Rivalry of the Heart

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Pairing(s): Sonic x Chris, Shadow x Chris

Summary: What if it wasn't Sonic who fell in Chris' pool, but instead... Shadow? And what if Chris had a special connection with the Chaos Emeralds? Eggman isn't going to like this...Or is he..?

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Chapter 6
A Kiss On The Cheek

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"Because of Chaos Control... Time and space was warped and you guys were sent over to this world is what I understand, but... Just what is this Chaos Control effect and these Chaos Emeralds?" Chris asked, early that morning, in his grandfather's loft above the garage. The five anthros, Amy, Tails, Cream, Shadow, and Sonic were all there, along with Cheese, who sat comfortably in the bunny girl's lap. All the while, Chuck worked on his computer while listening to their conversation with half an ear.

"What do you mean 'what are they'?" Tails questioned with a smile, "A Chaos Emerald is a Chaos Emerald."

"Once you gather all seven of the Chaos Emeralds," Amy started with a bit of excitement, "Legend says that the entire world will be in the palm of your hand!"

A squeak was heard as Chuck spun halfway around with a tired look on his face, interrupting the pink hedgehog's excited speech. "However, that isn't what will happen..." Turning to Chris with an amused smile, he continued, "Legends have legendary heroes for a reason."

Blinking cutely, Cream asked innocently, "Will it ever end?"

"I wonder if it'll end..." Chucks replied, looking slightly tired once more. Turning his attention away from the others, he spoke serious with his eyes shut, "Eventually, the Chaos Emeralds will disappear."

The room was filled with a depressing silence, each for different reasons, but all centering around the same thing; the Chaos Emeralds. For Amy and Tails, their thoughts ran down the lines of never being able to return home, while Creams were never to be able to see her family again. Chris, though, thought sadly how he might never be able to meet up with one of these beautiful, and powerful, emeralds. Something about their power sounded so magical, like it really was just some fairy tale. But they were real, weren't they? If not, how did Shadow and Sonic-tachi make it to their world?

"They'll never disappear," a voice broke through the silence. Turning towards the speaker, who happened to be none other then Sonic himself. "Once more there are seven Chaos Emeralds and they have been scattered around again," Sonic explained calmly from his place on the window ceil.

"Then, you mean," Chris tried to grasp, not wanting to get his hopes up, "They're somewhere around here?"

"That's right!" Sonic smirked, giving the redhead a thumbs up. Something Shadow silently grimaced at.

"You're kidding..." Tails whined, looking up to meet Chris' curious blue gaze, "Where could they have scattered to? Maybe they went back to our faraway world, or maybe they're somewhere in this world, but I really don't know..." As he spoke, Chuck gave a wide yawn, proving that, indeed, the old man was tired. But no one gave that any mind. The topic was already decided.

"So..." Chris began to sum up, "If the seven emeralds are in this world, and we go find them all, Chaos Control will happen again, and..." Turning to look at the blue hedgehog, he finished, "You guys can return to the other world, right, Sonic?"

"Yes, that's right."

Something about that brought a depressing thought to both Shadow and Sonic. If they found all the emeralds, they'd return home... Far away from Chris. They would be unable to see the redhead ever again, unless if they did another Chaos Control to jump back to their world. But even if they did, it was unlikely they'd be sent to the same world over and over again... right?

"Chris, if you don't hurry, you'll be late to school," Chuck reminded suddenly, checking his wrist watch that hid under his lab coat's sleeve.

Gasping in shock, Chris almost cried, "Oh no! I almost forgot!" Spinning on his heels, the young boy made a mad dash out the door, waving a hand behind him as he said a quick goodbye to the others in the room. But before the redhead could get any farther then the front of the garage, he was brought to an abrupt halt by none other then Shadow, who had gotten a grasp on Chris' black and light blue striped sleeve.

"Chris..." Shadow spoke, pain shining in his crimson depths.

"What is it, Shadow?" Chris asked, feeling a little concerned for the hedgehog all of a sudden. But even then, the thought of being late for school made the boy worried for himself. He didn't want to get a detention and have to be forced to stay even later in school then needed.

"Just..." the anthro tried to get out, but the words seemed to die on his yellow furred lips. Taking a deep breath, he blurted, "Just remember your promise!"

"...Promise..?" Chris blinked rapidly, confused. What was Shadow talking about..?

"You promised you would... If I leave that you'd..."

