The second upload from my old account.
This was my second Sonic fanfic ever (and, in my opinion, my worst), and, for some odd reason, my most popular back then. It had twenty-seven reviews, anyway.
To those of you who liked this fanfic, I'm glad you did. To those who don't, I'm even gladder! (if that wasn't a word before, it is now. Shut up.) I don't like this piece of writing AT ALL. I'm not sure if I'll EVER get back to it. I know how it ends...Maybe I ought to add it? Or maybe I should just rewrite this thing over again, with no OOC-ness and an actual PLOTLINE. AND NO ANGST. Or, at least, none to very little. I dunno. So many projects, so little ti- well, no, that's a lie, I've got plenty of time because I've got no life. I just can't bring myself to CARE, I guess.
So then...prepare to laugh yourselves silly! Or perhaps not. Whatever you want.
Song of the Succubus
(Previously Known as Going Under)
He looked around, taking in his surroundings. The sun had started to set, casting light pink and peach shadows on the tall pine trees standing around him. The grass on the bank was thick, lush, and soft, mostly because of the water flow right next to it. The forest shone in a bright, rich green, glowing with a healthy sheen. Sonic sighed. It was pleasant to see some part of Mobius that was still healthy and natural. Still unscarred by the wrath and power of Robotnik.
However, Sonic was now getting bored of watching the forest. He was starting to get antsy. Any second now...
He grinned as a tiny wave broke the surface of the otherwise still water. Within seconds, it started to bubble, and a gold light shimmered through the rippling waves. A bright, solid gold ring slowly rose from the water, little droplets dripping off it. The magnificent golden light shone through them, causing them to sparkle like microscopic diamonds.
Sonic could care less about the beauty, however. All that mattered was that the ring was finally ready. Bending over, he grabbed the glittering ring before it could sink back down into the dark, murky depths that the grotto concealed. Stepping back, he admired the ring, thankful to his dear uncle that he could create something that could give them such an advantage in this godforsaken war.
Turning around, the cobalt hedgehog was about to speed off toward the village, when his sharp ears picked up a slight sound. Turning his head, he tried to pinpoint the direct location of the sound. His ears twitching, he could detect that the sound had come from behind, to his right. With that, he sped off.
Sighing, Sonic trotted off, as torturous as it was for him. As his ears pricked, he understood the sound to be a voice- a Mobian voice. And it-no, she, for it was too high-pitched to be a male's- was singing a deep, haunting melody that made the quills on Sonic's back stand up straight and his mind reel. As he walked, he knew. Knew he just had to make it to that voice. The voice...and its owner.
Ten more steps. The voice was getting clearer. He just had to keep going...
Upon further expedition, the cobalt hedgehog came across a thick, 5-foot- high bush. Frustrated, he kicked a random stone sitting in the dirt. He was so close...so close, and yet so far...And yet...it seemed as though the sweet, clear voice was coming from the other side of the thick foliage...
The hedgehog, not sure what to expect, shoved his hands through the thick leaves and moved them aside, similar to that of a green, shadowy curtain. It wasn't easy- as he shoved, the thorns scratched his gloves, tore his skin, leaving little red cuts on the peach-colored arms. He didn't notice them, however, when he saw what was on the other side of the bush.
A girl sat in the middle of a clearing, eyes closed, face raised to the sky. She sat in a kneeling position, hands folded neatly in her lap. Her mouth widened and narrowed, changing the words as the beautiful voice changed pitches.
Sonic was momentarily hypnotized by the splendor of the girl, who reminded him of one of the flowers in Bunnie's garden, but he quickly snapped out of it. Overtaken by shyness, he didn't know what to do. When she snapped out of her mood, how would she react? Would she be startled? Would she ask what he was doing here? If so, how would he answer? That he heard her voice and wanted to see her sing? Now that he thought about it, that sounded rather stupid.
However, he was spared the humiliation of an awkward silence, for the girl opened her eyes and glanced over in his direction. Smiling, she stood up and started to walk over, beckoning him to come forward with her right index finger. Sonic, not sure what to expect, jumped through the brush and walked over to her.
Once close enough to see her, he was even more shocked than he had been before.
It was hard to tell what species she was exactly, but it definitely had to be some sort of feline- the way she walked was not to be questioned. It was smooth, like a river flowing over stone, and filled with confidence. She was a glossy bronze color, with a cream marking that connected to her nose, went around her eyes and eyebrows, and ended in a soft, round muzzle, similar to Sally's. She had long, golden hair that flowed to her waist. The mane rippled and waved as she moved, almost as if it had a life of its own.
