Disclaimer: Sonic the Hedgehog is copyrighted and produced by Sega. The plot is all I own here, and no profit is being distributed in any way through this story.


Patching Up the Blood

Don't Find Me

Where Sonic was running off to, no one knew. Even he wasn't so sure where to go. But all he concentrated on was getting out of Station Square. Away from the memories. Away from his friends… But why should he? Weren't his friends supposed to help him control his grief and return to being the carefree, "looking-forward" blue blur everyone on Earth admired?

No…he couldn't stay. He had to run away. He had to run far, to a place where no one could find him. But like a bungee cord, the past clashes between the late Shadow the Hedgehog and himself clung onto him, and the vast city made it difficult for him to escape.

Sonic looked at everyone around him. Despite being blurs, he could see the citizens of the big city around him. They were happy and loving to everyone and everything around them, as if they had already forgotten about the fact that their planet was almost destroyed! The thought annoyed him; people were not supposed to return to their normal routines a day or two after such a near catastrophe. Healing took time…but not that quickly.

But what about Sonic?

How much time did he have to recuperate from his "state" of mourning?

Time… I have a lot of it. I can waste as much time as I want. Running away from Station Square, traveling to Egypt. Ya know. The stuff I always do. But I want to run a lot more.

Well, how much?

I don't know…but I know I do.

Why?

Because… Because I have the time. Time's endless! But if I do have time…then why can't I put the past behind me?!

He looked up at the sky, which was clear and brilliantly blue, and turned towards the sun on his right.

Stupid sun, he thought. It burns endlessly, like it doesn't care. But why do I care so much? Why can't I put my pain behind me like everyone else?

My friends…

What about them, Sonic?

For some reason, they've moved on with their lives. Tails. Knuckles. Rouge. They're mourning, or were mourning, but won't let it keep 'em down. But for some reason, I am! Why me?

Interrupting his own thoughts, he looked away from the Sun and sighed.

Why Amy?

Then…disaster.

Sonic lost his footing and lunged forward, screaming from shock. Several times, he somersaulted in the air, and then, he crashed hard onto the pavement. The blue hedgehog tumbled and skidded several feet before making a complete stop on the curb in a crumpled heap.

He had no idea what hit him. One second, he was thinking about his friends' capabilities of moving on with their lives. The next, he crashed. How could he lose his footing, if he did? Sonic wasn't sure and possibly won't know what happened. What he yearned for was to get up on his two blue feet, shake off crumbles, and run out of Station Square.

But he couldn't…

Pain surging up his left side, Sonic winced and fell on his knees again. Now what was he going to do? Certainly, he was not going anywhere until he recovered.

But he wanted to and scoffed at the thought.

An injury— one that would slow him down!? Ha! No way, no how!

Wait up… What was this?!

Around him were many humans…but everyone of them passed by him!?

Hmph! So, this was the true thanks he got, not the cheers from the space station!

As a result, a cross look scarred on Sonic's muzzle.

Who—in the heck—were these LOWLIFES? I mean… There he was, down on the ground, struggling to stand up like a boy hoping on a malfunctioning pogo stick. Yet, instead of helping him…they walked by…and left him there?

He spat sea-snake venom on the ground.

These humans – these monsters – were pathetic.

Absolutely pathetic!

Ya know…screw you! Screw you, pathetic humans! The adults, the kids. EVERY HUMAN! They can stick it for all I care!

"Now…can…I…" a grunt, "…get…UP?"

But he couldn't and groaned loudly in frustration.

"Damn it!" he yelled and made a fist with his right hand. I hate this, but… "Somebody help me stand up!"

Unfortunately, everyone ignored him.

One knee on the ground, Sonic chuckled sarcastically.

"Funny," said the hedgehog. "We worked ourselves off just to save you all…and THIS IS HOW YOU STILL TREAT US?!"

Despite the shout, every vermin paid no attention.

