It was a peaceful day in Dreamland, Kirby was taking a nap in their favorite place, the palace gardens. Having fallen asleep coloring some flowers that they saw. It had been years since Nightmare was defeated, and Kirby had moved in with King Dedede and Meta Knight after the latter convinced the King to take in the pink puffball. Something about growing up with his own kind? Kirby didn’t really care about the details. What mattered is they now had two loving dads, one who spoiled the kid rotten and the other who spent hours of his time trying to teach them how to be a knight.
Today was one of the days that Meta Knight was busy with the Halberd crew, giving them the wrath that was his training, instead of Kirby. Though the blue puff was considerably kinder to them than he was to his crew. Kirby took advantage of this free time to run around the Castle and practice their art. For some reason or another the child grew tired, something they hadn’t been having troubles with for quite some time. But just laying in the warm sun was enough for them to nod off.
When Kirby awoke, the sun was just going down. The waddle dees would probably be done making dinner soon, and they most definitely didn’t want to miss the meal. They put their paws to their stomach right as it growled furthering Kirby’s stride to get to the dining room as fast as possible. They broke into a sprint, little red feet tapping quietly against the ground as they ran. Past Meta Knight lazily flying in the same direction, and past the rest of the halberd crew laughing at some joke Mace told a few seconds prior, Kirby even managed to beat the king himself to the dining room! They were elated, seeing all the dishes prepared for the meal, they were so hungry. It took so much effort not to suck it all up and save some for the others. So instead of getting any closer to the table they waited in the doorway. Everyone settling in around the table.
“Good job, kid.” Dedede spoke as he rubbed the top of Kirby’s head as he passed, “Comeon, Let’s dig in!”
Kirby gave a large smile, inhaling air and floating over to their seat besides Meta Knight and around the corner from the king. They noticed that Meta Knight wasn’t wearing his cape, and due to that his wings were out, albeit folded up.
Come to think of it, the few times they meet the others of their species they had wings too! Kirby tried to feel their back, not even small ones occupied the empty pink space that was his back. “Papa?” The child asked, turning to Meta Knight. The bat-like puff stopping mid bite of a turkey leg to respond.
“What is it, Kirby?”
“How come you have wings?”
Meta Knight lifted his mask up off his face the rest of the way, it already having been moved so that he could eat, revealing his and Kirby’s similar features, which of course was met with awes from his crew causing the puff to roll his eyes. “I don’t know how to answer that, Kirby.” he started, unfurling one of his wings to look at it. “I have had them for as long as I can remember.”
“Oh…” Kirby was distraught. If they was the same as Meta Knight, same as his papa, shouldn’t they have wings too? Last time they saw Shadow Kirby he had wings as well, small black angel wings on his back.
“Perhaps you’ll get them someday, Kid!” Dedede laughed, hoping to make the tension in the room clear out.
“Yeah…” Kirby still wasn’t sure, they picked at their food only eating half the amount they usually did before retreating to their room in one of the towers.
Why were they so different? They knew they were from the stars the same place as Meta Knight, but way younger than him all the same. Kirby sighed, sitting down on pillows that they had shaped into a fort right under a skylight so they could stare up at the stars when they felt troubled. Right now they felt very troubled. They didn’t have wings, but papa had wings, so did Shadow and Dark. Papa spoke often of a warrior who had bright feathered wings who Papa longed to fight.
Were they broken?
Were they a mistake?
What if they never got their wings?
“Kirby.” Meta Knight spoke from the doorway, He no longer wore any of his armor aside from his mask the one thing he usually didn’t take off unless he needed to. To either make a point or to sleep.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t able to help.” He spoke, walking to Kirby’s side. “You’re young, still just a kid. You shouldn’t have to worry about when your wings will come in or about anything else but growing up.”
Kirby turned away, putting his back to Meta and not saying a word in response. Meta wasn’t used to seeing his adopted child act like this. They were usually so happy go lucky all the time, even though he knew that it was a cover for the pressure put on the kid puff’s shoulders. “I know that you don’t know much about yourself, Kirby. But I’m here by your side to help you when each new change happens.” When the pink puff didn’t respond Meta Knight nodded, setting something down on the ground besides them before leaving. Hearing his kid snoring gently before he shut the door.
