A/N: This story is told in the first person. To make it easier on you to tell when it switches between characters, I put spaces between paragraphs when they switch perspectives. I will warn you now this story does contain M/M content if you don't like don't read but don't take it out on me.

But other than that I welcome constructive criticism.

Star Fox: Poker Face

Chapter 1: New Guy

I hid behind the steal crate as the explosion went off shielding myself from the blast. I poked my head over the edge to observe the battle field. I hid my self again as a shot from the practice bot shot at me. I cursed to myself for getting my self boxed in by the enemy. I was recommended by General Pepper for a mission, they wanted to see the level of my skills and I wasn't about to disappoint. I decided to employ my 'bag of tricks'. I pulled from my pack one of my favorite toys I've collected over my travels. I attached it to my belt and started it up. It distorted and bent the light around my body. If someone was looking at me they would see what was behind me instead. I carefully ran out from behind the barrel and blast the bot in the head. It was a practice pistol and less accurate but still hit it's mark dead on. The bot fell and another took it's place just to fall as well. Quickly diving for cover again I pulled out a grenade and threw it taking out three more in the process. I battled on destroying the rest of the bots. Looking up at the observing deck. I waited for my next set of instructions my furry tail waging in anticipation.

Fox:

"Fox what do you think?" Peppy asked. I looked down at the warrior he was young but he was the most skilled of all who applied. Slippy was impressed by the cloaking devices to notice the battle was over. When the kid deactivated it Slippy had pressed his face to the window in excitement.

"I think we should let him join us for the mission maybe he will let me make copies of that device he has got there. Falco was not as pleased with the results he had hated the kid the second he laid eyes on him.

"I'm sure we can find someone better than that prick." Krystal had shot him an infuriated look she thought the boy was talented. I continued to study him. He didn't have a scratch on him, but it was on a easy setting. Rob with hands on dials waited for my instructions.

"Turn it to level 8." Then turning on the speaker I spoke to the new comer. "we will give you one more test." The kid nodded in acknowledgment. Falco sneered. Krystal and the others gasped. Level 8 could at times be dangerous. But I felt that this kid could be the one and could handle it.

Freelancer:

Suddenly the sound of shudder doors opening caught my attention. I turned around to large and well armored robot. But this was not a training bot, this was a military model Ki-11. They are designed for land warfare. I faltered for a moment but quickly regained my composure to dive behind cover as the gatling gun on its one arm opened fire. I sorted through my pack for the proper gear to fight this walking tank. All I had that could damage the things was my sniper rifle, grenades, my bag of tricks and my brothers gift. My sniper riffle wasn't going to be useful here so I got out my reaming three grenades and one of my tricks. I sat it on the ground and turned it on. An image of me running from out behind cover appeared and the machine launched rockets at it. The image disappeared as quickly as it appeared. The Ki-11 shambled over and destroyed the cover and found nothing. When it's focus had shifted I had turned invisible and moved to a new position. As it searched for me I reappeared and with extreme grace and agility I jumped onto the arm of the robot. I placed my grenades on the weapons and head and jumped clear as they went off. Normally that would have been enough to take it out but for some reason it still functioned. It lumbered over since it's weapons no longer function. I was caught off guard and it managed to grab me. It lifted me into the and began to squeeze. I had gotten my brothers gift out earlier and turned it on. The laser blade came forth and plunged into the hand freeing me as metal fell to the floor. Heeding my combat training I rolled as soon as I landed positioning my self behind the metallic monstrosity. I slashed my blade through the leg crippling the machine and ending the battle. Getting the sheath for my sword I returned it to my hip and waited for their verdict.

The speaker came on. "Alright meet us out in the hall." Called Fox's voice. I left the arena into the brightly lit hallway where the Star Fox team was waiting for me. I saw Falco standing a ways back from the rest. Slippy was examining the gear I had. Peppy was congratulating me on a job well done and instructing me on ways I could do better. Rob stood quietly behind the group. Then I saw Krystal and Fox standing together. Suddenly my heart skipped a beat. I wasn't sure what I was feeling but I had to shake the feeling they were about to evaluate me. Slippy was the first one to speak to me. "What amazing tech can you let me see it latter."

Fox:

"Maybe latter Slippy." He said to him with a smile. Falco just scoffed at him. He said he was just acting nice. He said that earlier he found him meditating and Falco tried to talk to him and didn't even get a response. But he did seem nice. I walked up to him and held up my hand.

"Congratulations on passing. I guess you're the one getting the pay check. Come on we will give you a tour of the ship." He shook my hand but was hesitant. and flowed us as we lead him to the ship. Walking onto the ship he shyly addressed me.

"Excuses me sir but If you could show me my room. There is something I need to attend right away." He had addressed me as sir. I wasn't sure how I felt about that. Not even my own team addressed me like that we were on a first name basis.

"Oh sure. I will show you to it right away. Everyone else you know your duties." I lead him down a hallway I turned my head around to better judge him. He walked tall and confident his ears perked up to every new sound he heard his head darting back and forth between each passing sign, door and hallway. He was curious, very curious almost too curious. I decided to break the silence. "You did well during the trails." I had snapped his focus back to me for the moment.

"Thank you sir."

"You don't need to call me sir."

"I'm sorry but it is customary of my people to call all who employ us sir, sir, and to those we respect." He said he looked down depression creep-ed onto his face.

"Hey are you OK?" I asked worried.

"I'm sorry sir it's personal."

"This isn't going to effect you effectiveness during the mission is it." But now he was more angry than sad but seemed to hold his tongue on a insult that formed on his lips. But he bared his canines gritting his teeth.

