Old Lives, New Beginnings. Chapter one: The Chance


"So Julie, ya really think you can handle me?" Knux asked as
he and Julie-su stood in the clearing, thouroughly enjoying the
chance to take each other on. Ever since thier first meeting both
had insisted the other would have lost. Today they would find out
who was right. "I did before, and I'll do it today." She replied,
smirking.

He was the biggest challenge she'd ever had to face since
she joined the Dark Legions army training; however, her new
feelings were beginning to get in the way. Knuckles had also been
the first person to truly trust her when she left the Legion,
and she felt guilty about betraying him. They had alot in common,
after all: born to fight, both singled out in the city, she felt
as if she could confide in him; she wanted to tell him everything
-her life, her betrayl, her feelings for him. Julie-su quickly
shoved these thoughts away, *Get a grip Julie! A Legionnaire and
a Guardian?? Stick to being sparring partners* Why? A tiny
voice in her head asked, which Julie-su ignored like
she had the past few weeks since the kiss on the docks.

Unbeknownst to Julie, Knuckles the Echinda was having the
same thoughts; he didn't really wanna fight her, it was his
pride getting in the way. Although he couldn't help but be
impressed: very few girls had the ability to take him on, let
alone almost win the first round. Sally knew all his moves, and
Bunnie had a strength advantage with her robotics, so when Julie-su
came around, he knew she was different from anyone he met. They had
talked in Robotropolis, and he found she saw herself just like
Robotnik, someone who didn't care what the people wanted, just
forced it on them. He saw she was confused between the only life
she's ever known, and all this information she never seen before.

*It's hard changing who you are sometimes* He thought to
himself, recalling how hard it was to depend on the Chaotix after
he met them. He hadn't really had good friends before that, but
now he can't imagine his life without them. He almost considered
them his brothers. He had befriended Julie-su, but thought of her
in a much different way. She was just as secretive, if not more,
than he was, and needless to say it bothered him. He wanted to know
everything about her, especially why she kissed him that day. Knux
fought the smile he got when he thought of it. Now THAT he
remembered; after she did it, he had the strangest feeling through
his body; warm and comforting....*What are you thinking, Knux?!
She was your enemy!!* Yeah, but she made you feel better.

The two got into their fighting stances, ready to go.
"You asked for this, Cyber dreads." He smirked, and ran full
throttle towards her, slamming her with his patented left hook.
She fell back, losing her balance, but recovered with a quick
back flip, landind back on her feet. *Not bad..* She leaped
forward landing a kick against his head; he faltered but
remained standing, *Wow, no one's done that after my kicks.. * With
each attack and defense, the two's respect and determination grew,
until both were sweating and breathing hard. "You've gotten better,
girl" Knux remarked "Not so bad yourself, guardian." Julie-su replied.
The two were about to go at it again, when a blast shot in
between them, sending the two jumping back. "What the hell?!?" they
both cried, and turned to the direction of the blast. "Well, well.
I guess we found our objective!" Out from the bushes surrounding
them came over ten cloaked Legionnaire, half of them holding a blaster.

The Chaotix members stood back to back trying to figure
out the situation. "Looks like our fight will hafta wait."
Julie whispered. "Definitly. Think we can take 'em? You're the
Legion expert." One of the figures laughed "Yes, rose, what do you
think?" The pink-furred echinda growled. "We can, but I want that
one. Take out the blasters first." The two pounced on each of the
gunmen, knocking them out one by one as they tried to keep the
unarmed men off their backs. Knuckles dropped the sixth soldier
he'd taken out, when he heard a scream of pain, only it wasn't
male. He turned to see Julie-su laying on the ground, unconcious,
her shoulder wounded. The gunmen who called had called her rose
pointed his gun down to her "Guess you lost this round brat. A
pity you won't get a rematch!!"

"NO!!" Knuckles tackled the Legionnaire and ripping the gun
from his hand, delivering a blow that may put him into a coma for
days. He picked up Julie and looked around. There were still four
Legionnaire left, one still holding his gun. He knew he couldn't
fight and protect Julie, so he did the most logical thing he could
think of..he ran. The guardian was incredibly fast, even with the
extra weight, and the soldiers soon lost him. "We HAD them!!"
screamed one of the figures."Now what will Lord Dimitri think?!?"
"Easy soldier" the commanding officer commented. "We damaged the
traitor, and it seems we may have found a weakness in the guardians
armour..." The group went back to reclaim their injured; the attack
may have been successful after all.

Knux watched as the group left the forest, then emerged
from the coverage of the weeping willow. *That was close* he
thought to himself. He looked down at his injured 'friend'. Her
right shoulder had been hit, and parts of her vest had been
burned away. *She needs help, but where to go..?* The Echindapolis
hospital was already packed because of an illness spreading through
the city, and they had little or no room left. *Only one thing to
do then* The guardian scooped Julie-su into his arms, and quickly
headed for his den. He had dug it out himself when he was younger,
and it now had two floors, ground level for typical times, and he
went underground for cooking, and sleeping when the rains came.
It wasn't the best, but it was warm and had medical equipment.
He descended the stairs and placed her on his bed carefully,
then began looking for medical supplies. Knux opened a cabinet
and grabbed the large white box, bringing it over to the bed,
all set to clean her wounds.*Now how am I gonna do this?* He
knew the only way to get to the wound was to remove what little
of her vest was left. After a moment of hesitance, "She can
kill me later if she wants" he declared, and began to cut away
the charred and burned pieces of cloth...

****************

A pair of lilac eyes slowly opened, adjusting to the
light. "Ugh.." a soft groan of discomfort exiting her mouth.
Julie-su came into conciousness, a soft bed under her, and
warm blankets covering her body. *Where am I?* She thought
to herself, and groggily turned her head to see her surroundings.
Dirt walls were all around her, a table and kitchen area in
one of the corners. Next to the bed was a computer, and a
couch in between the sleeping and eating area, a TV in front
of it. *I must be underground..* There were only two people
she knew who lived in dens; either Mighty, or... "Hey, you're
awake." Knux entered the room from the stairs, he had been making
sure the Legion hadn't followed them. "How're you feeling?"
Julie fought to sit up, but her body refused to cooperate.
"Tired. What happened?" She asked "You were hit, remember?"
Knuckles relayed what happened after she blacked out.
Julie-su couldn't believe this; why had he saved her?
"Guess that means I owe you." She remarked, looking at
the bandages over her shoulder and chest. "Did you fix
me up too?" Knux fought back the blush he knew was coming.
"Yeah. Sorry about your vest, but I kinda had to." He smirked
"Figures those guys wouldn't hit the target on your vest.
That green thing just screams'hit me here'!"

Julie-su smiled "Well thanks. I guess I should be
leaving now." She finally was able to sit up, and swung
her legs over the edge of the bed. One step off, though, and
she collapsed onto her hand and knees. "Oh, no you don't!"
Knux picked her up and placed her back into the bed,
"You're out of danger, but you're still hurt bad and
exhausted. You can stay here a few days until you get your
strength back." *Where did THAT come from?!* Knux yelled at
himself. He had no clue what would happen with her around;
still she was hurt... and you want her to stay. The
injured female looked at him, her eyes already closing
"You sure? Where are you gonna sleep?" Knux shrugged
"There's the couch down here, or the mattress on ground
level. Get some sleep." He turned away to shut of the lamp
beside the bed, and when he looked back, Julie-su was
already out like a light. *It's only three days* he thought
to himself *How long could that be?* Depending on you, maybe
forever that small voice whispered....