Scanning over the clock attached to the wall above him, Sonic let out a loud groan. A groan filled with frustration, both for his lack of patience and for the reason why he was there to begin with.

Removing his eyes from the clock on the wall, his gaze lay on the box of chocolates and the bouquet of roses. He never saw himself ever buying such things. Especially buying them for Amy. For years he had tolerated the swooning of this girl, gushing about how romantic it would be if he had bought her flowers and heart shaped chocolates. It was possibly a hint. If it were, he never acknowledged it. He would simply shrug it off as one of her little fantasies.

And yet here he was holding them both to give to her.

Guilt was washing over the young boy. They had been fighting for years now and not once did he cause any casualties to his team. Not major ones anyway. Maybe a few cuts and bruises but never anything this severe.

Amy had been shot.

All the while trying to save him.

Oh how he felt foolish. Getting too cocky in his own abilities, believing only he could finish off the hoard of robots charging at the fighters. He had been warned by his best friends to just fall back, regroup and figure out a tactic to defeat the Doctor's fleet.

But that simply seemed too sensible for the energised hedgehog. Like a child in a playground, he ignored the demands and warnings from his friends, even the feminine hand gripping onto his own to keep him from jumping into the robotic army.

Yet he believed in himself that he could save the day with his sonic speed. Ignorant to the fact that they were a team.

And so he jumped straight into the action and began destroying robots left, right and centre. It was like a game for him as he spin dashed through most the robots and dodged their bullets with ease. The sound of Eggman roaring out in anger could be heard, causing Sonic to chuckle to himself. It was all too easy.

If only he had anticipated that he hadn't possibly knocked out all the circuits in the fallen robots. A particular one had just enough power to steady its gun to take aim on the blue hedgehog whilst his back was turned. Sonic could hear his friends call out from a distance. He idiotically chose to ignore them, focusing attention on the next fleet approaching him.

However the next call caused him to freeze. His friends were calling out to Amy who had charged onto the battlefield and used her hammer to launch her behind Sonic and in target of the gun.

Ideally the girl had intended to deflect the bullet with her hammer but it all happened too quickly and before she knew it, the bullet penetrated her, in her abdomen.

Sonic turned around quickly and to his horror, witnessed the girl go from a moment of shock, to collapsing to the ground. He caught her on time, bringing her gently to the ground and examining her.

"Ames. Amy. Stay with me." He panicked. Watching as she attempted to speak but her lips quivered from the adrenaline in her body. "Don't talk. Just don't close your eyes okay?" His eyes darted to the wound. Blood was seeping through her red dress.

Sonic's heart raced as he frantically attempted to apply pressure to the wound. "You're going to be fine, trust me"

He wasn't sure he could believe his own words. His cocky attitude couldn't protect his ego now. The words had sounded as fearful as he was. His eyes meeting with hers with equal levels of fear and dread. She still attempted to speak but her voice was breathless.

Sonic shushed her gently as he took hold of her shaking hand. Trying desperately to reassure her whilst making an effort to stop the bleeding.

Their friends guarded Amy against the oncoming robotic troops. They were approaching from every direction, slowly making their way towards the group.

The moment became desperate. If he didn't get her to a hospital soon, she would bleed out and die. The overbearing feeling of dread filled him with every moment that passed. The guilt of knowing he was to blame for this, the pain of seeing Amy in so much pain and how terrified she looked and the pressure of the situation were overwhelming him. So much so that his emotions activated the chaos emerald that resided in his back quills.

Not wasting another moment, Sonic leapt up from beside Amy and in front of his team. "Everybody duck!" They did as he commanded and dropped to the floor without hesitation. The chaos emerald reacted to his internal thoughts and unleashed it's power into Chaos Force, sending the army soaring into the distance.

In a hurry, the hedgehog sped back to Amy's side to find the blood had lessened. He still had to get her to the hospital quickly but needed some pressure on the penetrated area before he could take off.

"I need a cloth!" He called out to his friends. They all looked at one another, seeing who would have the vital fabric. They looked back at him defeated.

Sonic looked back at the girl now in his lap. Her skin had become pale and her breath was raspy. His eyes then turned to the lower half of her dress. Muddy, yes and highly unsanitary but they had no other options at the moment.

Taking hold on the bottom of her dress, He tore the fabric hastily, revealing her long, still thighs. Her exposure didn't matter to him, he just needed her to be safe. Wrapping the fabric around her adominal area, the blue boy careful picked her up, nestling her now limp body against him.

"Im taking her to the hospital." He explained, dashing off with the girl.

That had been 2 days ago.

