A/N: This comes to us from a user on Deviant Art, who asked for a story where Amy has amnesia. So, we decided to set it in the Sonic Boom universe for a change of style.
Pen: Is it another-
Sword: Romance? Yes! Woo-hoo!
Pen: I'll get my sedatives.
Sonic, Amy, and all related characters and material belong to Sega, Cartoon Network, and Canal J & Gulli. Thanks to DiamondWarrior08, JustAnotherUser13, and SherryBlossom for pointing out some things to correct on DA. The story, Sword, and Pen belong to me. Please do not use without permission. Thank you and please enjoy.
"You know," Sonic said, grunting as he let the rope slip inch by inch through his hands, "I thought tombs were smaller." The light sandstorm picked up, throwing dirt into his eyes and down his throat. He pulled his brown scarf over his mouth and lost track of the digging tools on the other end of the rope when the cavern swallowed them whole.
"Some are," Amy said. She sported a cherry scarf covering her face and pulled a backpack out of her small ATV and slung it over her shoulders.
Sonic relaxed as the rope slackened. The tools had touched the bottom, using nearly all the rope. "And why's it called "Lovers' Tomb"? Looks pretty dangerous to me." He leaned over the side, trying to peer through the blowing sand.
She pulled him back. "Careful. This place is dangerous. There's lots of traps around here and inside."
"Hm, sounds like fun," he said, smiling. "But why the name?"
"Because long ago, a woman of noble birth died shortly before she was to be married. Her fiancé was grief-stricken." She jammed a helmet on her head and turned on the helmet's light on the front. "Unable to live without her, he built this tomb for her and sealed himself in with her body."
"Like I said, he couldn't live without her. The legend goes that he wasted away, clinging to her body, and that they are in that position to this day, forever locked in a loving embrace." She sighed wistfully. "That's true love and dedication."
"I think you meant to say 'lunacy,'" he said, tying the rope's end around a nearby rock. He earned a punch in the arm.
"You have to admit, it's sweet how much he loved her." Amy strapped a harness to her waist and clipped it to the rope. "Can you ever see yourself loving someone that much?" She batted her eyelashes at him.
A bit of sand went down deep enough in his throat and he gagged, hocking a wad of spit into the cavern. She clucked her tongue and rolled her eyes. Then she climbed off the cliff and prepared to descend. "So why the traps then?" Sonic asked.
"To make sure nobody ever disturbed them," she said. "Careful where you step up there. This place is very old and isn't stable."
"Got it," he said, putting on his own harness.
She leaned up over the edge and presented her cheek to him. "How about a kiss for good luck?"
A harsh blast of sand struck Sonic. "Let's just get going before this storm gets any worse."
Amy frowned, but descended, walking down the cavern's wall. Meanwhile, Sonic stayed up top and flicked the rope, testing the tension. As it jiggled, the rock moved in the sand. "Uh-oh." It slowly flipped onto its side. "That's not good." It started dragging through the sand. He grabbed the rope and brought it to a stop.
"Everything's fine!" he shouted over the storm. "Keep going!" The sand blinded him and he could only see a few feet in front of him. Stepping back, Sonic searched for anything else to tie off the rope. His foot sank into a pit of sand and something underneath pressed down, making a noise like stone shifting against stone. The ground began to crack and rumble and the edge of the cavern fell away.
There was a distant shriek. "Amy!" he cried. The ground continued to collapse until Sonic was sliding down a slope straight into the tomb. He jumped at the drop-off, flailing for anything to cling to. All his hands grasped was sand. Nothing but sand. He tried to scramble higher, but he heard Amy call his name.
"Amy!" He swiveled around, but didn't see her. Throwing himself into the center, he rolled across the falling ground until he touched the bottom. Sand kept pouring into the center like the bottom of a giant hourglass. "Amy!" He pulled his scarf down and cupped his hands over his mouth. "Amy! Where are you?"
Then, lying beside the wall, a pink figure in a red dress emerged through the storm. "Amy!" He jumped and ran on top of the sand to her. Her helmet was gone and she was unconscious, so he lifted her onto his back. He snatched up the digging tools that were beside her and scoured the cavern. The sandstorm raged harder all around and the crumbling ground made climbing the wall impossible.
Off to the side, there was a small entrance, large enough for a person to fit through. Sonic dashed inside right before the growing sandpile blocked the entrance and poured into the tunnel. He kept running for a fair distance until they were far within.