Suddenly, the effects of the second day with the black hedgehog raced back into Chris' mind, remembering the promise to give Shadow a goodbye kiss when the time came. Smiling at the embarrassed anthro sweetly, Chris kneeled down a bit to Shadow's eye level, gently saying, "Don't worry, I remember, Shadow. When the time comes, I will fulfill it as I promised." Leaning in closer, the redhead planted an innocent kiss on Shadow's yellow furred cheek, standing up as he waved, "Bye, Shadow. I'll see you around later."

With Shadow too shocked to reply, Chris took his leave, running as fast as he could to meet Tanaka standing by the Thorndyke's limo and holding his blue backpack he had almost left behind in his rush. Still at the garage, the black anthro raised a gloved hand to cover the area the boy's soft lips had kissed. It burnt, that spot. But not in a painful way. Hell no. No way. It... It made Shadow's blood pressure rise, made his heart beat quicken.

Out of nowhere, Shadow had the feeling of needing to be alone. Not because of Chris. Well, maybe a little. But he wanted to get away from everyone else but Chris. He needed some space from Sonic-tachi. So, decision made, Shadow sped off into the distance, away from Thorndyke Manor and far away from Station Square. He had to make Chris' morning goodbye kiss last just a little while longer...

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Inside of Station Square's Elementary School, Chris, along with his two best friends, Danny and France, sat in their usual spots as childish voices filled the air. Chatter of nothing and everything could be heard, including the two at Chris' table. But the redhead mostly ignored this, too busy reading a book... well, more like "reading," how it was hard to pull his thoughts away from Shadow's earlier behavior on a promise. It was sooo cute!

"Say, Chris, did you see the news?" France spoke suddenly to the redhead, interrupting his thoughts of the black anthro. Blinking back at her in confusion, he gave a light nod, keeping his voice soft with a gentle, "Un..."

Suddenly, the classroom's door was pushed open, the principle entering the class along with another man in a blue suit. "I have an announcement, everyone," the principle spoke, voice deep and hoarse, "The one in charge of this class, Ms. Wendy, is participating in a trans-continental Super Quiz... She has, since yesterday, quite being with this school." Cries of shock and wonder filled the room, while France and Danny gave each other curious looks. The stubby man continued despite that. "In any case, from today on, Mr. Stuart will be taking over this class."

Smiling charmingly, the taller man in blue, Mr. Stuarts, greeted, "Nice to meet you!"

"We're pleased to meet you!" the voices of children echoed together, but a little off from sounding as one all together. Silently, with the other students' attentions straying away from their new teacher, Mr. Stuart's violet eyes slithered their way over to Chris' table, watching the redhead boy with an almost sinister gaze.

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The bell had rung, giving the students the signal to go to lunch break. As they left, Chris found himself standing outside his class room, waiting for his dark skinned friend who was taking his time in their class doing... something. Sighing, Chris finally called, "Danny, are you ready yet?"

"Uh... Er, just a minute!" Danny's voice called back, making Chris roll his eyes in amusement. For someone who wanted to do basket ball, the boy was far too slow.

Suddenly, the feeling of someone standing right behind him made Chris look over his shoulder. There, standing very tall, and oddly enough very handsome, was their new teacher, Mr. Stuart.

"Christopher Thorndyke." The name was spoke like it was the most special word in the world, and by such a gentle, deep voice, it was almost just as beautiful. But as he continued, the new words sounded less magical, only making Chris more confused by the older man's sudden presence. "Your father holds 70 of the computer world's share, and is CEO of Starship Soft, Nelson Thorndyke. Your mother is a film actress, Lindsay Fair."

"And... what about it..?" Chris spoke softly, slowly, uncertain on where this man was heading.

"Oh no, I'm just a fan of your mother's work and greatly honored to be teaching you," he replied, leaning down a bit to Chris' level.

"Is...is that so..?" the redhead replied weakly, still feeling uncomfortable with this man.

"I'm pleased to meet you, Chris," Mr. Stuart said, raising a hand to shake the boy's in a proper greeting.

Looking at the hand for only a second, Chris quickly took it as their hands hit, making a faint clapping sound. Returning to gaze up into the blonde man's violet eyes, ones that reminded him of a certain red echidna, Chris responded, "Me, too."

Pulling back and standing fully tall once more, Mr. Stuart suddenly asked, "By the way, what kind of animal do you like?"

"Um... Let me see..." Of all the animals he knew, from cats, to dogs, to foxes, to rabbits, even echidna, he would have to say his favorite of all... would be... "...Hedgehogs, I guess."

