Disclaimer: Sadly, jazzybizzle and I own nothing but our thoughts.

Chapter 2

Scattered, hushed chatter resounded through the room as the reunited gang stepped inside Amy's living room. Gazes lingered between the two genders, some more than others. Amy's jade eyes rarely left Sonic, for she feared that if she so much as blinked, he would vanish into thin air. She caught his eye a few times, and he would chuckle or smile back at her.

Meanwhile, Sonic took to looking around Amy's home. He figured that this was the place that the girls spent quite a bit of time at, and from the pictures around the room, he could tell who took the lead; he found himself proud of the pink hedgehog. Amy stayed near his side, never going more than a foot away from him. It surprised her at how much self-restraint she possessed, for she felt a strong desire to just hug the blue blur, but she knew he was enjoying watching her struggle, as it was adorable in a way.

Grasping her arm, he coaxed her into sitting down with the rest of the girls, releasing her with some reluctance. Cream, who was sitting next to the rosy hedgehog, gave him a watery smile and waved, barely whispering a "Hi, Sonic!" to the speedster.

"Hey, Cream," he whispered back, giving her a wave in return before stepping back. He looked back to where the others stood. "Who wants to-?"

"Not it!" was the immediate response from Knuckles and Silver. Tails gave his older adoptive brother a smile and apologetic shrug of his shoulders.

"Honestly, I'm not sure that I can explain it just right, and that's a first!" Tails exclaimed, laughing a little. Sighing, Sonic's gaze then fell on his darker counterpart, his eyes silently pleading with him. Shadow responded with a firm nod, and joined the blue blur front and center. He cleared his throat and began spinning their tale.

"So, Faker and fox boy got an alert about the Doctor's whereabouts," Shadow began, and the room fell into an almost eerie silence. Sally sat up a little straighter, resting her chin in the palm of her hand as she gave Shadow her undivided attention, her sapphire gaze on the dark hedgehog as he spoke.

.~

"Hey, buddy!" said Sonic as he strolled inside, bouncing with confidence. His sensitive ears easily picked up on the sound of beeping, so he decided to check it out. "What's going on?" Tails, his twin-tailed best friend and certified genius turned around and uttered one word, his expression serious.

"Eggman!"

.~

"After that, he called the three of us in," continued Shadow. "Since I obviously had no choice.-"

"You know you wanted to," Sonic muttered under his breath. Shadow growled, shooting daggers at Sonic, though Sonic seemed unbothered by this. "Anyways, the five of us went after him, and, as usual, it took a few days," said Sonic, taking the lead. "But...," The girls leaned in, listening intently.

"We pretty much cornered him," said Silver, levitating himself in the air with help from his powers. "It looked like we had finally won, but…," his voice trailed off, and he looked at Tails.

"He... made a portal," Tails finished for his friend. "It was created from Chaos Energy, and he used it as means of escape before we could get our hands on him. A-and-"

"Faker impulsively jumped through the portal after the Doctor."

"And Shadow was the first to jump after Sonic." Amy and Sally were the first to exchange glances, shocked and awed at the same time. The other girls wore similar expressions, surprised and very interested.

.~

"So," a breathless Sonic began, voice dripping with confidence, "do you give up yet, or do you wanna have another go?" Eggman, lying sprawled on the ground, sat up and spat a bit of blood out of his mouth, quickly wiping it on his sleeve. He glared at the heroes, undoubtedly furious for them foiling his plans once more.

"You worthless imbeciles!" Knuckles rolled his eyes, bored already.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Enough with the insults and chit-chat. Can we skip to the part where I punch his lights out?" Knuckles asked. The boys closed in on the Doctor, ready for anything. The evil genius had a plan, however, and a devious one at that. The time had come for him to throw the little heroes in for a loop. If it's a challenge they wanted, then it's a challenge they'll get!

The wind suddenly blew violently, and there was a bright, blinding flash of light.

"No!" Sonic exclaimed as Eggman smirked before disappearing in the dark pink swirl. Eyes narrowing, he started for the portal before it closed.