The tunnel was pitch black. The last bit of light was cut off by the sand. Amy stirred in his arms and he set her and the tools down. Rooting around the tools blindly, he felt everything from pickaxes to brushes to chisels, but nothing to light up the tunnel. He opened Amy's backpack and picked out a kerosene lamp. He found a box of matches and after some difficulty, lit the lamp.
There wasn't much to see of the tunnel. Plain rock walls with dirt as their mortar stretched in either direction. A strange set of glyphs hung in front of him. One appeared to be a person walking forward and the other was a series of circular shapes that Sonic couldn't make any sense of. Circle around? he wondered, staring at it. Or if we go this way, we'll go in circles? It was no use. He needed Amy to read it.
The pink hedgehog moaned and opened her eyes. Sonic knelt beside her, holding the lamp to her face. "Hey, are you alright?" he asked. A nasty bruise extended from her brow to her temple and she held her right arm. But besides that, a dirty outfit and shoes, and grains of sand stuck in her quills, she seemed to be fine. Sonic rested a little easier.
"My arm hurts," she said. Then she touched the bruise on her head. "And my head's feels like it's split open. What happened?"
"I activated one of the traps you told me about," he said, setting the lamp on the ground. He rummaged through the backpack and pulled out a first-aid kit. "I'm sorry. It was an accident. Before I knew it, the whole ground was falling out. I was lucky to find you and get in here. We were almost buried by all the sand."
"Sand? Traps? What are you talking about?" She winced when she tried to lean forward.
"Hey, take it easy. I got this." He propped her up straight against the wall and started to bandage her head.
"Thanks," she said, closing her eyes.
"Anytime, Ames." He finished wrapping the bandage around her head and taped it there.
"What?" He checked her arm, lifting it and watching her expression change when he moved it too far.
Sonic set her arm down. "You. You know. Ames, Amy." He wrapped some bandages around her upper arm.
"My name's Amy?"
He paused. "Yeah. It's always been. Amy Rose, world-traveling archaeologist. The one who dragged me here to help explore this tomb? Find the bodies, take them back, study them?" He smiled, but when she didn't return it, his faded away. "You really don't know who you are?"
"I don't know anything except that I woke up and my head is killing me," she said. He slowly finished bandaging her arm and she rubbed it. "Although it's not as bad now. Thanks, Mr.?"
He cleared his throat. "Sonic. Sonic the Hedgehog." No sign from her. No cheeky smirk or eager gleam at the opportunity of a new dig or another exploration with him. He thought he should've expected it. Amy didn't remember anything at all, including him. And it was his fault. His guilt feasted on him as much as his disappointment when she didn't recognize him.
She nodded and rose to her feet, holding onto him for support. "Well, Sonic, I don't know about you, but I believe we should find our way out of this tomb. Any ideas?" He shined the lamp's light on the glyphs. She walked over to them and beckoned for more light.
"Can you read it?" he asked
"If I'm an archaeologist like you claim, I should be able to." Tracing her finger over the drawings, she murmured to herself for a few minutes. She shook her head. "Sorry. I don't think I can figure it out. Perhaps we should just go out the way we came in?"
"We can't. It's blocked off by sand." Amy scrunched her face and made a humming sound. "What?"
"Well, if this is a tomb and the only way out is blocked, then we're going to start running out of air soon. Unless we find some other exit."
"Then we better get going," he said.
"Yes, let's." They gathered together the tools and backpack and marched forth into the waiting darkness.
Sonic glanced at Amy now and again, still in disbelief that she had no memory of anyone or anything. If they hoped to survive, he needed to bring her back. It was his responsibility. He had caused this. Besides that, she was the only one who could read the signs on the walls and navigate this old tomb without falling prey to any other traps. But the question became how he should go about it.
"So, these traps," Amy said, looking up at the ceiling. "there's more of them?"
"I guess," he said. "You did tell me there were 'traps.'"
"And I would know how to find them."
"That's what I was thinking."
She ran her hand along the wall. "And to do that, I'd have to get my memory back."
"Yeah, look, I'm really sorry about all this."
Amy waved off the apology. "You already said that. It's fine. It was just an accident, right?" She shrugged. "Not much to do now except deal with it. So, tell me about myself. Maybe something will trigger my memories."
He scratched his head. "Okay, sure. It's the least I can do. What do you want to know?"
"What am I like?" she asked.
"Well, you're confident, brave, good in a fight, strong, ambitious— headstrong really—, smart, independent, generally friendly except around Eggman."
He shook his head. "It's a long story."