"Oooh?" Mr. Stuart's expression never changed despite the tone in his voice, sounding like a mix between curious and silently knowing you did something wrong, but not saying it out front.

Feeling insecure at this, Chris nervously asked, "Is that so strange?"

"Oh no, not at all!" Mr. Stuart replied, voice sounding kind and gentle as he gave him a winning smile. Such a tone relaxed Chris' tensed nerves, smiling cutely back at his new teacher. 'At least it isn't strange to like hedgehogs... Not that anyone else's opinions matter.'

"Chris!" Danny's voice suddenly yelled through the air, the boy running out of the class room finally. "Chris, I'm sorry for keeping you waiting!"

Smiling at his friend, Chris turned his attention back up to Mr. Stuart as he quickly wheedled his way away from the man, "Well then, see you Mr. Stuart!" As they ran down the hall, the redhead continued to jibe at his friend, "Danny, you're so slow!" as the said boy whined and continued to say "sorry."

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A child giggles. Playing mischievously. Toying with others who try to touch it. But while it plays and laughs, it cries for help, wanting its mother's warmth. Its alone, only finding its brothers and sisters. All of which also wish to find their mother as well. But neither of them do...

They cry, endlessly. But no one notices. No one but the missing mother, who also longs to hold their children once more in a comforting embrace. They had been separated for so long, so long the mother has forgotten what the children look like, sound like. But deep down, no memories have gone. None have vanished.

And though the cries use to be so faint, so far away that the mother couldn't bother to try and look for its children, the voices have grown in volume. They have gotten closer, screaming louder, calling clearer.

But of all the children, one voice rung the loudest. And that voice was so close, so near, so...

"Chris?"

Snapping out of his day dreamed state, Chris turned his attention over to his best friend, Danny, who sat next to him in the cafeteria. Chatter filled the room just as it did that morning in their class room, if not louder now without having to be quiet for a teacher's lesson. But despite that, the school still had ordered to have a television set to news 24/7. Rather odd, but...

"What did Mr. Stuart want to talk to you about?" Danny continued to speak, his green eyes never removing from Chris's face as he sipped on the straw of his soda. It was odd that their new teacher would suddenly talk to a student so soon, especially on their first day. What could Mr. Stuart see in Chris that needed to be confronted right before lunch time?

"Oh, uh..." blushing a bit, Chris replied, "He wanted to know my favorite animal, that's all."

"Really?" blinking in shock, Danny turned away from the redhead to face his lunch, adding a faint, "How odd..."

'I know what you mean...' Chris thought to himself, but returned to his lunch.

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Back at the Thorndyke Manor, Sonic lay resting on a high tree branch, enjoying the soft breeze and shade from the sun it provided. Soon, though, even the comforts grew a little tiring, what with a hedgehog like him, always wanting action and to run freely at high speeds. And without Shadow around to tease or Chris to stare at and flirt with, there really wasn't much keeping the blue anthro's attention.

"Now, then! I wonder what I'll do..." Sonic yawned out after a stretch, smirking at the possibilities of what he could do. Maybe hunt down a certain redhead boy's school and surprise his friends..? That might win the boy's admiration...

"Sonic-kun! Big problem! Big problem!"

Blinking in shock, train of thought completely lost to him at the worried voice of little Cream, Sonic quickly called down, "Cream! What's the matter?"

"Big problem! Big problem!" was her only answer, running towards his tree and looking up at him with big brown eyes. Even though Chris had his heart, the little bunny girl could even make him melt inside. Maybe it was a kid thing...

So, without much thought, the blue anthro slide down the tall tree and made it to the worried child's side in an instance, ready to hear whatever it was that troubled her. Whatever it was, it was most likely something big, as he kept repeating!

"Its an Chaos Emerald!" Cream explained finally, pointing towards the Thorndyke Manor as she continued, "The talking box told Cheese and me! They found a Chaos Emerald in town!"

"Really?" blinking, Sonic let a grin curl his lips. 'Finally, something interesting!' Turning his attention back to the young girl, he ordered, "Go tell Tails and Amy, okay? I'm going ahead."

"Okay, Sonic-kun!" with that, the little bunny took off with Cheese following her as quickly as his little pink wings could take him.

"Guess I found out what I'll be doing now," Sonic laughed to himself, remembering the question he had asked himself while resting in the tree. Once done laughing, the blue anthro took off quickly, heading straight for Station Square. Where was he heading in Station Square? How the hell did he know?

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-tsuzuku-