"Sonic, don't!" Tails yelled, worry etched deeply in his voice. Shadow, ever the quick thinker, enclosed a hand around Sonic's arm in an effort to yank him back, only to be sucked inside himself. Silver dived in after his friends without a second thought, and Knuckles and Tails charged in together, following the silver hedgehog's lead...

.~

"That was his trick," said Sonic. "He was basically doing inter-dimension travel, travelling through different universes. That's why it took us so long to get back. The way time functions in other worlds vary, so a minute in our world was actually a day in another and vice versa. We didn't take that into consideration, which is why time caught up to us more quickly than we had originally assumed."

"It was sweet of Shadow to try and save you," said Sally, her hand resting on her knee. At the mention of his name, the dark hedgehog looked in her direction. Their eyes met, and Shadow felt a shiver run up and down the column of his spine as the pretty princess gave him a smile.

"Oh, that's because he loves me," said Sonic, nuzzling into Shadow's shoulder. Shadow bristled over and shoved him back, wiping his shoulder. Sonic simply laughed, and a smile twitched at the corners of Shadow's mouth as he fought the urge to do so.

"They were unstoppable," said Tails. "Whenever they fought, they did it in sync." Silver and Knuckles nodded their head in agreement.

"Yeah," said the echidna, running his fingers along his knuckles. "These two may butt heads more than we do," he gestured between himself and Sonic, "but on the battlefield? Oh no. Don't get in their way."

.~

Shadow shot a robot dead in the center on the defense, then swung Sonic around with his free hand so that Sonic could deliver the final blow. Sonic kicked the sword free from the eggbot, using the opposing weapon to his advantage. He broke it in two using his knee, then whirled around and threw into another robot's chest. It shot straight through the robot's chest, and the thing blew up into several bits and pieces of metal.

.~

"It's nice to know you two aren't at each other's throats anymore," said Rouge, smiling mischievously as she stared at said hedgehogs, a knowing look in her eyes. Silver shook his head, still hovering safely in the air.

"I wouldn't be so sure about that, Rouge. For all we know, they could be plotting each other's demise as we speak," said Silver. They all laughed for a while before quieting down once more. Blaze, taking advantage of the silence, decided to speak.

"So, what exactly were you guys doing all this time?"

"Oh, you know us, Blaze. We were simply kicking ass and being awesome as usual," said Silver as he levitated himself back down to ground. At Blaze's pointed look, Silver laughed, shrugging his shoulders. "Hey, I'm only saying it because it's true." Blaze rolled her eyes, though she was smiling.

"Knuckles and Silver got a lot of action too," said Tails. "You know I wasn't going to sit on the sidelines while they had all the fun and action. Besides, my brothers needed me." The girls all awed, while the boys shook their heads.

"Don't be a sap about it," Knuckles teased while Sonic sniffed dramatically.

"So, did you guys, you know, date or anything?" Amy asked, then covered her mouth when she realized what it was she just said. She thought it in her head, not intending for it to be spoken aloud. She blushed under the stares of her friends, wishing she could sink into a hole or something right now. Sonic laughed quietly, shaking his head and feeling thoroughly amused.

"I know I didn't," said Sonic. Looking at the guys, he silently asked them the same question with his eyes. Each guy shook his head dismissively.

"Nope."

"No."

"Nah."

"Not once."

"I didn't." The girls nodded their heads, each breathing a sigh of relief as their nerves calmed down. They had nothing to worry about.

"Did you guys date?" Sonic asked nonchalantly, though his heart was beating quickly in worry. As everyone stared at him in disbelief, Sonic shrugged his shoulders, smiling a little. "What?" he asked innocently. Amy shrugged her shoulders, her lips pursing as she fought a smile.

"I didn't date," said Amy. Sonic immediately felt relieved as he grinned at her.

"Really?" Sonic asked, wanting to be sure.

"Of course I didn't, silly," Amy laughed. Turning to the girls, she spoke. "Did you guys, ya know-?"

"Nope," Cream answered truthfully, and Tails smiled in relief.