The cave began to widen and the ceiling rose on a slope. "What about you and me? I suppose we're friends?"
"Yeah, we are," he said slowly. "I mean, we hang out sometimes."
"Not often stuck in tombs, I hope?" she said, giggling.
He grinned. "Nope, this is a first." Even if she didn't know it, the Amy he knew was still there, flashing by. "There's also Tails and Knuckles. You get along with them, too."
"None that I know of." He examined the rough, rocky walls. Every bit of the tunnel looked the exact same, like there was an endless roll of scenery behind them and they were walking in place. How long do these tunnels go on for?
"Anyone special in my life?"
"Huh, what?" He swung the lamp around and she was much closer to him than before. For a moment, he wondered if she might be faking her memory loss.
"You know, a boyfriend? Some guy I'm dating?"
His mouth clamped shut. How did he answer that? Tell her it was a one-sided crush, filled with light flirting that was shot down regularly? Yeah, that would really put her in a good mood. And then if she asked about who the crush was? The one thing he didn't need was to antagonize an amnesiac without her having the full context and unless she remembered, explaining the entire situation would take far too long. And it might not work then either. He had to tell her something though. So he chose, "Uh, not necessarily."
"What does that mean? It's either I do or I don't." She stopped suddenly and held her hand out in front of him. "Wait, something's not right."
He held the lamp further out. "Is it a trap?"
"I don't know," Amy said. "I-I think I'm sensing something. Like something's coming back to me or…" She knelt in the sand and asked for the lamp. Sonic handed it over and she swept it over the ground. "There," she pointed.
Sonic followed her finger and saw a couple rows of small dips in the sand. "So?" he asked.
Amy stood and held the lamp high, but the roof was completely out of sight. She dug into her backpack and took out a bit of rope. She threw it, holding one end and it uncurled onto the ground. Nothing happened. Even when she dragged it into one of the pits, no part of the tunnel changed.
"False alarm?" Sonic suggested.
"I don't think so." Putting the rope back in the backpack, Amy took out the first aid kit after dumping its contents in the pack. She filled it with sand until it was brimming full and shut the case. Then she threw it onto one of the pits.
Immediately, the ceiling smashed into the floor, rumbling the ground and throwing the hedgehogs off their feet. Sand flew into their faces and they sputtered as it settled down. When the dust had cleared, the ceiling lifted up. Only now, the many sharp spikes attached to it were visible, each slipping out of a pit as the trap reset. The dangerous ceiling receded into the darkness above.
"Definitely a trap," Amy said, wiping off and coughing up sand. Sonic helped her to her feet. "The question is 'how do we get past it without touching the floor?'"
"I think I know," Sonic said, shouldering the backpack. He handed the tools and lamp to Amy before scooping her into his arms.
She struggled and kicked her feet. "What are you doing?"
Sonic grinned. "Just hang on." He took off like a shot, running along the wall as she yelped and buried her head in his neck. The ceiling never came down and once they cleared the last row of floor pits, he jumped off the wall and landed gracefully, setting Amy down. She shook, completely shocked by the experience, and looked back and forth between Sonic and where they were.
"You-you ran," she pushed her bangs away, as if to clearly see and comprehend what happened, "really fast."
"You didn't think I was called Sonic for nothing, did you?"
Amy stared at the wall he had run on. "I can see why I brought you along. I guess you run like that often."
"All around the world," he said, lifting a leg behind his back and pulling on it, stretching it out. He did the same with his other and grabbed the lamp. "Seen about every place you can think of."
As they resumed their trek through the tunnel, Amy asked, "You seemed at ease with carrying me like that. It's not the first time you've done that."
He rubbed his neck. "Nope. You can get in a tight spot at times. Especially with Eggman around."
They reached a fork in the path, as the floor broke off into two curves. Amy took the lamp from Sonic and lit a torch beside them. He doused the lamp as she held the torch above a cavity in the wall that went further into the darkness. A clear liquid in a canal carved into the cavity's base rippled from their breath as they studied it.
Sonic sniffed the liquid. Its scent was weak, but it smelled familiar. "Gas?"
Amy dipped the torch into the canal and fire leapt to life and raced down the cavity's length. Soon the fire had lit up the level they were on and traveled upwards in a spiral on the wall, lighting the areas above them. They had entered a large, circular chamber. Ringing the edges were paths jutting out on each level and layered thick with sand. Each path was separated by a couple of stories from the next. All the paths connected to a large column in the middle by several bridges here and there on every level that barely spanned the width of a person. The column itself winded upwards in a spiral like the fire. The flames continued to climb higher after they finished a full round on each level.
