A Different Sky

By Jeanette Hansen (aka Illys)

jeanette arcticfuzz.dk (remove spaces to send me an email. die, spam-bots!)

Story Notes

Rating: Pg-13

Timing: Pre-doomsday project

Universe: Sonic the Hedgehog Sat AM Series

Summary: Based upon the premise that Tails is a girl in secret, as rumoured in the STH internet community that Tails was a female character before Sonic 2 was released in America, with her gender changed as a precautionary measure by Sega of America. Humour and intrigue ensues.

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Chapter One - Youth in Mobotropolis

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Under the pale blue hemisphere of the northern mobian sky, the capital city was a lazy hum of peace. In one of the smaller city parks, a few children were making a rowdy game of ball into their own personal sporting event - a young fox was pacing at the edges of the field.

"Hey, can I play too?"

The voices echoing across the field piped an answer - several belonging to older male boys. One trotted closer to the speaker to answer with a grin, "No way!"

"But why?" The little fox cub at the field side protested with bristling fur.

"You're too little!"

"Yeah, and you're a girl, too!" Chimed in a younger boy, inspiring some giggles.

"No fair! I'm going to tell!" The fox cub's lower lip trembled slightly, jutting out in the way that meant she had no idea who to tell. Her older peers simply moved back into play, sending their ball hurtling farther along the field. She turned her back to the players and kicked up a small cloud of summer dust. "Meanies..."

She found herself a place in the empty swings at the edge of the park and shoved at the ground beneath her feet.

"They're just boring, anyways..."

Sonic teetered out of the grocer's door, a brown paper bag just barely blocking his vision as he wobbled onto the sidewalk. A few choice words were escaping his breath - they seemed to follow the lines of 'responsibilities' and 'chores' and 'blah-blah-blah-helping out'. He was struggling to make his way home under a healthy load of vegetables, and shifting the bag around in his hands to find a way to see better around them.

After a breathy huff, he managed to pitch the weight of the bag up into an elbow and he started the sprint home. He was especially looking forward to a 'Mob-gob' chocolate bar that was his self-appointed shopping treat.

Three blocks down from the grocer's, Tails was trotting her way back home from the park. She had a rather dejected posture. At the moment, she was concentrating very hard upon a rounded rock that she was kicking along the sidewalk - and suddenly she found herself bowled over by a very large paper bag. There was an explosion of onions, celery and tomatoes, and she found herself on her side on the ground with a potato rolling by her nose.

There was a shuffling noise as Sonic pulled himself to his feet - and he groaned at the sight. About half of his groceries were 'gravel mush' (by his calculations), and there was a smallish orange fox cub at his feet.

He pressed a paw to a lump on his forehead and groaned. Apparently he had mowed over the kid due to his lack of vision. But, of course, there was nothing to do but clean up the mess. He had a few curses on the tip of his tongue when he found the kit's nose poking into his business.

Tails' ears were flickering madly, and she started tripping over herself to help the blue older boy pick up his belongings. "I..I.. I'm so.. so sorry mister!" She plopped a muddy tomato back into the half-torn paper sack, meanwhile sniffling about. The older boy slowed down his clean-up, and looked down at her.

"What?"

Tails squeaked with surprise. "I said I'm.. sorry about making you spill all your stu..."

"S'okay, kid.. There's always more where these come from." Sonic scratched himself behind an ear and laughed lightly. "I'm more worried what my uncle's going to say.."

The fox kit apparently didn't take it quite right - the ears drooped, and it's whiskers lowered. Sonic felt like a heel. "Aww.. look kid, here. You can have this -"

Tails found a half-squished chocolate bar thrust under her nose - she stared a moment, then took it with gratitude. It didn't last five seconds, before she looked up with a slightly chocolaty grin.

The older hedgehog sighed internally with relief when the kid didn't end up blubbering. The last thing he wanted were tears from a younger kid today. He picked up his bag (more carefully than usual), and decided to get along.. "I gotta get going..."

Tails hopped along for a short while, curiosity brimming. "What's your name, mister?"

Sonic paused in his steps when he found the kit tagging along. He turned to look at the orange sugar-rush and said, "Sonic. Sonic T. Hedgehog, at yer service, kid."

Tails self-consciously licked a mob-gob bit from her nose. "You must be that speed demon everyone talks about! Gee! I.. I'm..."

The kid's voice trailed off for a moment. Lingering in the back of her mind were the taunting voices of her playmates back at the park. "I'm Mel.. Miles. Miles 'Tails' Power." She hiked a thumb backwards for emphasis at her unusual appendages.

Sonic's eyes widened at the sight. There were two disproportionately large fox tails waving behind the kid's ears, every now and then a tip flickering around behind him.

He got a wide grin, "Wow.. that's.. I've never seen that before."

Tails perked up at the reply. "Hey.. you wanna play?"

"Naw.. I gotta get home.."

"Tomorrow?!"

"But..."

"It's so boring over there - the other guys say I'm too young.."

"Oh, okay. See you after lunch, kid."

Sonic grinned when the fox kit got a satisfied grin on its cute face. He'd be there at the park all right - just for kicks.

It was in this way that Tails became an almost inseparable sidekick for Sonic. Even though the cub was less than half of Sonic's age, Tails became an almost trademark sight. Where the fox cub was, Sonic was sure to follow. And vice versa, of course - but Tails never really found the courage in the back of her mind to correct Sonic's most blaring misconception - his best 'bud' was really a girl.

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