Song: Dearly Beloved by Jerome Kern / Johnny Mercer
"Tell me that it's true, tell me you agree
I was meant for you, you were meant for me."
The atmospehere around Never Lake was as picturesque and blissful as one might only be able to imagine. The wide open lush green-fielded landscape stretched far beyond than what one's eye would ever be able to see, creating the feeling of being out in the absolute middle of nowhere. In the center of it all though, slightly hidden by various steep cliffs and rock formations, laid an vast lake with it's crystal clear water shimmering brightly in the summer sun. A few fluffy clouds lazily sailed across the sky but aside from that nothing disturbed the serenity of this otherwise ordinary day at the very first day of June.
But to Sonic the Hedgehog it wasn't an ordinary day - far from it.
Red sneakers were effortlessly balancing atop of a particularly pointed cliff, upholding the steady body of the blue hero of Mobius. His tan arms folded across his chest in a nonchalant way while his emerald green eyes stared out over the beautiful view in front of him with a soft fondness in them.
Everytime Sonic had returned to Never Lake he was pleased to find that it was almost completely untouched by mobians except the occasional explorer or traveler. Although one could still see a rather large crater in one of the cliffs - indirectly caused by himself for almost ten years ago.
A smirk crept upon his lips as the memory of his adventure on Little Planet came flooding back - the mystical time stones, traveling through time, saving critters, fighting a metalic copy of himself and finally his victory over Dr. Robotnik resulting in Little Planet breaking free from it's chains. Stardust sprinkled upon him as flowers bloomed all around him in a way of thanking him for what he'd done. One of his first adventures...
However nothing could compare to the one he'd met, the girl that out of nowhere had quite literally knocked him off his feet and would come to change his life forever. Suddenly his world didn't circle around him anymore but instead he felt himself get thrown in orbit around this one particular girl with a name just as sweet as her personality - Amy Rose.
After that day Sonic had sworn to himself that he'd always protect her no matter what, even if it cost him his own life - he knew that she was created to be protected and that he was created to protect her.
Everything from her smile and laugh to her fierce sense of justice and love of the free world captivated him, in a lot of aspects he could see himself reflected in her but the contrast between them also shone through. For as much as he was like the wind she was like the rose of her namesake - uttermost fragile and delicate yet strong and even though she shared his love of adventure a part of her still longed to root and create something of her own, an adventure of different sort.
One he was about to face.
"Dearly beloved, how clearly I see
Somewhere in heaven you were fashioned for me."
Sonic's ears suddenly twitched when the gentle wind brought him the childlike laughter of the girl that held all of his affection. With one simple movement he unconcernedly leapt off the peak and with swift agility made his way down the cliff, using the momentum of lower rocks to ultimately land safely down below. There he could easily catch the sight of her, only a few meters ahead of him - dancing barefooted with herself in the lush grass, her arms swaying vigorously while her dress flowed around her petite body. The brightest of smiles were evident on her face as, due to her eager dance, she'd caused flower petals to swirl around her, getting some stuck in her flowing pink quills.
As Sonic took in the scene he found himself realizing that he'd probably never see anything quite as beautiful as this again. However it wasn't with sadness that he contemplated the fact but rather with a suprisingly calm feeling of content. With dazed eyes and her laughing fading into light giggling Amy fell down in the grass - just as daintily as a flower. She had closed her eyes, feeling her body get heated by the sun's rays while the sweet smell of flowers filled her senses.
Sonic approached her, bending down beside her head before he gently stroked her cheek to which she responded by, without opening her eyes, carefully reaching a hand up to grasp his.
"Sonic..." Amy murmured softly before opening her eyes, sitting up and hastily taking both of his hands in hers. "Finally - I've waited for my dance partner to come!"
"Dance partner?" Sonic questioned as he raised a brow at her with an amused smile.
With great enthusiasm Amy nodded her head and Sonic could feel the courage that he'd brought up suddenly waver - dancing wasn't really on his agenda. Quickly he had to steer the situation back on track.
"Uh well, Ames.. I thought we could take a run around the lake - like the first time we.."