"Woah," he said, mouth agape.
"Shall we?" Amy led the way, keeping the torch close to the edge of their path. Below was a dark pit with no definite bottom. "So it sounds like you fight this Eggman a lot."
"Pretty much," Sonic said. "He's always got some plan to take over the world with his robots."
"And you step up to stop him? You're some hero?"
"Eh, I don't like to use the term 'hero'," he said as they approached one of the bridges. Up close, the bridge appeared to be even thinner. "I'm just a guy who helps out while passing through."
"Very noble of you," she said, smirking. "Care to help and test out the bridge here or should I?"
He shook his head and pushed her back. "I don't think you should push your luck anymore today. I'll go." He grabbed the tools and carefully stepped onto the bridge, his arms held out to the side as he put one foot right in front of the other. So far, so good. Breathing deeply, he tried not to look at the pit.
"This Eggman, he's very fat, right?" Amy asked as he passed the midpoint.
"Yeah, how did you know?" He spotted a slight crack in the bridge. He turned back to Amy and pointed, then made a little mound of sand to mark the spot.
"The name gave it away." As Sonic made it to the other side, she added, "He also has a bushy mustache, doesn't he?"
Sonic whipped around. "Yeah, he does! You remember?"
"Kind of. It's fuzzy, but I can see him floating? Flying?" She tilted her head. "He can fly?"
"In one of his machines," Sonic said, setting down the tools. He coaxed her onto the bridge. She kept her gaze on him at first, but glanced downwards briefly. She didn't show it, but Sonic sensed the same nervousness in her as he had during his crossing.
He tried to keep her talking and her mind off the bridge. "Do you remember anything else yet? What about Tails?"
"Does he help you fight Eggman?" She held herself tall as she concentrated on him. When she came to the mound, she stepped over it and lunged forward several paces. Then she returned to her normal gait.
"Yes, he does," Sonic said. "He creates inventions for us to fight Eggman, like-"
"The Tornado," Amy said, her eyes widening. "A blue plane."
"Right!" She finished the crossing, dropping the torch and bending over, holding her knees. "And Knuckles, he has spikes on his fist. And, and he guards something. Some ancient jewel."
"Yes, the Master Emerald!" Sonic said excitedly. "You have your memory back?"
She held her forehead and plopped down against the column. "I think so. Everything's flooding back to me. Except one thing."
Amy raised her head. "I still don't recall anything about you."
His jaw dropped. "Nothing at all?"
"Sorry," she said, standing and dusting her clothes off. "Guess you don't leave much of an impression beyond your speed."
"That," he stuttered as she turned to the column, "that doesn't make any sense!"
"Don't freak out about it. Maybe I'll remember in time. Now," she traced a group of markings on the column, "I think these are directions. Give me a minute."
Sonic rested his weight on the column, unable to think straight. How can she not remember me? It's me! He was the hero who fought Eggman. He had saved her more times than he could count. And, most important of all, he was her crush. She flirted with him often. It was impossible that she had simply forgotten him.
He stared at her as she studied the etched messages. "Really not helping there," she said. He realized he was right in her personal space and backed off. Not one spark of familiarity, not one ounce of sudden recollection in her studious expression. Sonic slipped down to the base of the column. He felt awful.
"Alright, here we go," Amy said, stopping on one section. "We go up three levels and enter the tunnel on the far side. Let's go then."
Numbly, Sonic carried the tools and backpack and followed her as they climbed the steep path that curved up around the column. The whole time, Sonic couldn't take his mind off what Amy said. But what did it matter to him anyway? Not everything will come back at once.
Although what if her memory of him never came back at all? The fact that she even knew about Eggman and not him hurt. How could he stand it if she never remembered him? Their friendship, how she liked him, all gone.
At least the crush will be gone, he joked. Yet that failed to help. If he was honest with himself, he liked the attention. It was nice to have something besides hero adoration or furious hate thrown his way. Sonic had returned her flirting sometimes, surprising Amy and making her blush in a way that he found endearing.
He wanted Amy back, the Amy that he knew and that knew him. "So, do you remember that time we had to fight Eggman out over the ocean?" he said.
They reached the fourth floor and walked to the bridge. "With his snake robot? Uh, the Sea Serpent?" she asked.
"Yeah. And how Tails flew us in close to wail on it?"
"Knuckles and I were on the wings of the Tornado," she said as she started across the bridge.