A long, silk gown was the only thing that flattered her intricate body. It seemed as though perfection had worked its way through her long, slender arms and legs, down to the bottom of her dainty feet and hands. Her now open eyes were a bright green with streaks of blue, similar to that of seaweed, framed by dark lashes.
The cobalt hedgehog found himself speechless as the girl stood about a yard away from him. Both Sally and Bunnie were exceedingly pretty, but this girl here was gorgeous enough to be a super model! Even as he stood here, it was as if she had put him under a spell, and he wondered what Sally would say if she found out.
The girl smiled at the hedgehog. "Evening, young wanderer. What might you be doing here on a night like this?" she asked. Even while speaking, the girl's voice was rich and sweet as chocolate. The hedgehog was about to speak when she interrupted. "You were tempted by the sound of my voice?" She said this more as a statement rather than a question.
Sonic was now speechless. How did she-? he thought. He didn't get time to finish the thought, however, because the girl stepped forward and brushed her hand against his cheek. Sonic shivered, the soft touch tingling where it had left its toll on his muzzle. The girl giggled at his reaction, the sound reminding him of a soft summer breeze.
"So, what might your name be?" she asked, lowering her eyelids. The cobalt hedgehog hesitated before answering, "Sonic. That's what everyone calls me. What about you?"
The blond-haired girl flashed him a grin. "Anais," she answered. The hedgehog nodded. He'd never heard the name before, or anything like it. However, it sounded poetic, mysterious, and beautiful- perfect for a being of her status.
Giving a final giggle, Anais started to walk away in the opposite direction. As she left, the golden presence that Sonic had felt when she was near started to disappear. Blinking, he hurried after her, though not in his usual insane speed- more like an average person's trot. Turning her head, Anais grinned. "Care to join me, Sonic?" she called out.
Hesitating, the cobalt hedgehog pondered what to say to her. However, he didn't need to- by now, he had realized that the feline had a knack for speaking for him when he didn't know what to say.
However, despite the peaceful appearance of the village, there was still a ruckus going on into the deeper parts. Princess Sally was pacing around, waiting for the others' reports, while Antoine stood near her, anxiously looking about him. The others- Bunnie Rabbot, Tails Prower, Amy rose, Hunter Wolfhound, and Rotor Walrus- were out in the forest, trying to find some sort of clue as to where their best Freedom Fighter was.
Sonic had gone to the grotto the night before to gather the new power ring, and hadn't returned. At first, Sally had just shrugged it off as nothing. Sonic, as much as he loved attention and company, sometimes went out into the forest to be alone and gather his thoughts, which wasn't hard to understand. During war, it was important for one to be strong, but there were times when had had to be alone to think.
She had started to worry when he didn't come home for dinner, but she had tried not to show it, assuring herself that he would be back by tomorrow morning. However, by the time she had woken up and gotten dressed, he still wasn't in his hut, where he usually could be seen sleeping in. By then, she was convinced that something had happened to him, so she'd called everyone together for an emergency meeting. Everyone agreed to split up into search parties, and went in different directions.
Sally and Antoine had been the first ones back, and they hadn't found any trace of the cobalt hedgehog. Which was why Sally was now so discouraged, and impatient for the others to get back. Perhaps they'd had better luck than she and Antoine had.
The coyote that stood not far away from her was now getting uneasy from Sally's pacing. It reminded him too much of the hedgehog, whom he was now trying to forget about. Antoine had never really been fond of Sonic, but just before the hedgehog had disappeared, he'd comforted the coyote about the most recent fight he'd had with Bunnie.
That was something that Antoine would never forget, no matter how hard he could try. He'd felt pretty low ever since Bunnie had gotten angry at him. He'd made a snide comment about robots after being attacked by one (cowering behind a heap of scrap metal while Sonic buzz-sawed it in half), and Bunnie had taken it rather personally because of her metallic arm and legs.
He cleared his throat. "My princess, I am sinking zat you should be, how you say, 'cheeling out' now," he suggested in his thick French accent. Sally glanced over at him. "I'm sorry, Antoine. It's just...I'm worried. It's just not like Sonic to be gone this long. What if something happened to him? What if the others haven't found anything?" With that, she sat down on the grass, putting her chin in her hand.
Antoine walked over and sat down next to her, putting his hand on her shoulder. "Eet eez going to be all right, my princess. Sonique eez resourceful and smart enough. 'E shall be just fine," he soothed. Sally smiled at him. "I know. Thank you, Antoine," she said. Antoine merely grinned smugly.