"-.. met?" Amy finished for him as she got a soft look in her eyes which made Sonic fear that she was going to start crying.
When Sonic lifted Amy's small and fragile body it felt just like the first time - her head fitting perfectly below his chin, his arms wrapped protectively around her and how their hearts beat so close to one another. Although now he ran merely to collect himself, stalling maybe, and not because their lives were in danger.
To some degree running calmed him even if he wasn't even close to his regular speed and the little velvet box that was safely tucked away in his back quills made itself reminded - making Sonic slightly unfocused.
For the past months Sonic's mind had dwelled on the act he was about to somehow pull off. He was admittedly not known for being good at expressing his feelings openly and certainly nowhere near this level of self exposing sincerity. Speaking from the heart in means of encouragement and reassurance in times of big crisis he could handle because then he always had the hero facade to support him and sometimes even hide behind. But when it came to his deepest, most private emotions that lingered so close to his heart that Sonic rarely himself even dared to touch upon them, especially those regarding love, he was almost at complete loss.
To his then eleven year old self Amy had introduced Sonic to this, for him, otherwise foreign concept of love and for a long time he thought it was only yet another thing tying him down - keeping him from his freedom, adventure and overall way of life. However today that same boy was indeed no longer a boy but a young man who's maturity done quite a lot of growing and natrually he knew things that he didn't do back then.
Sonic knew protecting a world without people he loved and cared for living upon it was meaningless, that no matter how many battles are won or victories claimed would only be bleak and hollow if you had no friends to celebrate it with. That a life without love would be terribly empty - that no amount of adventures or thrills would ever be able to fill.
So lost in his own thoughts he cursed himself inwardly when Amy seemed to catch on to his distant gaze and the pace becoming gradually slower.
"Sonic are you alright?"
Luckily he knew how to keep his cool - well, mostly anyway.
"Eh, it's probably all of your delicious picnic food from earlier that's getting to me."
Amy's light giggling made his heart leap while she seemed to forget about it, simply snuggling closer to his chest. As they came to a standstill in one of the lush meadows around the lake Sonic placed Amy ever so gently down on her feet but hurriedly took both of her hands in his own.
Their eyes met - emerald and jade.
"Angel eyes knew you, angel voices led me to you
Nothing could save me, fate gave me a sign."
How does one start explaining? Sonic found that the simple words were suddenly so hard. In the romantic films Amy sometimes made him watch everything went so smooth and the characters knew what to say at times like these. Usually the guy in the film fell down on one knee and simply proposed to which the other person in question would happily accept, big speeches and declarations of love would follow and that'd be the part where Amy'd start crying and he'd fall asleep.
His biggest concern however wasn't whether Amy would accept or decline - he was honestly suprised she hadn't been the one proposing to him yet, for the last few years at least. The main issue was meeting her exceptations because he wanted her to know and feel all the affection and tenderness his heart held for her.
When Sonic fell down on one knee, while still holding one of Amy's hands in his, he knew that there was no turning back - it was now or never. Amy in turn had shot her free hand up to her mouth as she watched Sonic with astonished eyes that were as wide as he'd ever seen them.
"Amy... when we met I admit I was a little confused and a little, well... overwhelmed. But something inside me also sparked at that moment, a feeling I couldn't recongize and when you were then so quickly taken from me - I had never felt so scared yet never quiet so brave.
I know I've said I don't much believe in things as fate or destiny but after everything we've been through it's been harder and harder to imagine my life without you - maybe it really was fate that brought these two lovers together."
Pearl like tears streamed down Amy's rosy cheeks as she uttered a heartfelt giggle at the last part.
"You give me a reason to keep fighting when all I can think of is giving in and when I'm in darkness you are the light bringing me back. And when I'm just a reckless jerk you can still see and convince me of that there is a hero somewhere in me while still seeing me behind the hero, does that make sense? Heh, I guess you've always had an eye for the misunderstood - whether they are beasts or not.
But I also know that there wouldn't be any hero if I couldn't be yours - although, you've become your own hero now, haven't you.