"Oh, so it's true, isn't it?" said Sonic. "You're just gonna let one of your own heroes lie here like trash, huh?"

No response, but the message was relayed otherwise.

"So I am right, after all." He made another attempt to stand, but when he felt like collapsing again, he dove across the pavement and clutched the streetlamp. Then, as he pulled himself up the pole, he continued, "Okay, then. If that's what you want…"

When he reached the top, he breathed hard.

"…Then you humans can SHOVE IT!"

At last, everyone looked up at him, looks of surprise and shock on their faces.

"Heh. So you're finally listening to me." Sonic closed his eyes briefly. "That's funny…seeing as you weren't a minute ago. Now, don't give me that look like I don't know what I'm talking about. You do know what I mean. Yes, you do!"

Murmurs rang throughout the block; Sonic smirked from above.

"Well, ya wanna know why I'm mad, or d'ya wanna ignore me again like you did a few minutes ago? You do? Well, good."

Silence.

"So you see, I – or we – helped all of you. Eggman brought every one of you to your knees a few days ago. You here nearly died, along with every other Mobian, human, and animal on this great planet of ours. However…for a while, you mistook me for Shadow, and you were all after my head! Heck, I think some of you tried to arrest us while knowing that Eggman tried to destroy us. Is that true, 'cause it damn feels like it."

"That's ridiculous!" someone shouted. "We love you! We wouldn't treat you like that!"

"Is that so? Then why didn't you help me when I was arrested by G.U.N.?"

They were silent until a young woman replied, "Because we felt you betrayed us!"

"But how could you? You know I'm not like that. And didn't you remember what I looked like? Shadow was black with red highlights with upward-bending quills. I'm blue with downward quills. We didn't look alike at all! Isn't it that hard for all of you to understand?"

A young male shouted an obscenity towards him.

"Hey, hold up!" said Sonic while waving his hands in front of himself. "Ya think I was gonna remain angry at you humans for so long?" When no one replied, he said with a little sarcasm, "Nope, didn't think so."

He cleared his throat.

"Anyway, I still loved you. I even wanted to hear every one of you cheer for me. Me, Tails, and Knuckles. Whoever. I waited for the welcome home. And I got it."

His eyes narrowed into slits.

"Or I thought I got it."

Looks of confusion were on everyone's faces.

"So if that's how ya wanna treat me?" Sonic's green eyes were ablaze with frustration. "Well, then, the next time Eggman attacks Station Square…I won't be helping you."

Shocked and angry gasps.

"In fact…and I mean this from the bottom of my heart." The blue blur's brows furrowed even more. "I hope Eggman does destroy your city someday, 'cause you humans make—me—SICK!"

Chaos erupted. From betrayal, to shock, to anger, emotions filled the crowded streets, and Sonic smirked at the sight. This was exactly what he wanted, and he loved every minute of it.

Satisfied, he leapt away and began bouncing off the other light posts (using more pressure from his right side, for his left was still a little sore).

"After him!" a hulky man burst out.

Sonic stopped on the roof of a brownstone, looked back, and noticed the mob running behind him. His smirk widened, and he waggled a finger.

"Well, what did I expect from 'em?" he chortled. "Guess they really don't love me, after all."

Laughing, he continued his escape by continually hopping over brownstones and dodging seething humans.


In order to recollect what he did, he hightailed out of the Downtown District and decided to relax under a canopy in a reclusive park in the northern part of Station Square, his body fully healed from his tumble. The tree he sat under was tall, and around him was hilly, the bright green glass glistening in the sun.

Although he didn't have a watch with him – and never did – he knew he caused a lot of damage over a short period of time. For heaven's sake, he ditched a city that "idolized" him. Of course, that translated to kicking him in the dirt while already feeling hurt inside. If he could do the Chaos Spear like his late friend, maybe he could scare them off and have them feel the torture he got from them.

