An Ordinary Chao
By Formerly Known As

Chapter 1

Everyone loves chao. It's a simple fact. There's just something about the little onion headed freaks that makes a little part in every person's heart go 'awww.' No one can resist the charming innocence of a chao, not for long at any rate. Take, for example, the water monster Chaos. It was the sweet chao of Station Square that stopped Chaos's rampage and soothed the beast's tortured heart.

Even Eggman, that despicable evil genius, always trying to take over the world, has a soft spot for chao. In fact, it is rumored that he even has his own secret chao garden, with teleporters to reach it at all of his bases.

Yes, everyone loves chao. When there's a chao race in the city, the stadium is packed to watch the race. Just about everyone has a chao these days, and if they don't have a chao to themselves, they can always go down to the chao gardens and spoil the chao there rotten. The chao are always friendly and love to meet new people, just another of their charms. They'll rush up to the door to greet any one entering, be it friends, strangers, or other. Their singing is sweet, they're actions cute…who couldn't love a chao?

"I don't get it." In a sunny patch of the chao garden, Shadow stood, surrounded by two or three chao, feeling absolutely at a loss.

Rouge rolled her eyes, wondering for the sixtieth time that day why she'd bothered to bring him to the garden at all. "They're chao. What's there not to get?"

"I just don't…get it."

She waved a hand vaguely, most of her focus on her own chao, Emerald. It looked like Emerald was getting ready to otiae. Rouge wasn't sure if she liked the way her little chao seemed to be preparing to evolve. "They're chao. They're cute," she said vaguely.

"You've said that a million times, and I still don't get it, Rouge."

She sighed and looked up at her companion. He was standing at her side, aloof and sinister as always. Rouge reached over and picked up one of the random chao that had gathered around the visitors. She stood up and shoved the chao into Shadow's arms. "Here. Maybe it would help if you held one."

He blinked, taking the chao in a rather confused way. He turned it around and held it up to his face. The chao looked into his red eyes, then closed it's own eyes and purred contentedly. Shadow blinked again, turning the chao this way and that. Rouge turned back to her own chao, concerned. There was NO way her chao was ever going to turn into a Knuckles chao. No way she was ever letting her chao mimic that blind red idiot. And yet, at the same time, that seemed to be the chao's plot. Rouge growled in annoyance, willing her chao to become anything else. Even a Sonic chao would be better than a Knuckles chao. Though not a lot better. Come to think of it, Rouge really wasn't at all certain if she wanted to deal with her chao if it chose to mimic that blue buffoon. Maybe a Knuckles chao wouldn't be so bad after all…


Rouge snarled loudly, frightening her chao, as her concentration and plotting was broken yet again. "What?!" She stood up glaring at Shadow then yelped and stared in shock at Shadow.

"I still don't get it," he said.


Shadow looked up from the chao in his arms confused. "What?" he asked. Shadow, ever thorough in his examination, had flipped the chao over and seemed to be examining its rear. The chao made annoyed sounds and was struggling slightly in Shadow's grip, a continuous angry spiral over its head.

Rouge immediately snatched the chao from the black hedgehog's grip, righting the little one in the process. "Shadow, what do you think you are doing?!"

Shadow blinked, processing the thought. "Examining the creature, as you told me to," he replied, finally.

Rouge slapped a hand to her forehead. "Shadow, you're an idiot."

This comment, it seemed, only confused the black hedgehog further. And apparently hurt his feelings as well.

Seeing the black hedgehog's face contort in a familiar expression of mixed hurt and confusion, Rouge attempted to explain herself, knowing it was the only way to get rid of Shadow's 'hurt puppy dog' look as Sonic had once so accurately named it. The only intelligent thing to come out of the blue hedgehog, in Rouge's opinion.

"Shadow, you just can't treat chao like that! They're…they're like babies!"


Rouge paused, backed up, and tried a different way to explain things. She often forgot how little Shadow really knew of the world. He acted so self-assured, so in control most the time that it was easy to think he was like any other individual. But Shadow, having lived fewer years than he looked and in a closed, sterile environment, had very little real world experience. One of the reasons for the trip to the Chao Gardens.