The little rosebud I once knew has bloomed and become the most beautiful and strongest rose out of them all. My soulmate, my rose, my princess, my rosy rascal... - my hero."
A warm summer breeze blew across the meadow.
"You always say that I was the one who saved you back on Little Planet but I know now that really it was you who saved me. I thought I'd never fall in love, closed my heart to it, I was wrong about that - I was wrong about many things. Today, however, I know for certain that my biggest adventure hasn't even started yet... cause it's you, Ames. A life with you."
Sonic stroked his thumb across the back of her delicate, now trembeling, hand. He reached for the velvet box and opened the lid to reveal a golden ring encrusted with small bits of emeralds encircling a larger diamond that gleamed brightly in the sun.
"Therefore I vow to always protect and care for you, to carry your sorrows and do whatever it takes to make you smile again - that no matter how far I may go I'll always return back home to you. I will do everything to be the man you deserve... So I'm asking you, from the bottom of my heart..-"
And for a blissful second the world stopped solely for their sake.
"Amy Rose, will you marry me?"
Before Sonic had time to react Amy's arms swung around his neck as she in pure and sheer happiness had glomped him which caused both of them to go tumbling to the ground - flower petals going haywire around the couple.
"Yes, Sonic the Hedgehog! Yes, of course I will!" she cried as she completely covered his face with kisses.
"Woah, Amy take it easy - I ain't going anywhere, hehe..!"
Amy pressed her lips against his for a brief moment before having to break it as a fit of giggles erupted from her lips and she rolled off from Sonic's chest. He propped himself up on one elbow while still having managed to hold on to the velvet box which still contained the golden ring. To get his newly engaged fiancée's attention he cleared his throat, whilst he enjoyed to hear the sweet sound of her giggling he was eager to see if the ring would fit and what she thought about it.
Sitting up in the grass Amy watched with twinkling eyes as Sonic gently placed the ring on her left hand's ring finger and to his relief it fit perfectly - like it'd always been there. She took a moment to admire it before meeting Sonic's gaze, giving him an adorable smile.
"Oh Sonic, my heart is pounding so hard I think it might jump out of my chest..! I-I'm a fiancée and you-... you are m-my.."
"Fiancé? Yeah, sounds weird doesn't it? I guess I'm gonna have to start introduce myself as Sonic the fiancé of Amy Rose from now on."
Amy playfully hit him on the shoulder before the two hedgehogs broke down in a childlike laughing heap, their laughs echoing all the way across the lake. As their laughing died down however it wasn't long before Amy let out a sudden gasp, hastily grasping Sonic's hand in hers.
"Sonic! I just realized - I haven't got any ring to give to you!"
The blue hero on the other hand simply gave her a restful smile and instead placed a soft kiss on the hand that held his.
"You've already given me everything I could possibly ask for, Ames."
Amy still shook her head, letting her eyes sweep around the meadow before she got an idea and reached for a single flower close by. Snapping it far down along the stem she then proceeded to tie it around Sonic's left ring finger to his initial confusion.
"There, now we're properly engaged!" Amy said while entwining both of their left hands together.
"I know that I'll be yours come shower or shine."
Sonic stared down at the floral ring with a such a strong sense of fondness that he didn't even notice the small tears that had formed in the corners of his eyes. For Sonic crying was such an utterly rare occurrence to the extent that only a handfull of people had ever witnessed it or even been close to do so. But now he could feel the foreign sensation of tears forming and all because of such a simple yet meaningful gesture. Maybe it was the stress that finally had loosened it's grip. Maybe it was the fact that he, aside from Tails, had never really had any family and now Amy was his soon-to-be-bride. Or maybe the pure love he felt for her simply couldn't be contained anymore.
"S-Sonikku are you-?"
But Sonic merely arose from the ground, slightly bending down and offering Amy his hand, while brushing away the tears with the other, and giving her a playful wink.
"Would Miss Rose do me the honour of being my dance partner?"