“Axe, Mace.” Meta spoke when he walked past the two members of his crew. “Prepare the flight deck. It’s coming.”
The two Meta-Knights nodded before running off towards the Halberd’s hangar. Giggling amongst themselves and trying to guess what they were going to be like.
“My guess would be feathered!” Javelin spoke as he took another swing of beer. “You know like their mother.”
“No way!” Axe laughed, fixing his skull mask on top of his head as he swept up the training deck. “Get off your lazy butt, Javelin! They'll be awake soon and we don't want to make the boss angry by not having it ready!”
Javelin shivered downing the rest of his drink before getting up and going over to help Sailor Dee with the padding on the walls. “How does Boss know they're coming in tonight? There's been no signs of their wings at all.”
Mace beeped amusingly as they picked up the last of the more dangerous training equipment that Meta tended to use in the flight deck, or as the rest of the Knights tended to call it, 'Boss’ private training room’
“Mace thinks they'll be like the Boss’”
“I dunno… bat wings don’t seem to fit the kid. Even Shadow ended up with feathered ones.”
Silence fell asleep the door to the deck creaked open, Meta Knight standing outside it, bags of sweets in tow. The crew watched with curiosity as Meta flew up and placed the sweets up high out of a certain pink puffs reach, even with their floating ability. From there he perched watching the Meta-Knights right back glaring as they scrambled to get back to work, and as if trying to intimidate them even more he pulled out a sword from his cape, throwing it down so that it stood up imbedded in the floor. The knights all jumped at this, turning back to their boss as he settled once again in his spot.
“Boss?” Javelin started, but quickly quieted down when he met Meta Knight's gaze.
“You're really gonna battle them?” Axe asked, confused as he poked the sword.
“Unless you wish to duel, I suggest you refrain from touching that, Axe Knight.” Meta hissed.
“Sorry sir… it's just if it's as painful as you claim, will dueling really be a good idea? You may hurt Kirby more than you mean to.”
“They will be fine. I dueled when my wings came in, as did the others. It will distract them from the pain.”
Axe shrugged, “Whatever you say, Boss.” He then waved towards the others, “We're all done here. Good luck, Sir.” Meta grunted in response watching as his crew, one by one, headed out of the room. Leaving Meta alone in the colorfully padded room with obstacles made to be soft as well. Kirby was barely a child after all. Being a mere 500 years old at this point.
They'll be here soon.
Kirby woke to an unwelcome discomfort. They rolled over and looked up through the skylight, the stars still shining above. “Bebebe..” they muttered, lazily getting up and hissing at the pain that stretched through their whole body. They moved slowly at first as they slowly woke, making their way to Dedede and Meta Knight's bedroom, which was only a few flights down from their room. Each step was worse than the last, until it got so bad that Kirby ended up running down the stairs after finding that they couldn't hold their breath long enough to make floating an option.
“Bebebe…” Kirby spoke once again pawing at the Penguin's face until the king woke up.
“Kirby, what is it lad?”
“Hurt… Where Papa?” It took Dedede a minute to figure out what the kid was talking about. Before shooting up in bed and looking at Kirby with worry in his eyes.
“Did you eat something that made your belly hurt?” The king asked, rubbing Kirby on the head to try and comfort the crying child. Kirby violently shaking their head in response. “I don't know then, lad… Meta is in the Halberd, had to do some final checks on it before they head out again.” He gave a small smile as Kirby wordlessly left the bedroom and made their way to find Meta Knight.
By the time they got to the Halberd Kirby's eyes were filled with tears, the pain just kept getting worse and worse. They were greeted at the entrance by Mace Knight. The robotic knight holding out their arms to pick the child up. Kirby happily accepted their offer and threw themselves at Mace hugging them tight as they carried Kirby to the flight deck.