"I was on the nose." She glanced back at him and shrugged. "I was the first one off. I jumped on the robot's head."
"All I know is Knuckles and I smashed it to pieces," she said, scooting along the bridge. "Not saying you weren't there. You might've been."
"I was." Sonic rubbed his forehead. Really? The Sea Serpent she knows, but not me?! "What about the time—"
Crack! Amy froze two-thirds of the way across the bridge. Sonic saw the pieces underneath crumbling away before she did. As the spot gave out, she jumped forward, latching onto the bridge. However, that end began to break off as well.
"Amy!" The tools and backpack weighed him down, so he threw them across to the other side. He dashed to Amy, dropping and sliding toward her as her hold broke off. He caught her hand. Using the momentum, he swung her under the bridge and tossed her into the air. Amy landed unsteadily on top, but now, the whole bridge was falling apart.
Sonic snatched her hand and pointed at the gap in the collapsing bridge. "We can still make it."
She nodded. "Yeah. On three." A piece fell out from under her foot. "One."
The gap widened and the side connected to the column was snapping and cracking at its end. "Two, three!" Sonic quickly finished. They sprinted for the gap and jumped for all their worth.
Right away, Sonic realized they wouldn't clear it fully. He whipped his arm forward, flinging Amy ahead of him and onto the ledge. She rolled to safety while he grabbed onto the edge. His fingers dug into the rock, but were slipping fast.
"Sonic!" Amy scrambled to him, taking his arm. She helped him topside and dragged him away from the edge. He propped himself up on his elbows and watched the rest of the bridge crumble.
"Thanks," he said, leaning back and looking at Amy.
"I thought I was going to lose you there," she said, breathing hard.
"You should know I don't-" he stopped mid-sentence. Oh. Right. "Uh, I don't go down that easy."
"Good." She handed him the tools and carried the backpack herself. She lit the lamp in the burning canal embedded in the wall, then headed into the tunnel ahead. Sonic stayed close, lest any other traps surprise them.
Thankfully, nothing else rumbled underfoot or jumped out of the shadows to ensnare the two. Instead, they reached a dead end. Solid rock stood before them, covered in more inscriptions. Amy tried and failed to shine the light in the corners. Sonic set down the tools, stood on his toes with the lamp, and lit the spots for her.
"Did we go the wrong way?" he asked.
"No," Amy said, reading the strange language. "This is it."
"This is what?"
"The tomb," she said. "This is a message. A poem actually."
Sonic cocked his head at the wall. Each marking ran into the next, carved dots speckled the whole length from top to bottom, and there was no definitive separation from one line to the next. "A poem?" he repeated incredulously. "How do you make heads or tails of this stuff?"
Amy touched the wall and rapped on a crack with her knuckles. "It's a little tricky, but there's a particular pattern to the text."
He smirked. "What does it say? 'Roses are red, violets are blue. You've been duped. Haha, fooled you' again and again?"
"No, it's a dedication from the man to his fiancé. Roughly translated, it says 'My truest love, the light in the darkness, my heart passed on with you. Its cold death resides in my chest, chilling me, icing my veins with sorrow. Every beat of it aches for you. It always was yours and you have taken it with you in death. It is caught between here and beyond, ripped asunder. I never had the chance to show you the full depth of my love, lost countless chances to experience the extent of the brief life we shared."
An unexpected chill raced down Sonic's spine. He turned from the text and looked at Amy, holding the lamp closer to her face. "Sonic, the light."
"Oh, yeah," he dropped his head, embarrassed, but stealing glances at her. He lit up the last of the text.
"Therefore, I hope this last act will be enough, this place, built for you, sealed by my love. Maybe one day, we be together once more. Until then, I offer my body and soul to stay beside yours, until this world passes away. Never will I leave you again. Hinshialoth, Lord of his father's house." Amy stepped back and took a deep breath. "Wow. He really cared about her a lot."
"Seems like it," Sonic said. "Although, I still say he went to a real extreme here."
She groaned and dug through her backpack. "He did it for love. Can't you at least appreciate that?"
"I guess." As she muttered about him being "impossible," he added, "But his heart was in the right place." Amy smiled back at him. "Not much of a poet. Didn't even add one rhyme."
"Not every poem has to rhyme," she argued and threw out her tools.
"Then what's the point of it being a poem?" She didn't answer. He tried the read the wall himself, searching for the pattern she talked about. Unable to find it, he recounted the one line in his head again: I never had the chance to show you the full depth of my love, lost countless chances to experience the extent of the brief life we shared.