"I didn't either," Blaze answered, and she could've sworn she heard Silver say "Thank the Lord" under his breath.

"Well," said Rouge, a thoughtful look on her face. At the outrageous, shocked look on Knuckles face, she laughed before shaking her head. "Relax. You know I'm just kidding."

"And I'm still single as well," said Sally. Although Shadow's face didn't show any emotion at her declaration, he was smiling on the inside, though he couldn't fathom why.

"Now that we got that out of the way, it's your turns to tell us something," said Sonic. At the girls' blank stares, Sonic persisted. "Oh, come on. Surely you guys had some adventures of your own?" he asked. Sally shrugged her shoulders, looking at her friends before looking at the guys, who were all waiting patiently for one of them to speak. Knowing that her friends weren't going to say anything anytime soon, Sally decided to speak.

"Well, I wouldn't call them adventures, but we've had some fun of our own in your absences," said Sally.

.~

Sally and Amy dashed down a corner before making another turn, their breathing coming out in heavy pants as they sped away, each girl running at her maximum speed. Their feet thumped silently against the ground, and the sun hung high in the sky, beating against their backs with its heat.

"Nice going, Sally," said Amy, throwing the chipmunk a glare. Sally huffed and gave Amy a look.

"I fail to see how this is my fault," said Sally as they continued to run. They heard the sound of blaring sirens and the shouts of angry people coming closer, and they ran even faster, not pausing or bothering to look back.

"Allow me to jog that memory of yours then. Weren't you the one who suggested that we should go to that little kid's birthday party because there was a Chaos Emerald inside the piñata?" Amy asked. They jumped over a discarded tree branch and landed on the ground before running once more. The wind whipped through Sally's hair and Amy's quills, and the adrenaline coursed through their veins. Each girl could now understand why Sonic loved to run so much.

"Oh, whatever, Amy. I broke that piñata and got that Chaos Emerald fair and square, and you know it. It's not my fault the little spoiled brat was a sore loser," Sally growled, her blood boiling in anger from just thinking about it. She and Amy had got invited to a birthday party for a little boy named Noah. Everyone was having a good time and was thoroughly enjoying themselves… That is, until it was time to break the piñata.

Little Noah couldn't hit the piñata, so Sally, being the kindhearted soul that she was, decided to hit the piñata open for him. So, they blindfolded her and spun her around three good times, and, lo and behold, she hit the piñata open on her very first try. Removing the blindfold, Sally easily spotted the blue Chaos Emerald and went over and picked it up, but Noah, the little fucker, had the nerve to stomp up towards her, kick her in the leg, and call her an old hag. Needless to say, Sally wasn't a happy camper and made sure everyone at that damn part knew it.

"I know, I know, but did you really have to take his birthday cake and shove it in his face, pop all of the balloons, flip the picnic table over, and destroy his presents?" It was quiet again, and Sally peeked over her shoulders to see that they weren't being followed anymore. Amy noticed it too, and they both breathed a sigh of relief.

"Looks like we ditched those idiots, and maybe if he didn't call me an old hag and KICKED me, I wouldn't have did what I did." Amy's house came into view, and both girls slowed down into a walk, trying to catch their breaths. "Besides, Rouge would've totally skinned us alive if we didn't come back with this Chaos Emerald, and I don't know about you, but I happen to love my skin very much."

They each laughed, albeit a bit breathless, as they made it to Amy's house and, after Amy unlocked the door, walked inside.

.~

"Wow, I never knew you could such a scary person, Sal," Sonic commented, smirking at the girl whom he viewed as a younger sister. Sally glared at him, and the smirk immediately left Sonic's face. Shadow raised in eyebrow in mild shock, clearly amused by what he just saw. Amy put a hand on her friend's shoulder and held her back, though she glared at Sonic too.

"Hey, I was just trying to get that Chaos Emerald back," said Sally, feeling a bit defensive.

"Besides, that kid was being bratty. What Sally did to him served him right," said Amy, defending the chipmunk. "It was pretty fun getting chased by policemen and stuff though," she added, smiling. Sally's mood lightened up as she smiled too, laughing along with Amy as the others joined in.

