna haff to postphone again. Be patient, will ya? Maybe Pepperaah-- will get me shome time off after all dis, 'cause I haff been workinth hard, y'know..."
The feline shook her head. "Falco, you're such a faker. Part of me thinks you're just doing this to avoid me!"
"I'm Thaking thish? Hheee--ehehhaha---ehehEEAACCHTTNKCHUU!" Falco released a harsh, rough sneeze and moved forward again, his feathers ruffled. Blowing his nose visibly on the tissue, he showed her the results of what he had just used. Looked legit enough, there was no question to deny it. Every time he spoke he felt a little weaker on the inside, and Katt was only making it worse. "No Katt, seriously, I'm ill here. We'll be in orbith in a cupla days and then he-- heh... heh.... heehAACHCHUUU'huh..... cchhhnnssXXTchu-huh.... In a couple days I'll have ROB 64 run an inspection, see if I'm okay, then we'll do it. I promise."
Katt found it hard to see, but he did look awfully sick. She turned away from the sight of his used tissue, and peeked back when he was done. "...alright, alright, I get it. You do look sick. I bet you caught something on your last mission, didn't you, Falco?"
Falco shrugged. There was a planet that had gone unmapped for awhile, and they had taken some acute data to send it back to home base to discuss at length. Falco ditched the team midway on the hunch some enemies were using it as an excuse to stay hidden, only to be disappointed when such was not the case. He had gone on foot as well, encountering several strange plants emitting pollen and pores that made his eyes sore. Likely, it might've made him sick, but reports showed no such signs of any ill-fated contact with them.
"... you askin'th me?" the avian asked, perking a brow, "hell would I know, heh... probably just a bug. Workin too hardth you kno-w-w-eehaAACHUuahhh....acchhTTTCHHuuuuaahhh..... aahhhhcchthuuuucha....."
The sneezing fit was making Falco ill. Katt was starting to smile. It sucked seeing him in ill, but maybe it was poetic justice for avoiding her for so long.
"Well, drink lots of water, juice, and stay safe, you big silly bird," the feline comforted her friend. "When you're fine again we're gonna see who's the fastest flier in space, and one who can come back in one piece. No risky business, you hear me? No frisky business, either."
Falco gleamed, looking back at her with a wry grin. "Fristhy, huh? This turning you on?"
She stoppd quiet, blinking without anything to say.
Falco continued gazing into her, blowing his nose. "Thisth turning you on?"
"No," replied Katt, turning away a little bit. "...just don't like seeing you sick, that's all. What're you getting at? Get back to bed you goon, before I tell everyone you're wussing out to me!" She finally eased back into a smile, looking back at him with a bit a scowl. "The great Falco finding excuse after excuse---"
Katt continued, mockingly: "...sneeze after sneeze... to avoid his pal."
The avian chuckled. She was going to get her match one day, just not now. He could only wait for the day she got sick too, just to add to the humor of it all. Then the tables would eb turned! Wishing her a good-bye, he shut the videochat off and turned off the light, quickly huddling back into his bed with the blankets covering him like some feather burrito. As long as the long flight was over quickly, as was this cold, he'd feel a lot better than he did now... it was simply a matter of time.
*snnifffff...snorrttt* ....I guess I shu---shholud be.... be... thankful.... ahheeaACHHHUUUhah.....