He nearly lost Amy on a few occasions on this excursion alone. How many others had she almost neared her end? More than he wanted to dwell on.
Now, with her memory gone, he had lost a piece of her. Who was to say that the next trap in here wouldn't claim one of their lives? He acted aloof, but Sonic really did care about Amy a lot.
Tails and Knuckles were good friends and he saw them more often. They knew he considered them good friends in his own way, as close as kin. But he didn't visit Amy as often. She wasn't as familiar with his daily attitude. I could come see her regularly. Like every week or more. That didn't feel like enough to him. What if I took her on some of my adventures like Tails and Knuckles? That sounded better. They could regain the friendship they had, grow closer—
Before he could pursue or halt his train of thought, Amy yelled, "Duck!" He crouched and her hammer smashed into the wall. A break splintered in the center and she landed another blow.
"What are you doing?" he asked, catching the handle in mid-swing.
She jerked the hammer away and smacked the wall harder. "The tomb's behind here. It's too thin compared to the rest of the tunnel. It has to be blocking their resting place."
"What about the poem?"
"I'll put it back together later. We don't have time to take this slow, remember? We have to find a way out." One more hit and the hammer crashed through the wall. Air around them immediately whisked inside.
Excitedly, Amy pulled out her hammer, then beat down the edges, widening the hole. "Help me out here," she said. "Get a tool and bring this down."
It wasn't long before they excavated most of the wall. Beyond was a dark room. Amy went ahead, lighting the way with her lamp. Sonic stuck close to her with the tools. They moved cautiously, both aware that if any traps were left, they would most likely be in this chamber.
At the far end of the room was a body-length pedestal, upon which lay two preserved skeletons. One was embracing the other, holding it to its bony chest. "Hinshialoth," Amy pointed at the one doing the holding. The other was shorter by a head and appeared to nuzzle her non-existent nose into his neck, now reduced to a spine. "And his love."
The sight was a little disturbing. However, the longer Sonic looked down on the pair, the more he thought the man was smiling instead of only clenching his teeth together. A genuine smile that made his dead eye sockets a little lively, happy even. He really wanted to stay by her.
The poem replayed to him and he eyed Amy. She leaned over the bodies. "What now?" he asked. "Planning to take the bodies with us or leave them for later?"
"Neither," she said.
"'Neither'? Isn't this what you came down here for?"
"Yeah and it's a great find. But," she straightened and folded her hands on her dress, "it wouldn't be right, disturbing their love. I don't even think we should've broken in here."
"It's a little late for that," he said jokingly. She smiled and nodded. "What will you do then?"
"Take something else. I'm sure there's plenty of artifacts in this whole place to last me a while."
He rested a hand on her shoulder and grinned. "That's sweet of you, Ames. I'm proud of you." A crimson tinge crept into her face and she diverted her gaze. He did the same, surprised at what came over him. "We better get going though. After all, we don't have time to waste."
"Right." They searched the rest of the room and found another thin area of wall. After smashing through it, they traversed another tunnel to arrive at a pit opening to the sky. Unfortunately, the sandstorm hadn't let up. If anything, it had become worse. Through the grit and dust, they saw a series of platforms embedded in the sides of the pit. In the center of the pit wobbled a pillar that speared through several stone square slices like a Tower of Hanoi. The squares shrunk in size from the base to the top. Sonic and Amy were on the level of the fifth square from the top. The platforms sticking out of the pit's walls were all out of reach unless they climbed the pillar.
Amy's worried watch as the pillar lurched from side to side in the storm said it all. The platforms didn't inspire any confidence either, as they seemed to be hanging on by a wing and a prayer. The hedgehogs stayed in the tunnel and out of the billowing winds. "If I can get to the top, I can throw down a rope," he said, gathering together all the ropes they had. Seeing as the pit was deeper than the one they used to enter the tomb, he tied the rope ends together, hoping it sufficed.
"No way," she said. "You can't get to the top. The last platform is still too far from it." That particular platform was a good thirty feet below the pit's opening. It was also short and wouldn't offer much room to maneuver.
"I'll run up the rest of the way," he said, finishing the rope knots.
"In this storm? No. Sonic, we'll think of something else."
One of the platforms directly overhead cracked and fell down, landing beside them. Amy yelped, clutching to Sonic as the platform tilted and slid off the side into the pit.
"If we wait any longer, this storm won't leave us a way out," he said. He looped the ropes over his shoulder. "I have to go."