Those 48 hours were an ordeal. The boy could barely bring himself to eat or drink anything. Sleep was out of the question as the image of her close to death in his arms plastered his mind. Her blood was difficult to wash out of his gloves and the time to wash the mud and blood out of his matted fur was another story.

How could he have been so careless? He was supposed to be a leader. The person everybody looked up to. Could he really call himself a leader after being the cause of his friend's near death experience?

Fortunately for him and his friends, the doctor had successfully removed the bullet without major internal damage. He explained she would need to let her body rest for a couple of months and had received two blood transfusions so she was going to be just fine.

As relieved as he was. He couldn't bare to see anything like that happen to her again.

"Oh ?" A nurse called out to him. He looked up to see her standing outside Amy's room. She smiled to him. "Miss Rose is available for visitation now."

He shot up instantly and gave a meekly smile. His throat too dry to provide small talk to the woman. The nurse walked away, allowing him to finally have access to see the pink hedgehog.

Opening the door, he took in the surroundings of the room. White, clinical and sanitised to perfection. One side of the room contained cabinets full of medical supplies, a sink and mirror just next to them with an instruction manual on how to thoroughly wash your hands. The other side had a small table filled with various cards, gifts and flowers. Beside that was the bed containing Amy Rose.

He was rather surprised by her appearance. You wouldn't think she had been through such a traumatic experience. Her skin had gained it's colour back after the past two days being a slight grey tint. The quills she usually swept back with her red hairband had fallen in front of her face. Messy yet adorable. Of course adorned in the typical white hospital gown which was a little loose for her. She had always been petite.

What surprised him the most was the big smile she had on her face to see him. How could she be happy after all this?

"You look awful." She commented. Her smile turning into a frown. "Have you been looking after yourself in my absence?"

He froze for a moment. How awful did he look? He took a moment to look in the mirror above the sink. Gah!

Bags of fatigue swelled under his dull emerald eyes. His once tanned skin had been flushed of colour to resemble a sickly pale colour. Lips dry from the inability to consume any water.

People would think he had been the one to suffer a fatal injury.

He took a moment to splash his face and swirl his mouth out with water. Oh how he needed that. He turned back to the girl who held out a glass of water for him. He raised his hand to decline, only for the girl to flash a look to insist he drink.

Sonic didn't feel like he had any right to refuse her after she had risked her life to save his own. He gave in rather quickly and chugged the water down.

The boy coughed a few times and gave a smile of gratitude. "You know, I wish I could say the same about you but I'd be lying." He took a chair and sat beside her bed. "You don't look like someone who's been shot."

Amy giggled. "How am I supposed to look exactly? I'm being cared for and recovering. There's no need to let myself look a mess." She looked him up and down. "And what have you been doing the past two days?" She sounded more concerned for him than herself.

Sonic slouched in his chair. He didn't want to admit to this girl who saw him as her hero to know exactly what he had been doing. Neglecting himself and constantly filling himself with guilt and torment. He was definitely not going to admit to crying. His ego had been crushed enough.

"Oh you know... Stuff." He responded casually, ignoring her gaze.

"Sonic."

Ugh. He hated that tone of voice. Serious yet concerning. As if a mother were telling off her child. He sighed and looked back at her, hoping his features weren't showing the true solumn he was in.

Amy knew how to look right through his ego at times. With it being so currently damaged, she could see the pain and guilt he held for her. She chose to drop the subject, knowing it was making him uncomfortable.

She turned her attention to the flowers and chocolates he carried with him. "Oooh you got me presents? Oh how romantic!" she gushed. She beamed as Sonic placed them in her hands. "Mmm, heart shaped chocolates. What flavour-?" She paused mid sentence after reading the description on the red heart shaped box "Cookie dough, strawberry and double chocolate?!" She almost screamed in delight. "Oh I'm going to love these!"

Sonic rubbed his head nervously and let out an equally nervous chuckle. "Glad you like 'em."

She lifted up the roses and breathed in their sweet scent. "Aw how beautiful. How did you know I liked roses?" She joked with him, giving him a quick wink. "And red too? If I didn't know any better Sonic, I'd think you were trying to tell me something." She laughed at his wide eyed response. "Don't worry Sonic. You know I like to tease." Giving him another wink before attempting to put the roses in the nearby vase with a dozen bouquets accumulating in it.

"Erm. I'll do that." Sonic quickly took over and placed the flowers in the vase, being careful not to collide with the other bouquets. Looking at all the gifts and cards, Sonic couldn't help but smile. "Well someone's popular."

Amy, who had been attempting to open the box of chocolates Sonic had bought for her, stopped her actions and looked at her pile of affections. "It was awfully sweet of everyone to give me such lovely gifts." She started, plopping a chocolate into her mouth from the now opened box. She swooned. "Oh chaos these are so good! You've got to try one!"