Just then, soft footfalls, along with a slight creaking and clanking, could be heard from behind. Standing up, Sally and Antoine turned around. Bunnie, Amy and Hunter had just arrived, looking grim. "Anything?" Sally asked hopefully. Bunnie shook her head. "Nada, sugah," she replied "We ran into Rotor and Hunter, and they didn't see nothin', eitha. They ain't quaht finished yet, but Ah don't think it'll be of aneh use." Tails was looking downward, and Amy looked close to tears.
Sally sighed, discouraged. "It's as if he just disappeared without a trace! What do we do now?" She hated to be like this in front of her fellow Mobians. After all, she was supposed to be their leader, a strong princess. However, she didn't know what to do now. The stress from the war and from critical citizens was starting to get to her, and to top it all off, her best Freedom Fighter was missing!
"Well, there is something we can do." Rotor and Hunter walked into the clearing at that precise moment. It was apparent that the remark had come from Rotor, for the voice was too soft to be Hunter's.
Sally grinned. "What is it, Rotor?" she asked. She found herself mentally thanking God that Rotor was around to help out. If anyone could find a way to get through this, it was him. Rotor cleared his throat before answering. "Well, we've been going about this the wrong way, I think. Neither of us could find Sonic because we don't have any experience with tracking. However, there is someone who does."
By now, everyone was listening intently. "Who? Who is it?" asked Tails. Rotor grinned. "Well, let's just say that we'd need to go to Angel Island for this."
Everyone now stood in thoughtful silence. It was true that Knuckles was good with tracking- he was up there all alone, after all, and he needed to find food- and he could be of some use to them. Of course, there was the off-chance that he wouldn't help them. They all well knew that he was protective of the Master emerald, and he didn't like to leave it for too long.
However, Rotor's plan was worth a shot. "All right. I'll contact Knuckles as soon as possible," said Sally. With that said, everyone walked back to the village. They were convinced that the problem would be solved in time. And yet, at the pit of everyone's soul...there was still a little pang of doubt.
Knuckles yawned, stretching his arms. He lay down right next to the Master Emerald, the warm energy that it leaked comforting to him. Up here on Angel Island, way up in the sky, it was usually fairly cold.
He knew he should probably be more alert, but then, pretty much every day was like this- fairly quiet, and no one trying to steal the emerald. Then again, anyone would have to be an idiot to try and steal the master emerald. Not only because he was right there and that he would pound anyone who came anywhere near, but because the emerald, in the hands of a mortal, weighed more than 300 pounds, and hardly anyone was strong enough to hold that much weight.
Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain on his forehead. "Ow!" he exclaimed, rubbing it. Sitting up, he looked around for the person who would have thrown the rock at him. Over yonder, a pink echidna, about fifteen years of age, stood with her hands on her hips. She had purple-tipped bangs with eyes of the same color, and wore a green-and-black vest and green boots. Her arms and dreadlocks were cybernetic.
She chuckled. "Morning, Sleeping Beauty. Have a nice nap?" she called in a teasing manner. Knuckles scrambled to get up, a defiant look on his face. "I wasn't sleeping, Julie, I was just- er..." As he searched for the right word, Julie-Su walked up to him, flashing a glamorous grin. "You're kinda cute when you jumble your words up like that, you know?" she said, lowing her lashes. Knuckles couldn't help but blush at this comment.
Julie-Su then lifted her hand, which was currently folded up, for it held a scrap of paper. "This was given to me by the Freedom Fighters' carrier pigeon. I think it's for you," she said, handing the paper to him. Once in his hand, Knuckles unfolded it, his violet eyes poring over it. His eyes widened as they traveled back and forth. Julie-Su impatiently tapped her foot. "Well, what does it say?" she demanded. "Well, apparently Sonic's gone missing, and they want me to look for him," Knuckles replied.
Julie-Su looked taken aback. "That's what they want you for!?" she exclaimed incredulously. Knuckles shrugged. "Why not? I could use a little excitement!" he reasoned. The female echidna rolled her eyes. "Whatever. If that's what you're gonna do, I'll watch the ME for you." Knuckles smiled. "Thanks, Julie. I owe you one," he said. With that, he started the walk to his hut to pack some essential items.
Anais watched intently as the cobalt hedgehog, who called himself 'Sonic', glanced around his surroundings. She had led him to an old, decrepit mansion that had been hidden deep in the Great Forest, even deeper than Knothole had been. It couldn't be spotted from the air, and it was almost impossible to stumble upon. Not even the keenest eye could see it from close up.
Which is why she had chosen this place above all others to live. That way, she could not be disturbed. Especially when attaining a new victim...