She put a hand on her hip and looked skeptical. "I'll bet." Then she pecked his cheek. "For luck."
He brushed the kiss and took her hand, pulling her to him. Sonic pressed his lips to hers, earning a sharp gasp from Amy that he quickly swallowed. It ended shortly after and Amy continued to lean into it, keeping the tips of their mouths touching for as long as possible. Those dazed, half-lidded eyes of hers sparkled and caught his own.
"For luck," he said.
She mumbled something that sounded like a "Yeah" and the corners of her mouth tugged upwards at odd angles.
Tipping a two-finger salute, Sonic dashed off into the storm, blinded by sand. He leapt high for the pillar and seized the fourth square. He climbed onto it and stumbled to the center, holding it for balance. Amy watched from below. He shifted his weight to his right side as the pillar rocked to the left. When the pillar fell back to right, he ran to the left, bent at the knees, and jumped straight for the next level, grabbing on with one hand.
Again and again he played the little balancing act until he surmounted the top. The last level was smaller than it looked. Sonic switched constantly between standing on his toes and the balls of his feet.
The first platform was long and stretched out overhead. It appeared briefly at the apex of the pillar's rocking, then disappeared in the billowing sand. Gotta get it right. The pillar tilted to the left. Too far to the left. Sonic's feet slipped and one of his legs lifted wildly into the air. He spun his arms, fighting for balance. Miraculously, the pillar halted at a sharp angle. Sonic stomped the far edge of his little space with his free foot as it started to right itself. Please, go.
No more chances. It was now or never. As the pillar fell to the right, he ran to the left, pushing off the side of the level. He reached with all his might for the platform. His hand smacked onto the lip. With great effort, he climbed on the platform and kneeled there, catching his breath. Below the pillar crashed against the wall and scraped down the side, shearing off the top level. Woah, this place almost got a new resident!
Sonic turned to the next platform. The first few were a simple hop away from each other and he crossed them with no problem. Around the fourth, the space began widening and the platforms grew thinner. A little past the middle, he had to take running starts to clear the distance.
A few platforms from the top one, he landed on an extremely thin stretch of rock that offered as much support as a balance beam. The platform ahead was a vague shadow, a blob that he squinted to see.
He slipped the rope off and tied a lasso on the end. Swinging it, he threw the rope at the platform. He missed. Sonic pulled it in and tried a second time. The rope draped on the top, but didn't slide on the underside. "C'mon," he muttered, whipping the rope. It flopped this way and that. "Get on there!"
The rope moved a little. With every whip, it slipped along until it encircled the whole platform. Sonic pulled it further to the other end. He twisted his feet toward the blob in the sand wall and hopped off, swinging into it. He couldn't help whooping and pumping his hand victoriously as he dove low and rose like pendulum.
But the platform he swung from collapsed on his upswing. He kicked and flung his arms for anything to latch to. The last platform was within arm's length. He grabbed onto it, wrapping an arm around the topside, and held the rope with the other.
A sudden weight jerked his arm, but he kept a firm grip on the rope. There was little he could do except jiggle it a little, hoping the rope somehow slipped off. Yet as quick as it came on, the weight vanished. Sonic scrambled onto the platform and rolled in the rope.
The end had snapped off, leaving a frayed piece where the lasso knot had been. Sonic looked back down. This wouldn't be long enough for Amy now, would it? A wad of sand blew into his throat. He hacked and choked on it. This wasn't the place to analyze how the rope would fare. First things first. Get to the top.
He looked up. The storm was heaviest outside of the tomb. Sonic took his position at the lip of the platform, bent with one hand touching the stone, and cocked his legs. Let's go.
Sonic raced up the wall, running as fast as he could. The storm was doing its best to push him back down, but he pressed on. He couldn't see anything in front of him. He closed his eyes, thinking of Amy. She was counting on him. So he gritted his teeth and broke through the barrier, zipping along the sand and screeching to a halt dozens of yards away.
Okay, think, Sonic. What to do. There wasn't anything around to use for makeshift rope to add to his line. He picked out a couple of boulders jutting out of hills near the pit. One appeared slender and buried deep in the ground. Sonic ran over to it and tapped his chin. He tied the rope around its base and gave it a tug. It didn't budge at all. Perfect.
Tying the frayed end around his waist, he stood at the mouth of the pit. Then he hopped back onto the platform he had just left. Nothing was visible beyond his position. No other choice. He blindly leapt into the unknown, free-falling into the pit's center, one hand on the rope to slow his drop.