No, that was too much. Why did he need to beat the humans down when they were vulnerable already? He was a hero, not a villain… Perhaps he could—

"Nah. Another bad idea," said Sonic and sighed. "I need to think of better ways to relax. I can't think."

So what could he do?

"Hmm… Maybe I need to rest for a while. Yeah. That should do."

Humming to himself, he crossed his arms and closed his eyes. All the surrounding noise was drowned out by his concentrating mind. He heard nothing, not even the leaves' rustling. It was all silent…and all black.

Finally, peace, Sonic thought. No humans, no friends, nothing…

A chuckle: Yep, it's great to be alone for once.

With that, he relaxed his mind even more—

Suddenly, he heard something.

It sounded like heavy footsteps, and they were becoming louder as they approached.

Great, now what was he going to do? Finally, he found a tranquil place, and now it was being disturbed. Why did he or she have to come over and bother him?

"Leave me alone, will ya!?" he snapped, eyes open.

No one replied.

"Good," Sonic said, satisfied, and drifted off to sleep once more.

There were the footsteps again.

To and fro, the pounding of feet were heard. By the sound, it was like they were crunching something. No, it was not the sound of bones; it was much quieter…like they touched something fluffy. Here it was: walk, walk, crunch, crunch.

But he didn't know what it was…yet from the back of the mind, he remembered.

Concentrate, hedgehog. You know what this is. Open your eyes.

But his eyes were shut.

Just relax, Sonic. Try to remember that day.

So he calmed down even more. His heart slowed, his muscles relaxed, and his eyelids drooped further down. But as much as he concentrated, he continued to "see" vast darkness.

Suddenly…daylight.

The slit was very small. It looked no bigger than about two to three inches, so there was very little he could "see." But it looked…blue. Blue like the sky. Surely, that meant something. He merely needed to concentrate on that day even more. So, Sonic, relax more (if that was possible).

Then, the slit started to open. It was slow and as irritating as a creaking door. And now he noticed more detail. While the sky was blue…little green blades protruded from below. Like a dancer, the blades rocked back and forth, side to side.

Sonic's mouth opened in the shape of an "O."

Yeah… Yeah, I remember now!

CRACK!

"LOOK OUT!"

Sonic's eyes opened.

"Wha—?"

BAM!

"AAHHH!"

CRASH!!

Suddenly, he found himself wedged headfirst in the soft dirt, creating a small crater in the process. His legs squirmed in the air, desperately trying to find something hard to support. When his feet finally touched the ground, Sonic started pushing. He grunted and grunted; he pushed and pushed…but he was still stuck in the mud.

Sonic sighed. This was just his day for bad karma… But that did not stop him from trying again.

"It'd be great if someone helped me," he grumbled, his voice muffled from the mud. When he heard nothing, he continued to tug…

And then, there was an extra pull, but not from the hedgehog himself.

"Gotcha."

Funny. That was a kid's voice, and he was pulling the hedgehog from the waist. And the concern from him sounded genuine, so maybe he might not get his rear whooped, after all.

"Hang on, sir!" the boy said. "You're almost free!"

About time, Sonic thought, and after one more pull, his head was finally out of the ground.

"Ow," muttered Sonic and shook his head to remove any dirt that stuck itself on his forehead. He turned to the pale-skinned boy on his right, who looked no older than twelve and was about a foot taller than him, and said, "Thanks, kid."

The kid, who was on the ground, pulled himself up and turned to him. "You're welcome, sir—"

He gasped, and his eyes immediately glistened.

"You're… You're Sonic the Hedgehog, aren't you?"

"Yep," said the blue blur with a smile, forgetting his anger towards the humans, "the one and only."

"YAAY!!"

The next thing he knew, the boy's arms were squeezing the air out of his lungs.

"Oh-it's-you-Sonic! I've-been-waiting-forever-and-ever-to-meet-you!" he said excitedly and quickly.

"T—Ack—Take it easy, kid," Sonic choked.

Then, he winced.