She could see that the cobalt hedgehog was now getting uneasy. "Uh, Anais, I think I should probably-""No!" she interrupted. She couldn't afford to lose this precious being. Not yet. "Stay with me," she pleaded. Her eyes shone bright for a moment before the hedgehog responded.
"Uh...okay," he said hesitantly. Anais smiled. "Good. I look forward to your being here, Sonic," she told him. The hedgehog smiled a rather uncomfortable smile at being told this. Anais leaned forward so that her nose was almost touching his. "Your eyes...they glitter with life...just like emeralds...so beautiful..." she muttered. She could feel Sonic's heart beat more rapidly by the second as she leaned a bit closer. "Your fur...it's so soft and lush..." she whispered.
The next thing Sonic knew, Anais was kissing him, deeply and passionately. She felt him jump back a bit, but then return the kiss. She closed her eyes, cherishing the moment. She could taste the happiness on his lips- so sweet and tender. As she put her hands on his shoulders, she deepened the kiss, feeling the happiness tingle on her skin.
Gripping tightly, she started to drain the emotion from her victim's body, feeling the golden sensation run through her veins, strengthening her muscles and nerves. Oh, yes- he was so wonderful...This happiness, this joy- it was delicious...and it had been so long since she had last fed...she just had to have a bit more... One last tingle, and the two backed away from each other, gasping for breath. The hedgehog looked shocked, though not unhappy. However, an unnatural white now tinged the peach fur that covered his muzzle. Anais smiled as she ran her fingers through his quills, enjoying the unusual texture- firm and spiky, yet smooth- as she stared at him.
She had succeeded in Phase 1 of her plan- now to move on to Phase 2. Just a bit longer, and he would fall for her. Just a bit longer, and he would be hers. Hers to do what she wanted with him. Just a bit longer...
Sally sighed as she waited impatiently at the foot of the mountains quite a ways off from the Great Forest. The carrier pigeon that she had sent off to Knuckles had come back just yesterday- the same day she'd sent it out- with Knuckles' reply. The note had said to meet right outside the mountain city of Maga, near the area in which she, Sonic, and the rest of the Freedom Fighters had attained the Secret Scrolls at one point.
Not far from where she stood, Tails sat with The Tornado, the plane that he, Sonic, and Rotor had built together, looking it over. She'd been a bit apprehensive about letting the kit come with, but knew that there was no one else for the job- Rotor and Sonic both knew how the plane worked, but Rotor always got sick after the first five minutes in the air, and Sonic- well, he wasn't here now. Tails was the only other person in the village who knew how to fly the bi-wing plane. Once they had gotten up into the air, it turned out that Tails was a very cautious driver.
Sally looked down on the ground for a second, then turned her gaze to the sky. In the distance, she saw the silhouette of what looked like a dark, misty spot, hidden by clouds. She smiled. She knew that it would disappear in a moment, but knowing that Angel Island was so close made her feel better.
Just then, Tails cried out, "Aunt Sally, look!" Sally turned to look at him. His eyes were wide in surprise, and he was pointing at something. Following his finger, Sally's gaze landed on a bright red figure gently descending from the sky, catching a gust of wind as it blew toward the mountainous area. From there, it started to glide forward, then slant into a graceful dive, bringing itself up just before it hit the ground.
By now, it was clear to see that the figure was none other than Knuckles the Echidna, who was now at the peak of all the mountains. Taking off once more, he slowly came down to earth, landing only five feet away from Sally and Tails.
Flipping his dreadlocks over his shoulders, he grinned at the two. "Hey, Sally! Long time no see!" he exclaimed, walking over. "Too true," Sally stated as she briefly embraced her friend. "Hiya, Knux!" exclaimed Tails, jumping up and down in excitement. Knuckles laughed as he ruffled the boy's hair affectionately. "Heya, Kiddo! How's it been?" he said.
The greetings ended just as soon as they had come. Once finished, everyone got back down to business. "Where to now, Sal?" he asked. "Well, Knothole first, then we should go down to the Grotto," replied Sally. "That's where Sonic was headed for last time he was seen." Knuckles nodded. "Okay, let's go."
"Uh...guys...?" called Tails. Sally and Knuckles looked over at the kit, who was now checking over The Tornado. "What is it, Tails?" asked Sally. The kit looked over at them worriedly. "There's only two seats," he stated. Knuckles shrugged. "So?" he retorted. Tails looked at him as if her were insane. "So, where are you gonna sit?" he asked. The echidna merely grinned. "Who said anything about sitting?" he said. Tails blinked, confused for a moment, but then smiled in realization. "Oh, I get it!" he exclaimed. "Come on, Aunt Sally, climb into the back seat!" he called, climbing into the cockpit.