A gleeful smile spread across Amy's muzzle as she eagerly nodded her head, taking his hand and arising infront of him. Due to the prominent height difference between the two of them, with Sonic being a great amonut taller than Amy's petite form, he gently lifted her off the ground to instead place her on top of his shoes. He could feel a faint blush appearing on his muzzle when he wrapped his arm securely around her waist and taking her delicate hand in his more rougher one.
Around them the sun had begun to set as they slowly swayed on the spot - her head leaning against his chest while he tenderly held her close to him and looking out over Never Lake. The water lay so calm that it almost looked like a polished mirror reflecting the clear shifting sky above it. The stillness of nature being the background music for their gentle says but much wasn't needed to make Sonic wanting to freeze time and spend the rest of eternity in this exact moment.
But after what felt like forever Sonic could suddenly see that critters had made their way out in the open - rickies and flickies sitting on the branches of their trees, pockies emerging from all the surrounding meadows and even rockies poking their heads up above the surface of the lake. All of them closely watching the sky in silent anticipation.
Some of the critters which seemed to recongize Sonic repositioned themselves closer to the couple and observed them with mixed amazement and curiosity. During his younger years Sonic had picked up on some of the critter's different languages and noises that they communicated with after he'd saved them from containers or being used inside robots. Although most of the phrases then had been various forms of 'thank you's' he could still make out quite a few meanings that the critters now whispered amongst themselves;
"It's him - Sonic the Hedgehog!"
"Oh, I thought I'd never get to see him in real life!"
"How exciting! Has he come to watch the planet too?"
"Who's the girl with him? She's really pretty, don't ya think?"
Sonic carefully nudged Amy who had closed her eyes only to open them and a little dazed look up to his eyes. He gave her a lopsided smirk as he slightly gestured around them.
"I think we've got some company.."
As Sonic had figured her eyes shot open in an innocent adoration when she saw all of the critters and the fact that some of them even stared back at her.
"Oh Sonic..." she said in awe "I've never seen so many in one place before - they're so cute!"
"Funny, they said the same thing about you, Ames."
"You can understand them?!"
Sonic couldn't help but let out a heartfelt chuckle at her childlike antics.
"Most of it, yeah."
He prompted for them to sit down again, placing Amy in between his legs as he leaned backwards supported by his arms - watching as some critters bravely approached them and began to chatter and twitter eagerly. It didn't take long before one of the flickies discovered the golden ring that graced Amy's finger.
"What's that?" the flicky chirped.
"It's a gold ring, you silly. Those hedgehogs collect for protecting themselves against the bad human's robots!" one of the rickies answered.
"Oh that big old roly-poly, he makes my whiskers tingle!" a pocky who had snuggled into Amy's lap piped.
While Sonic tried to stifle a laugh there suddenly could be felt the slightest of shifts in the atmosphere and a ripple spread on the lake's surface. As if on cue all the critters turned silent yet again to stare in wonder up to a point directly above Never Lake, although he'd hadn't been there the day Little Planet first appeared and it already being chained by the point he got there - Sonic still knew that it was time.
And just like through a magic spell Little Planet warped into existence and looked just as grand and green as he remembered it, a warm sense of nostalgia settling in his heart.
"I can't believe it.. Little Planet, I thought I'd never see it again." Amy whispered as she leaned in closer to Sonic's chest, grasping his hand tightly as she turned her head to meet his gaze. "It's so beautiful - don't you think, Sonic?"
"Yeah, it sure is a lovely sight."
However her blue fiancé was no longer looking at the planet but rather solely on her with a bashful glint in his eyes. A mad blush tainted Amy's cheeks and the next thing she knew Sonic had softly pressed his lips against hers in a tender kiss which she lovingly returned. The younger critters either looked away or covered their eyes in embarrassment at the scene. When they reluctantly parted the two hedgehogs embraced each other, neither of them ever wanting to let go.
"I love you, Amy Rose.. always." Sonic whispered softly as he stroked the ring on her hand.
Then their lips met once again as shimmering fragments of stardust from Little Planet rained down upon them.
And as the early summer sun set - flowers bloomed.
"So I say merely, dearly beloved be mine."