The brown-haired boy released his grip. "What's— Hey…you're hurt." He reached out and touched the bump on Sonic's forehead.

"Ow," groaned Sonic, and the boy put his hand down. "Careful, kid."

"Sorry, Sonic," he said…and he guiltily added, "And…I'm sorry for the bump."

"What d'ya mean?" asked Sonic, right hand on the bump.

The kid showed him the baseball. "'Cause my ball hit you between the eyes."

"Oh." The hedgehog winced once again. "Stupid baseball."

The child grabbed his free left hand.

"Come with me. I'll bandage you up."

And subsequently, the blue hedgehog temporarily forgot about his newfound animosity towards his fellow humans.


A couple of minutes later, they arrived at the park bench. The tabletop and chairs were wooden and smooth, and they remained in their natural brown state. A gray sheet lay on the table, and on top of it was an old woven basket that had two handles, both of which were connected on each side.

Once the bandage was placed, the boy said, "There, that should do. Feel better?"

"I feel like I have a third eye," quipped Sonic, "but thanks."

"You're welcome," he replied and sat down. "My name's Christopher Thorndyke. You can call me Chris."

"Well, Chris, it's nice to meet you," chuckled Sonic and glanced at his bandaged lump. "By the way, why were you playing baseball? No one's here."

"Well, as I was walking here, I found a baseball lying near the Redwood Avenue station a couple of blocks from here," began Christopher; the ball rested on top of one of the doors of the basket. "So when I arrived here at Emerald Park, I decided to pitch, and I used this tree right here—" he pointed to an old maple tree to his left a few yards away; the bark was soft, and there were a couple of small cracks on the naked stem, "—as my background."

Sonic hummed out of interest.

"Well, as I pitched, I found this stick here," he continued and pulled out a thick, weathered branch from under the bench. "I don't know why I did it, but I decided to hit it as far as I could…"

He chuckled nervously.

"And that's how I met you…and your lump."

The hedgehog looked up at his lump and touched it softly. "Not a good way to meet, isn't it?"

"Not at all," replied Christopher. "But it's great to see to you, anyway."

Temporary silence.

"Chris, where are your parents?" asked Sonic. "Aren't they supposed to be with you?"

Chris sighed. "Sometimes, I wish they are with me," he replied solemnly.

Sonic's spikes perked. "Why?"

"They usually aren't home. Most of the time, they're busy on business trips. Mom's an actress, and she's usually making movie shoots with her crew in Hollopine. My dad's the chairman of a multi-billion-dollar corporation and works all day. Aside from Grandpa, my maid, and butler, I'm usually alone in our mansion."

Sonic whistled. "That's some family."

"It is. I love them very much and always like to offer help if they need it," said Christopher. "But they always insist on just letting them do the job."

"Haven't you tried to ask?"

"I did, but they tell me to relax and let them take care of everything," said Christopher.

"Do they come and visit you often?"

Christopher shook his head. "No, I only see them in the mornings and after school."

Sonic rested a hand on the side of his face. "Must be tough feeling alone all day."

"Yeah, it is." He sighed. "I wish Mom and Dad can spend some time off so we can do things together."

"How often do you see them?" asked Sonic.

"About twice a month."

"How long do they stay?"

Chris paused.

"Four hours each time," he answered solemnly.

Sonic whistled. "That's not long at all," he said and looked down.

Christopher agreed with him and sighed again. "I really miss 'em."

Mom, Dad, I hope to see you again…soon…hopefully.

The young boy looked up at the sky. Clear, happy, and blue. What a cheery spectacle, one only a family could love…if only they were around to see them…with him.

"Sonic, you look down," said Christopher, looking at Sonic's melancholy expression, "what's the matter?"

Sonic, his head still down, looked at his gloved right hand.

He clenched into a fist.

"If only I could've saved him," he hissed.

Chris was confused.

"'Saved him'?" he queried. "Who?"