"No sir it won't, now if you excuses me I have to meditate now." He walked through the door and locked it behind him."

"Alright I have someone give you a tour when you are done." But I reserved no response. I walked to the bridge not sure what to think about what just happened.

Freelancer:

"I can't believe he just asked me that." I was so humiliated first minute under his employment and he is already questioning whether I was capable of fighting after my display during the test. I normally didn't get this emotional I wondered why I was starting now. I couldn't think about that now though now I needed to do my post battle mediation. I sat in front of the mirror and cleared my mind.

Fox:

I walked into the command room and sat down in a chair with a grunt. Peppy had heard me and came over to check up on me. "What happened?" I ran a hand through my head fur.

"I'm not sure we were talking then he got depressed for a second." Peppy had placed a hand on his chin while he listened. "I asked him if he was OK and if he would be able to fight tomorrow then he got really mad and locked himself in his room." Peppy had slapped his forehead and groaned.

"You just gave him one of the biggest insult among his people." I shoot him a confused look and he explained. "His people's economy focus manly on mercenaries. They are set deep in tradition and pride, they will die to accomplish any goal to keep their employer alive and make sure their planet gets the money from the job. They are all warriors showing any lack of faith in their fighting ability or insulting it is one of the greatest insults among their people." I looked down at the floor in shame. I had stuck my foot in my mouth big time. I might have just lost all his respect. I got up out of the chair and walked to the door. "Where are you going?"

"To apologize." I replied.

"He is meditating right now. If you interrupt him that is even more disrespectful and he would just ignore you, look at what happened with Falco." He apparently had been listening the whole time.

"What that's why he didn't talk to me. I thought he was some stuck up prick?"

"No if he breaks his meditation he would have failed his training." He turned his attention back on me. "If you want to apologize you should learn what you can about his culture first so as to avoid this again." I knew he was right. I sat back down in the chair and started to look up what I could on his people.

"Slippy I want you to give the tour latter after he finishes his mediation." Fox said returning to his research.

Freelancer:

I sat there in the darkness wondering why I was so flustered. My mind was supposed to be clear but my thoughts were twisted and confused. Why Fox saying it had upset me so much. I taken these comments from my first employer with no problem but even though this was only my second job... sort of. I knew I was skilled, but the fact that Fox doubted me for a second left me shaken. I got angry at my self for being unable to answer the question. Then with the sense gained by years of mediation I knew that my hour had ended. I opened my eyes and looked at my reflection. My gray fur barley visible in the darkness of the room. My patches of white fur on my chest, stomach, and lower jaw stood out in testament to the darkness. I heard a knock at my door. I rose and walked over to the door. It was probably the one here to give me a tour of the ship. I wondered if Fox was the one giving it. Suddenly my curly tail waged back and forth at the thought and startled my self. I calmed myself and opened the door and fond a little bit to my disappointment that it was Slippy. "Hey there." He greeted. I nodded my head in greeting. "Fox asked me to give you the tour of the ship then take you to the training room.

Slippy:

"Fox was going to give you the tour but he didn't want to offend you any more." I said.

"Offend me?"

"Yeah he said you looked upset when he left you and he told us what happened. Peppy explained a bit about your culture and now he is looking up a summary about your culture."

"Really?"

"Yeah he felt really bad." He looked down. I wondered what was on his mind but would he open up to someone completely new. I figured it was worth a shoot though.

"Hey what's up."

"Sorry I just don't know, I've never acted like this before. I've been doubted by my employer before but I've never reacted like that."

"I'm sorry I don't know what to tell you."

"It's OK I didn't think you would."

"Gees thanks." I said punching his shoulder. He eyed me suspiciously.

"Slippy was that a challenge."

"What?"

"Among my people any act of physical confrontation is considered a challenge to battle."

"NO, no, no... I don't want to fight you I want to be your friend."

"A... friend." He said thinking it over. "why. Wouldn't it be best to stay professional

"Well since we have to work together we should at least try to be friendly with one another. It helps with the mission when there is more trust."

"I suppose that makes sense."

"Plus I'd like to look at that tech you have." I said laughing. He didn't realize it was a joke at first, but joined in afterwords.

The two of us finished laughing. "So shall we start the tour." I said. He nodded his head in response.

Freelancer:

The tour ended with the training room. It had taken a good hour Falco was shooting targets. But Fox was standing in the sparing ring with a disarming smile. "Hey there; did you enjoy the tour."

"Yes thank you. You have an amazing ship."

"Thanks it was my dad's."

"Right James Mc'Cloud."

"You know about my dad?" Fox said surprised.

"My planet isn't that far behind sir." I said.

"Oh sorry I didn't mean it like that." He said panicking he had insulted me again.

"I'm sorry sir I was attempting my hand a 'humor'." I said in quick response to alleviate his panic. "Slippy suggested I 'loosen up' whatever that means, but he recommended making a 'joke'." He studied me for a moment, his chin in his hand, thinking of how to respond to my statement. I wasn't sure what he was thinking about

"He's probably right... no need to get so worked up right before a mission right. So how about about a quick sparing match."

"What for sir?" I asked skeptical to his motives.

"I want to really see just how good you are when your not up against a machine." He said again. Again I fond my skill being questioned. I felt the same anger well up inside me but also followed by deep hurt. But I kept face stone cold, showing no emotion on and just nodded my head.

"Very well sir." I said.

The two of us step into the ring and I bowed to him as per my culture and Fox followed suit. The next thing I heard really surprised me though.

"Ut ambo lucrum honorem per bellum. "