Sonic was focused on the cards. Assuming they were from his friends too. Yet if they were, why were there so many? That was when a particular card caught his interest. The handwriting was that of a child. Messy crayon writing and a drawing of Amy with a little people around her.

"The children of the orphanage." Amy spoke aloud. Realising she had been watching him, he turned to see her smiling bittersweetly. "They came to see me this morning. Even sang me a song to help me get better. Such precious souls." She then looked down, her demeanour changing from happiness to sorrow. "Those children have suffered so much." It was all she could bring herself to say.

Taking a seat beside her again, Sonic flashed a smile "Well it seems like you've made a positive impact on them to sing for you."

"It's usually the other way around."

The blue hedgehog raised his eyebrow. "Wait. You sing?"

Her eyebrow also arched in return. "You haven't noticed?"

Had he not ever noticed? Now that he thought of it. There had been times where he had been talking to her, only for her to sing her response to him. Her voice was sweet. High pitched of course but definitely in tune.

I really should pay more attention to her.

"Then there's my dance group, my exercise class and I think I saw something from the local shelter." She rambled on, referring the the gifts on her bedside table.

Crap. I wasn't paying attention.

His attention turned from her, to the gifts. Guessing she was talking about who gave her the gifts, Sonic figured now was a good time to break his thoughts to her.

"I didn't realise you did so much outside of hero work." He said in a surprised tone.

Amy nodded. "Well I couldn't just spend all my time chasing you around so I found some things to do on my own."

A very mature outlook. Sonic had noticed the amount of times he saw her chasing after him had decreased drastically. At first he guessed it was probably to do with being a teenager. The girl was 16 now and he could remember the need for privacy at that age.

Then he started to question if she had found another guy. Yet her consistent flirting and teasing assured him that wasn't the case.

So all this time she had been helping the community. A noble cause.

Sonic sat up in his chair, taking a deep breath. "It would be a shame to give up all of that." He looked at her confused expression. "I mean what if something like this were to happen again? Or something worse happened. You wouldn't want to give up all you have done, would you?"

She seemed to be detecting a hidden message beneath his words. "I don't plan on giving up what I do." Her tone being slightly defensive.

The blue boy was now out of his chair and striding around the room. "What I'm trying to say is, perhaps you should take a break from fighting and help the people. Like the people at the shelter and orphanage."

Amy frowned, discarding her chocolates to the side. "You're kicking me off the team?" Her question was more of a definitive statement. Sonic said nothing on return, knowing she had worked out what he had been trying to say. She shook her head before looking down at her lap. "You're kicking me out the team after I risked my life for you?"

"I want what's best for you-"

"Best for me?! How is dismissing me in my best interests?" She was highly defensive and offended.

Sonic refused to make eye contact so rested his eyes on the window, away from her. "This isn't an easy decision you know? I can't afford to have the same mistake made again. It's best if you just take some time out and focus on yourself."

The pink hedgehog chuckled in disbelief. "That was a cheap excuse." She slumped back into her pillows. "You don't want me to leave. You just can't bare to hold onto the guilt you have and don't want to face the risk again."

Am I that easy to read? He tried to cover his foiled agenda. "It's not like that." He raised his hands in front of him in defense.

Her arms folded across her chest. "Sonic I can read you like a book. It's obvious you've been feeling guilty for what happened to me and it's eating away at you. But I shouldn't be punished for trying to save you."

"You don't understand..." He trailed off. The girl cut him off before he could say anything else.

"You're right. I don't understand. I take a bullet for you and yet I'm the one paying for it? Your excuse is unjustified! All you're trying to do is protect your deflated ego."

Sonic turned back to her by then, visibly bothered by her comment. "You don't know what you're talking about. This has nothing to do with my ego!" His chest heaved with frustration.

Seeing him getting pent up with her was unusual but that didn't stop her from letting him know how she felt about his ridiculous proposal. "How can you stand there and tell me to give up the fight after all the years I've put into this? This is my life!" Her hand slammed against the blanket that covered her recovering body. "You may be the leader but I will not be ordered to leave the fight!"

His hands ran through his quills as he tried go hold back from raising his voice. Continuing to walk around the room, the boy bit his lip as she continued her defiance.

"I took that bullet for you so you wouldn't be out of the fight. Yet here you are thinking about how you feel about it all. You're supposed to put everyone else before you and yet you just want to make this about yourself!"