"I don't care if they may think that way," Sonic muttered, ignoring Chris's confusion, "I should've saved him."

"Sonic, are you okay?" Christopher asked again.

The blue blur jumped down from the bench, walked past him, and sat on the grass about five yards away, his body facing the plains, trees from afar, and tall skyscrapers that pierced the sky. Then, he put his head down and stared at his hands; they were still at first and then slowly began to shake.

Bewildered by his sudden reaction, Christopher got up from the bench and cautiously walked towards him. He wondered what was wrong, but also did not want to startle his new anthropomorphic friend.

Suddenly, he heard Sonic make unfamiliar noises. It sounded a lot like grunts. Soft, angry grunts.

Then, he looked at his shaky hands and trailed his blue eyes down to his shoulders.

Tears.

Tears dripping down the muzzle and onto his arm.

Sonic…was crying.

"Why'd…you have…to die?"

Sonic looked up at the blue sky, tears streaming down his face.

"WHY'D YOU MUST DIE, SHADOW?! WHY?!"

Sonic punched the ground, crunching the grass in the process. The pain of mourning… It was much more painful than his bump. It was not physical, but emotional…one that remained within…

Oh, of all the times it returned, why did it have to return now? In front of Chris, no less?

No…he couldn't be embarrassed now. The heck with some naïve child and any other stupid human that might see him! He had to let it out. He had to remove all the anger that crept up inside them…the anger he had since Shadow's death…the same anger from when he lashed out at the humans…the same anger from earlier.

Heh. Shadow. He framed Sonic then. He couldn't forgive him. He shouldn't forgive him…! But he did and put their rivalry behind him.

Shadow…

No longer were they enemies. Instead, they were friends. But sans being former rivals and enemies, they barely knew each other.

Yet, why must he feel so anguished?

Crying over someone he used to dislike and hold a small grudge. How silly of him to think that way!

A brave and heroic hedgehog, who gave up his life to save his planet.

These words… His eulogy for the black hedgehog.

These words… They carried so much meaning.

Meaning of friendship…and gratitude.

Sayonara…Shadow…the Hedgehog.

Another quote, and another one of friendship.

Oh, why did he have to feel so sad? Shouldn't he feel happy that Shadow was finally resting in peace instead of feeling pity for him?

Or was he pitying himself?

Whatever it was, Sonic didn't care. Shadow was gone, and Sonic was free to cry into the sky…to cry into oblivion…

Suddenly, he felt Christopher's hand touch his shoulder.

"Don't!" the hedgehog exclaimed and flinched it away from him.

Christopher slowly backed away a few feet, a frightened look on his face.

Sonic immediately realized what he did and sported a sad look on his face. But his mouth held back an apology, refusing to give Chris one. Why should he apologize to some human, even if he did help him?

No, the pride had to go for now.

Yet, when he tried to stammer the out, but his voice betrayed him again.

Apologize, dammit! Sonic's subconscious roared.

At last, his pride gave up, and he sighed.

"I— I'm sorry, Chris," he stammered, eyes watery, and then turned away from him. "I gotta go."

With that, Sonic took off into the small forest surrounding the park. As he vanished, Chris watched on with a look of concern on his face.

I hope he'll be okay.


Whether he upset Christopher Thorndyke or not, Sonic could not care less now. His pride had been damaged, and the sadness and anger within him was now intolerable for him to withstand. Station Square now hated him, and Sonic could look at some of the bleary faces on them, all of them being either angry or hurt. Part of him enjoyed it and hoped for them to taste a dose of disgusting medicine that they really deserved, but part of him hated what he did. How could he act like this, especially when there were folks that adored him? Should he not know better than to stereotype the whole city like that?

But he would wait to see the full effects of his words later; the memories of Shadow were too much for him to deal with, especially here where they thrived. All the incidents of Shadow occurred in this metropolis, and he soon passed by the shopping neighborhood, where his first encounter with his ex-rival took place.