“Your papa is in there.” Axe spoke as Mace and Kirby rounded the corner. The entire crew standing outside the door patiently waiting for Kirby to appear. Partly making sure they made it to Meta Knight alright, partly due to curiosity.
Kirby looked around at the knights, seeing the forced smiles on each of their faces, all except Mace's but Kirby knew they had it too, “Ace…” the puff muttered having troubles with the cacophonous sound in his name. “Am I in trouble?”
Axe looked between his comrades and sighing before he answered, “No Kirby. Meta Knight just has a surprise for you, that's all.” he reassured patting Kirby on the head as Mace set them down. “Just remember that whatever his surprise is, your papa loves you.”
Kirby tilted their head humming as they walked through the doors, turning back as the door was closed behind them. Suddenly their nonchalant demeanor changed as they spotted Meta Knight blocking a pile of sweets. “Papa, hurt!” Meta Knight didn’t say a word, keeping his back turned to the child, glancing over his shoulder for when Kirby picked up the sword lodged in the ground. Kirby saw the sword mere seconds after pleading to Meta Knight for help, and tears were brought to their eyes. “Papa, please!” Kirby began to shout, hoping their adoptive father would turn and hold them in his arms.
Meta had to use all his might to not do just that. His child was hurting, but no, he had to hold out. This is how he got through his wings sprouting, it was how Kirby would have to as well. But just the tears in their eyes was enough to get Meta Knight to jump down. It was Nightmare that made him fight during this terrible pain, Meta had denied his creator years ago, Kirby could be shown some love instead of coldness. Meta Knight gave a small smile, removing his mask and wrapping the smaller puff in a hug. “How about we go get some ice cream in the palace kitchen and then go sleep with Dedede?”
“Promise?” Kirby asked, sniffling.
“Yeah, I promise.” Meta Knight didn’t let go of Kirby as he spread his wings and flew up and out of an elevated entrance to the flight deck, flying above the crew who watched in awe, their boss showing some pity for once.
The two puffballs made it to the kitchens not long after leaving the Halberd, Meta Knight putting together a large chocolate sundae for Kirby and pulling out a slice of cake for himself. While Kirby ate, surprisingly slow for their norm, Meta Knight took it upon himself to hold an ice pack against where the little buds of their wings were beginning. This process was fast, Meta Knight knew that, but it was also insanely painful, when they woke tomorrow the pain will be gone and Kirby will have their wings. They just have to get to tomorrow with the least amount of tears possible. The knight started to doze off around the time Kirby finished their sundae, dropping the spoon on the floor as they too, were tired, Meta shook awake at the clinking of silverware on concrete letting a yawn over take him.
“Papa, tired?” Kirby asked, tapping Meta Knight's head with their paws.
“Yes, Kirby. I'm tired let's go to bed.”
Meta Knight sighed, “Lay on your back tonight, it'll help.”
“With you and Bebebe?”
“Yes with me and Dedede.”
Kirby smiled, jumping to their feet with a newfound energy in their stride. This time pulling Meta Knight along, forgetting the pain upon their back and slept soundly between their two dad's. Laying on their back as suggested, but rolling over in their sleep. When the Kings of Dreamland awoke the next morning, it was to the pink puff jumping up and down on the bed, swatting at their faces until they opened their eyes. The puff at a loss for words as they turned around and showed King Dedede and Meta Knight a small set of shimmering dragonfly-like wings barely the size of their paw.
“Papa, Bebebe!! WINGS” They cried out in joy flapping the little wings as fast as they could to get a little lift off the ground.
Meta Knight just gave the puff a pat on the head and a warm knowing smile before pulling the covers over his eyes and going back to sleep.
Meta Knight was glad in a way. That Kirby's wings weren't like his or Galacta's or even Morpho’s.
Kirby was their own person. They may have been the last creation of Nightmare, but they were compassionate and had love for everyone. It was fitting that their wings were unique. As they were unique.
Meta Knight smiled to himself as he heard Dedede and Kirby laughing as the former threw them into the air and Kirby slowly fluttered back down.