"I don't want to lose you!" He flipped out. "You have no idea how this feels! I haven't ate, I haven't slept. I've just been seeing you constantly collapsing in front of me, looking at me for help, thinking this was going to be the last time I'd see you. Chaos Amy! I held you in my arms thinking you wouldn't survive. I will take whatever steps I can to prevent seeing that again."

His outburst caught her by surprise. She just stared at him for a moment. He too stared back at her. A part of him seemed relieved to get all of that off his chest but his face immediately regretted saying anything.

She looked back down at her lap, refusing to look at him. "You still don't understand Sonic." Her voice barely heard. "This is more than how you feel." Her gaze slowly turned to him. "In the past, we would fight the Doctor. We'd win, we'd celebrate, then we'd go home. But there's more to the fight than just saving the day. What about the lives we have ruined."

His ears raised, wanting to hear what she had to say.

"After one of our fights with the Doctor, I moved away from the cheers of the people, away from the team celebrating and really stopped to see what we were doing. Destruction. Destroying the homes and lives of the people we swore to save." She took a moment to compose herself before taking the picture drawn for her off the beside table. "This is Toby's drawing. A sweet little boy that had his parents stripped away from him at an early age. If you ask him now, he'll tell you that he doesn't remember his parents." Tears began to stream down her face. "His parents died from their home collapsing on them. After we destroyed it in a battle."

Sonic's eyes widened in disbelief, grabbing the seat he was sat on not too long ago. He stared down at the ground, continuing to listen to her while attempting to process her words.

She wiped the tears away from her eyes, trying to prevent anymore from falling onto the drawing. "I couldn't bare knowing what we had done to this little boy. To many people. So I started to help them build their lives again. Sing for the children, provide food to the shelter, providing lessons to teach girls how to defend themselves... We are heroes. Being a hero requires sacrifice. We have to live knowing that our work can't save everyone but we fight for freedom. I didn't just save you because I love you. I saved you because I believe you can put an end to all this lose and stop that Egghead from destroying anymore lives."

Woah. For the many years he had known her, he had never seen this side of her before. Her will to fight had evolved from being a way of being next to him, to finding a way to better the people she cared so much for.

And her love for him ran so deep that she would easily lay down her life believing he would be the one to save their people. He was amazed by her perspective of their cause.

"I'm not finished yet!" The girl shrieked, causing Sonic to almost jump out his seat. Her hands were now on her hips and a frown plastered her feminine features. "You have got to stop running into battle and just believing in what you can do! We are a team and you need to be apart of it inorder to lead it. Stop seeing the fight as just a thrill seeking event and please remember those who we lose in the battle with Eggman."

"Yes mother." He joked, giving her his trademark smirk. "But seriously, you're right. I did just see how I could beat them on my own and ignored you guys. Look where it got'cha? I need to start taking the fight more seriously and believe in you guys." He touched the end of his nose, embarrassed from having to confess to being wrong and expressing emotion. His ego forever scarred.

Their talk had been brought to a halt by a nurse entering the room. She pulled along a machine to test the patient's blood pressure. "Hi. Observational check." she chimed. She paused when she saw the pair abruptly turn to her. "Oh sorry. Am I interrupting?"

Sonic quickly stood up from his seat. "Uh no, no. I was just leaving anyway." He couldn't help but notice the saddened look on the young girl's face. It would have been bad to leave her without properly thanking her for saving him. "Actually, um. Could you give us a moment?"

"Certainly!" Not one to turn down a celebrity's request. She left the machine in the room and quickly scurried out the door.

The hero turned back to his pink admirer and flashed another trademark smirk. "I er... almost forgot to thank you for saving me. So... uh-yeah" He moved closer to her, close enough for their noses to touch. He heard a small squeal escape her lips. "Thank you for saving me"

He planted his lips against her own. A small, brief kiss for gratitude. Only he found himself liking the feel of her lips, lusciously addictive and soft. Completely different to how his lips must have been feeling at the moment. He figured Amy didn't care for the condition of his lips as she reached her hand up to his face to deepen the kiss.

The boy moved his hand to the other side of the bed to gain more leverage as he continued to kiss his longtime admirer. If this was what kissing her was like, he didn't see her being just his admirer for long.

Reluctantly he pulled away as the need for oxygen became an necessity. "Thank you." The boy breathlessly thanked her.

Amy was in a state of euphoria. "You're welcome."

"I'll be back tomorrow." Sonic promised as he gave her one more kiss. He began to walk away until he reached the door. With a hand on the handle, he turned back to his new interest. "You know, I could get used to that." He winked at her before leaving the room.

The door shut behind him gently. A loud squeal, followed by giggling could be heard from the door. He chuckled to himself as he passed the nurse on the way out.

Another chuckle escaped his lips. Her blood pressure must have been really high right now.