Then, as more tears dripped down his face, he encountered a new emotion: frustration. And that was it! Enough was enough! Until he finally felt better, he was leaving Station Square behind. The heck with seeing a psychologist! He was going to recover his way! No know-it-all bat he knew for only a couple of days nor some stupid government that tried to imprison him would decide how he would cope with Shadow's death for him. He was getting out of the city, and that was final!

And as before, in no way in heck would he let them find him! The hedgehog would run away from this city and the memories of his battles from several days ago. And if they did, he would take off and vanish even more. He would get lost and not let anyone search for him. Not Tails, not Knuckles, nobody! He was traveling by himself and was landing in a place for himself to find and no one else.

Not even Amy would know where he was—

Whatever happened, he hoped she understood his feelings. Aside from Tails and Eggman, Amy seemed to understand him more than anyone, and he was sure she would be okay with his decision. Of course, not right away, but eventually, she would learn…

Soon, he saw an apartment. It was a four-story building with a front blue wall and white stairs that led up to the polished brown door on the left side. On its front, three windows per row (per floor) lined up from one side to the other. The top of the building was dark brown, and it shined in the sunlight.

Sonic's eyes, now dry and no longer crying, squinted a little, especially at the second floor…

I hope Amy's okay, he thought.

With a quick sprint, he jumped on a rail on a fire escape adjacent to him and leapt high into the air. As he descended, he landed on an air conditioner that stuck out from the bottom of a window of another apartment and then leapt again. A moment later, he arrived at the outside sill of the second-floor middle window, which was draped in white.

He knocked on it.

"Amy?"

No one replied.

"Amy?" He knocked again. "It's me, Sonic."

Silence.

Sonic became confused…and worried.

So he pushed on the window up, and it budged.

"Is she all right?" he whispered to himself and pushed it all the way up.

Then, with a hand, he swiped the drape away from his face, and his eyes peered into the bedroom/living room, only to find out it was dark. When he looked down, he noticed the bed was prepared and free of wrinkles.

"Amy?" he called into the empty room, only to receive nothing in reply.

Confused, Sonic jumped off the windowsill and landed in the middle of the room. His head wandered around, only to see darkness and hear quietness. As he continued to explore the empty apartment, the blue hedgehog scratched his head: Amy was supposed to be picked up at noon, and according to the clock, it was only a little after ten. Why was she not here?

Was she all right? Did she step outside for fresh air…only to get lost, injured…or kidnapped?

No, impossible. Silly! She wasn't a great fighter, but she could defend herself. Surely, she was nearby. He knew it. He could sense it!

Perhaps she merely went out to shop, maybe the little coffee area about a couple of blocks away from here.

Yeah, that's where she is!

With that, Sonic slowly walked back towards the bed, but as he prepared to jump out and search, he glanced at the table on his left and saw something unfamiliar standing on the tabletop.

"A letter?"

In the middle of a clean table was a pink card with a blue trimming around the outside, and it faced the living room/bedroom, as if expecting someone to search for her there.

Wondering what it was, the teenager walked towards the table, picked up the card, and began to read it.

Dear Sonic,

If you're reading this, you already know that I'm not home right now. That's because I won't be going to the psychiatrist with you today. I'm running away, and I'm running far away from here.

Sonic, I can't handle this pain anymore. I'm mourning Shadow's death, and I feel sick of it! I'm crying my eyes out, and being here in Station Square is making the pain worse. I can't recover while living here; I need some time alone. And I can't let anyone find me, not even you, Sonic. Even if you might not understand how I'm feeling right now, please try.

But don't worry about me. I'll be fine, and I will return home someday. I just need a breath of fresh air right now.

Tell the others that I'm leaving, but I'll be okay. I love them just as much as you, Sonic, and hope they'll understand me. See you soon.

Love, Amy

P.S.: Don't find me. If you or anyone else does, I'm running away even further.