"I have to agree with them on this one, Sonic. That sounded pretty wild and fun to me," said Silver, giving the two a thumbs up sign of approval. "We should do something like that," he said, pumped up by the idea. Blaze sighed, shaking her head.

"You must enjoy the idea of sleeping in a cold jail cell," said Blaze. Silver shrugged and shook his head.

"They'd have to catch me first," the telekinetic hedgehog declared, and Blaze laughed at his antics. She missed Silver's charming way of making her smile and laugh.

"Hey, remember the time Blaze, Cream, and I went shopping and Blaze had accidently burned the building down?" Rouge asked. Amy and Sally nodded their heads, laughing hard while Blaze scoffed and glared at Rouge, who seemed completely unaffected.

"It's not like I woke up that morning and said, 'Hey, I'm going to burn a mall down today.' It was an accident," said Blaze. Rouge patted her on the shoulder in sympathy, though she was still laughing.

"We know, Blaze, but even you have to admit that it was pretty funny," said Cream. Blaze smiled despite herself, laughing too.

"Whatever. So, this is how it all went down. So, Rouge, Cream, and I decided to go shopping for some clothes…"

.~

"How does this one look?" Rouge asked, sporting a pretty blue blouse and black skinny jeans with tears in them. Blaze and Cream nodded their heads in approval.

"I love it, Rouge!" Cream exclaimed, and the ivory bat smiled in response. Blaze rolled her eyes, smiling.

"You know you'll look stunningly beautiful in everything you'd wear, so why bother asking?" Blaze asked. Rouge went back in the changing room to change into her clothes.

"Maybe I just like hearing it out loud," Rouge answered, and Blaze could bet she was smirking and shrugging her shoulders in a nonchalant manner. She soon came out, and they picked up their shopping bags and went to pay for what they bought. They also picked up some things for Amy and Sally, who decided to sit the trip out.

Blaze nearly groaned when she saw how long the line was, though Cream and Rouge made no complaints. They were talking about something while Blaze stood behind them, already tired of holding her shopping bags. She glanced at the mall clock and about died at how slow time was moving. The line didn't seem to be getting any shorter either, which meant that they were going to be here for a while.

There's got to be something I can do to pass the time, Blaze thought to herself as she looked around. However, Blaze didn't see anything she could do. She could text Sally, but she would probably end up complaining to the fellow princess, something she didn't like doing. What could she do then? An idea suddenly came to her, and she smirked deviously.

Flames, intense and fiery, danced at the tips of her fingers, and she looked around to see who her victim would be. She spotted someone, a middle-aged looking man scratching his stomach while talking loudly on the phone. Concentrating, she threw her flames at him, but, to her horror, they missed their target and instead hit a little shop that sold plants. They shop burst into flames, and the sounds of screaming assaulted her ears. Smoke filled the air as the fire spread, burning everything in its path.

Eyes widening, Blaze grabbed Cream and Rouge's arms and made a run for the exit, not bothering to look back. The two girls easily kept up with her, looking distressed and panic.

"I'm guessing you had something to do with that sudden fire, huh?" Rouge asked. Blaze shrugged her shoulders, eyes firmly looking ahead.

"Well, at least we have free clothes," said Cream, trying to look on the bright side of things.

.~

Tails smiled at the cream-colored rabbit, his blue eyes shining with amusement. Cream was always the optimistic cutie. That never changed. And he was glad she didn't loose that. But what did change about her, besides the blossoming body and the orange waterfall she called her hair?

Cream caught the two-tailed fox's gaze, a smile gracing her lips as she absentmindedly played with the end of her braid, and a faint blush staining her pearly white cheeks.

"Hey, Miles?"

"Yeah?"

She fought the urge to giggle. "What does the fox say?"

Tails' smile wiped clean off his face, and everyone burst out laughing, Knuckles and Sonic more hysterically than everyone else.

"Hahahaha," Tails made a face as he spoke, and a giggling Cream got up from her spot to hug him.