He came to an immediate halt and the rope cut painfully into his waist. He could go no further. Sonic dangled in mid-air, unsure how deep he was.
Then a faint voice cried out in the wind. "Sonic!" To his side, visible for a moment, was the tunnel.
"Amy!" he shouted.
"Sonic, where are you?"
He curled up and undid the knot on his waist. The pressure eased off and he grasped the rope's tip, lowering himself as far as possible. Now he saw the shape of Amy standing in front of the tunnel. He stretched out his arm, kicking his feet and swinging toward her a little.
"Amy, over here!"
She hopped up and down, waving. "I see you!"
"Listen! You're going to have to jump for it!" She stopped moving. "I'll catch you! I promise!"
It was a few moments before she said, "Okay!" Amy backed up to the tunnel and put one foot forward. "Ready?"
She ran and sprang off the ground, soaring toward him. But her hand was a little low. Amy was falling. Her mouth began to open in a scream and fear flashed across her face.
Sonic flipped upside-down, wrapping his legs onto the rope. He held out both hands to Amy, catching her by the wrists. "Gotcha!" Relief washed over him and Amy calmed down, squeezing his hands.
"See if you can climb on me," he said. Amy nodded and he pulled her higher. She latched onto his ribs and hefted herself along his body to the rope. When she had a firm hold onto it, he reached up and she helped him right himself. "Thanks."
"Anytime," she said. Bit by bit, they started to head for the top, slowed down by the storm batting them around like a plaything.
A dark shape plummeted right beside them. Amy gasped and tried to push away from it. Sonic looked down and realized it was one of the platforms. It crashed into the pillar, breaking off a chunk of it.
"Sonic?" she asked.
"Climb faster!" he shouted. A few more dropped as the wind seemed to be blowing them right underneath the falling stone. One missed Sonic's nose by mere inches.
"I see the top!" Amy said, moving rapidly. Sonic was right behind her. They emerged and flopped onto the ground.
Neither spoke for minutes. The storm's intensity began to die down. They panted and lolled their heads to the sky, peering at the sun. The storm soon settled to a harsh breeze, only able to pick up Sonic's scarf with its power. He coughed and sat up, resting on his arms.
"That was close," he said, his voice raspy, mixed with the grain caught in the back of his throat. He coughed harder.
"Very," she said. "And I thought our trip in was bad."
He chuckled. "Yeah, I'd say this topped that." However, he realized what she had said. Apparently, so did she, as she buttoned her lips, sucking them in. "You do remember!" She mumbled what sounded like a confirmation. "Were you faking it all this time?"
"No, no. I really did forget at first," she said.
He turned his body toward her. "When did you remember then?"
Amy scratched her cheek. "Somewhere between that ceiling trap and the first bridge we crossed." She grinned sheepishly.
"So you remembered me first?" he asked, his spirit rising.
"Of course. You're pretty hard to forget."
A small grin crept onto his lips that he squashed quickly. "And since then, you've been lying to me."
"Not really lying," Amy said, standing. "Just conducting a," she searched for the appropriate term, "social experiment."
Sonic snorted and brushed himself off. "A social experiment," he spat.
"I am a scientist after all."
"That's not your field. You had me worried you had permanent brain damage." Amy hummed softly. "What?"
"I'm surprised at the way this little experiment turned out is all." She sidled closer to him and seemed to measure him from his chest to his face. "The results have been very interesting."
He wiped his hands and took a step backwards. "I'll bet they have. Why don't you publish a paper on them or something?"
"Oh, I'm sure I'll find a much better use for them." She winked and his cheeks heated up.
"Well, I'm going to go."
"Don't you want a kiss first?" she asked. "A bit of luck for your next adventure?"
He rolled his eyes and zoomed away into the distance, leaving Amy behind, sighing, but a small smile gracing her lips. He raced over to the hole where they entered in the distance, revving his feet against a mound of sand and unburying her ATV. Without warning, he looped around and took her up on her offer, pecking her lips. Then he was gone, now leaving a joyful Amy behind. For he now knew, if nothing else, he should never underestimate the power of a kiss.
A/N: That was fun to write. Been in an adventure mood recently.
Sword: Yay! How about you and me go spelunking, Pen? Us all alone, with the dead bodies? *sighs wistfully*
Pen: You're touched in the head if you think I'm going anywhere. We'll likely end up buried alive.
Sword: Yeah, but together.
Pen: Go away.
Thank you all for reading this. Hope you enjoyed it. Please, let us know what you thought of it.