"Chao are…they're a little fragile, Shadow. You can hurt them if you aren't careful."

"I was being careful," replied Shadow defensively.

Rouge tried yet another tactic. "Look, Shadow, chao are living, breathing things. They aren't like jewels or, or, or CD players or house plants."

"What's a see dee player?"

Rouge slapped a hand to her forehead. "It's a thing. And not really important to the current conversation."

"But you said—"

"I know I mentioned it!" snapped Rouge. "But it's not important, it was just an example. It has nothing to do with chao!"

Shadow shrugged, looking sheepish and defensive. And the hurt puppy dog look was still there in full force.

Rouge tried again. "Chao are…Chao are living things, Shadow."

"So are house plants."


"You mentioned that chao are not like house plants. But house plants are living things as well."

Rouge glared at Shadow, silently cursing the professor who had raised him. It was easy to see that Professor Gerald and his assistants had indeed been very kind to their 'project' but at the same time, Shadow had grown up with nothing but a bunch of scientists. He knew an incredibly large amount of random and often useless information about how the world worked and yet he knew absolutely nothing about how the world ACTUALLY worked. Shadow's childhood led to many interesting and annoying conversations.

Shadow gave her another hurt puppy dog look under her glare.

Rouge grumbled silently some more, but did her best not to glare AT Shadow. To further this purpose, she carefully set down the little chao still in her arms, giving it one final pat. The chao looked at her in a confused manner, looked at Shadow and became annoyed, then trotted off in search of fruit.

Rouge turned back to Shadow, calmer now. "Chao are not like house plants. In fact, chao aren't like most animals. They're more like you and I, really. They think. They eat. They don't like being turned upside down."

Shadow gave her a blank look. "But you like being turned upside down, Rouge."

Rouge barely stopped herself from slapping her forehead or just slapping Shadow in general. "But YOU don't like being turned upside down, do you, Shadow?"

Shadow shrugged. "I might."


"I've never been turned upside down before. I might like it. I don't know."

Rouge sighed in annoyance, which was she quickly decided, better than slapping Shadow as she really wanted to do. "Very well. You might. But you also might not. Would you like someone turning you upside down without notice or your permission?"

Shadow thought about this for an inordinately long time. "No…" he said finally. "I suppose I wouldn't."

"Neither do chao."

Shadow nodded. "Very well. I will not turn the chao upside down in the future," Shadow replied, then turned and wandered off over the grass, looking for more chao, most likely.

Rouge watched him move off purposefully across the garden, her own chao forgotten for the moment. "Somehow, I don't think he got the point…"


Author's Note: These are the author's mad rambles. Nothing too important, just explanations I feel obligated to give. But you're not obligated to read.

This story was written because, simply put, everyone really does love chao. And I do mean everyone. Even my friend, who writes horribly gruesome stories, wears black most of the time, carries around weapons, and plots various schemes of all sorts (yeah, I have some weird friends) loves chao. Of course, he loves beating them against walls and tormenting them…but he still loves them.

Eggman loves chao (note the teleporter to his own private chao garden on his Egg Ship thing in Sonic Adventure 1. Has to love the little buggers for that). Chaos loves chao. Go into the chao garden with one of the dark siders in Sonic Adventure 2. They all love chao as much as the heroes.

Everyone loves chao.

Even me….

I didn't always. When Chao first came out in Sonic Adventure, I ignored them. They were vaguely amusing but not really. When Sonic Adventure 2 came out, I hated the little buggers. They bored me to tears.

Then, recently, I became vaguely interested in chao. Mostly it was curiosity, to begin with, but I began spending time, trying to raise, them giving them funny little animals and chao drives.

And then one of my chao otiaed (that's when they go in the bubble thing and 'evolve' into their next level). And then I was hooked.

So, like everyone else and their monkey, I had to write a chao story. This is the first chapter. I hope you find it as amusing as I did when writing it. The future chapters should get more interesting.

I also hope this story doesn't turn out like your average humdrum 'these are my chao, aren't they cute? Look what they can do!' story. It might, but I doubt it will. I have some…interesting ideas for where this story will lead.

But I'll shut up now.

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed the story and hope you'll enjoy future chapters as well!