Author's Note: Ugh. . . Honestly, I hate this one. It was a pain to write, a pain to edit, and I still didn't achieve what I wanted to with it. About the only thing I think I might have managed was the emotion in it, but overall I'm pretty disappointed, and I won't be surprised if you all are too. Main warnings are extremely depressive content (I listened to 'My Immortal' on repeat while I wrote it. ) and (non-graphic - I don't do gore) character death. Personally, I think it's pretty OOC (One of my personal absolute no-nos if I can help it.) but I was trying to capture what could have been going through Sonic's mind . . . .

Sill, this piece just . . .. ugh. I hate it, I really do. But I'll post it here anyway because I need to cover all three possibilities. Then it's out of my hair and I'll be on to much better ideas, of which I have three or four. . . . or five. XD Not all of them may wind up written, but at least a few will. Here's hoping they're better than this nasty thing!

Disclaimer: Much loved, much tortured, never mine. How sad!

Sonic watched at Robo Knux drew ever closer to the bubbles where he and Amy Rose were imprisoned, unable to act, unable to speak, unable to do anything other than quake in terror at what was to come. The sadistic robot was obviously enjoying himself, taking his time, savoring the moment as he moved toward the bubble that held his next victim, relishing the fear that was reflected in the captive hedgehog's green eyes. Sonic shuddered, closing his eyes and folding his ears so he wouldn't see the sick pleasure in the electronic eyes, and so he wouldn't hear the sound of metal piercing flesh.

The guilt tore him apart.


You know the saying "You never know what you have until it's gone"? There's more truth in that statement than the speaker ever realized. I know I never knew how much I cared for Amy Rose until she lay dying in my arms from Robo Knux's attack . . . an attack that was my fault for being a weak fool. I can still remember that night as clearly as if it happened five minutes ago; Robo Knux, knowing that Amy's wounds were fatal and there was nothing I could do to save her, set me free; the first thing I did was run over to her and gather her up in my arms. She was still alive at that point . . .

"S – Son – ikku . . ." Her breaths were fast and shallow, and her eyes were glazed over. I wasn't sure if she could really see me, but I smiled anyway, trying to reassure both her and myself.

"Ssh, Amy . . . you're . . . you're gonna be fine – I'm gonna get you out of here – " I choked up, and couldn't continue. Amy was shaking her head slightly, denying my weak attempts at comfort, but there was a smile on her face that I'll never forget, not as long as I live.

"No – Son. . . I - won't . . ."

"Yes you will! You have to – I didn't mean it, Amy; I didn't mean to choose you! I didn't! I didn't!"

What she said then shattered me, "You. . . made th-the righ. . . t choice, Sonik-ku; the world n-needs y. . you more than i-it does me. . . Sonikku. . ." Then it was like a light went out in her body, and she stopped breathing.

Amy Rose was dead.

I don't remember anything else that happened that night. Tails told me that he got an anonymous call about my whereabouts, and when he found me I was just sitting there, still holding Amy, staring at nothing, and mumbling apologies. He told me that he couldn't make me snap out of it; that he called for an ambulance because I had him so worried. I have no reason to doubt that that's what happened.

The weeks that followed are all pretty blurry, with the exception of memories that are all mixed up and out of order. I remember Amy's funeral, and that I was angry so few people showed up. She deserved a citywide memorial service at the least, not a gathering of less than a dozen; after all, she was more heroic than I could ever be, and I knew it.

I just found that out too late.

Eggman attacked sometime after that, and I can't stand thinking about what almost happened. All I could think about was that he was the main reason Amy was dead; that he was the cause of her, and everyone's suffering. I went postal – I . . . I nearly killed him. I would have, too, if Shadow hadn't stopped me.

I don't know how he got there -he probably used Chaos Control- but he kept me from doing something I would have regretted. Eggman was on the ground, barely conscious, and his hovercraft was lying in pieces around him. I don't think I've ever seen him look so terrified of me, at least not when I wasn't Super. . .

"You're the reason she's dead, Eggman! It's your fault!"

"You have to believe me; I never intended for my creation to do that- I gave no such orders! Please don't kill me!" It was the first time I ever heard the human beg. That should have stopped me in my tracks, but I was past caring.

"Amy didn't beg when she died," I answered him, and was about to do what I thought I would never do when all of a sudden, Shadow was there, holding my arm and keeping me from moving.

"Don't. It won't help."

I didn't have to ask him how he knew.

Eggman was in the hospital for a long while after that; I don't know what he's doing now, but he hasn't tried to conquer the world since. It's been about nine months since then, and everyone's moved on, got on with their lives. Everyone except for me, that is.

I'm just . . . kind of drifting.

I dunno.

It's like everything in my life has lost its meaning. Running doesn't hold any joy for me anymore, not when I know what I sacrificed for it. Because Amy was wrong – I wasn't being heroic; I wasn't thinking of the world when I made that choice; I was thinking of myself, and only myself.

It's my fault she's dead. It wasn't Eggman's fault, and it wasn't Robo Knux who killed her, really: it was me.

A hero.


She was the real hero – she was willing to die for the entire world, and me?

I couldn't even give up my legs for her.

Tails and Knuckles don't know this; they think I'm blaming myself for something that's not my fault. Tails has tried to talk me into seeing a therapist more than once, but I'm never going to go. After all, a therapist would try to help me, and I don't want – or need – anyone's help.

Tails has said I'm depressed; I never smile, never laugh, often forget to eat and don't do anything other than sleep or stare out the window. Maybe he's right. But if I am, it's only because I deserve it.

A while back, I decided to seek out Robo Knux – he'd disappeared sometime after the last fight with his master – and get him to do . . . something. I think I was hoping he'd either kill me or maim me, but I'm not sure. Everything blurs together in my mind, anymore. Well, almost everything . . .

I found him after weeks of searching the globe.

"Robo Knux," I said, and the dead tone in my voice seemed to amuse him, because he sounded almost pleasant when he responded.

"Hello hedgehog," He stated, looking me up and down. "Not doing too well, are we?" He asked, referring to my uncombed quills, the dark circles under my eyes, and my in general unkempt appearance.

"Shut up," I growled. "I want you to do something for me."

If a robot could have rolled his eyes, I'm sure Robo Knux would have. "What on earth makes you think I'd be willing to do anything for you? Try to think sensibly, hedgehog."

"You'll like doing it, I promise." Something in my voice must have registered with him, because he took a few steps in my direction.

"Oh, now you have me interested. Go on – what would you like?"

I thought for a minute, struggling with the words; thinking was becoming harder by the day.

"I want. . . you to . . . do something to me – I don't care what. Maim me, kill me; whatever. Just do something."

His eyes lit up, and he appeared to seriously consider it. Then he shook his head. "Mmm; as tempting as that offer is, I'm afraid I have to decline."

"What? Why?" I was stunned. Mecha Knuckles turn down a chance to injure one of his worst enemies?

"Why, can't you tell? There's no way I could make you suffer any more than you already are, and all by your own hand, too! You're hurting yourself far worse than I ever could, and I'd rather not take action when it isn't needed. I have no reason to destroy you, you see. You're destroying yourself."

He flew off then, and I wound up heading back to Tails' workshop.

I've been here at Tails' ever since; never living, just existing. Tails is really worried about me now; I think he heard about why I left that time. He's on the phone in the other room, talking to Knuckles, and he thinks I can't hear. He's crying as he talks, because he wants to have me committed; apparently I'm too hard to deal with by himself, and he thinks that going to an asylum would help me.

At this point, I don't care if I get sent to one or not. They won't do anything to help me; I won't let them.

Because this is my penitence, and I won't let anyone stop me from atoning.