Sally was confused, but did as instructed. Knuckles, meanwhile, made his way to The Tornado's second wing, standing right in the center. Sally frowned. "That doesn't look very safe, Knuckles..." she said disdainfully. "Don't worry, Sally- I've done this thousands of times before. I'll be okay," Knuckles reassured.
Sally didn't look convinced, but since there was no other option, she stayed quiet. With nothing else to discuss, Tails started the engine, and took to the skies.
Knuckles glanced around the village. It hadn't changed much since he had last been there, though there seemed to be more huts than he had remembered. Probably because there were more people escaping from Robotropolis and seeking refuge in Knothole.
The plane ride had gone smoothly enough- there was a little turbulence here and there, as the Tornado was a small plane and easily tossed around in the wind, but Tails had been extra cautious, and no problems had occurred. He was actually glad that he'd gotten to ride rather than go on foot. Flying, it took about half an hour to get to Knothole, whereas it took three days to get there manually.
Just then, he felt a hand on his shoulder, which instantly broke his thoughts. Turning around, he found Sally facing him. "Before we do anything, we better see if Tails needs any help with the Tornado," she told him. Knuckles nodded. "Right then." Sally gestured to Tails, who was still in the pilot's seat of the plane.
Nodding, the echidna and ground squirrel followed the fox, who was now driving (driving, not flying, driving!) the plane through the cleared ground that surrounded the village. Unlike when it was in the air, when on ground, the Tornado was actually pretty slow. That being said, it took almost another half-hour to get Tails' plane to the hiding spot (a cave at the far side of a lake in the Great Forest), and another fifteen minutes to get it hidden.
By the time they were finished, there was only an hour left until sunset. Knuckles was now in a hurry to get to the grotto and search for anything he could find before the sun's light shrank, and if he didn't find anything before then, he'd have to wait all night and search again the next day.
Sighing, he looked up to the sky. You better be all right, Hedgehog, he thought. Otherwise, I swear I'll kill you when I find you!
Sonic glanced out the window, starting to get nervous. The sun was starting to set. By now, everyone in knothole must have realized that he hadn't come back for two days- they must have been getting worried about him. They wouldn't know about Anais and the mansion.
Speaking of mansion...he thought, taking his gaze off the window and rotating it around the room he was in now. His eyes had nearly popped out of their sockets when Anais had brought him here. He'd passed that one particular spot several times when he'd explored the forest- never before had he known about what it hid.
The mansion was partially hidden underground (it was on a hill), and the other half had been hidden with a complicated collage of foliage to protect it from any unwanted eyes. Anais had encouraged him to explore a bit, and so he'd walked around for hours, glancing at the hundreds (well, not really hundreds, but dozens, at least) of rooms. Apart from the kitchen and the living room, he really didn't see any use of the rooms, which looked pretty, though dusty and full of cobwebs- they just seemed to be on display. He'd have to ask Anais about that sometime.
Sighing, his thoughts raced to the evening yesterday, when Anais had kissed him. He'd actually enjoyed it a lot, for she was a surprisingly good kisser- and yet, there had been something...not quite...normal about it. Like he'd been drained of something, for he now felt as if something was missing, but he couldn't quite place it.
Just then, he was brought back to his senses by a slight knocking on the door. Glancing up, he called, "Come in!" Anais' beautiful head poked through the crack in the door. "Dinner's ready," she stated. Sonic, for now, shook the negative thought from his head, getting up from the window seat he'd been sitting on and following the feline to the kitchen. Anais wouldn't do anything to him- he was sure of it.
After a dinner of fresh fruit and vegetables, Anais and Sonic sat in the guest bedroom, on the king-sized bed, doing nothing in particular. Just...sitting. The cobalt hedgehog was now getting uncomfortable with the silence, for he'd always been an open sort of person- he enjoyed talking. So far, however, Anais hadn't made a motion to start talking: she actually seemed to enjoy the silence.
Sighing, Sonic decided to get up. The springs in the mattress groaned in protest, but he didn't pay attention. Just as he was heading for the door, he felt Anais' hand on his arm. "Where are you going?" she inquired. The cobalt hedgehog's shoulders tensed up, dreading the moment that he knew would come. However, he had to tell it to her straight out- "Anais, I really have to go. Everybody at Knothole's gotta be worried about me by now..."
He squeezed his eyes shut, expecting the feline to protest, shout, rant, rave, even burst into tears. Anything... but what she did.
She laughed. A simple, airy sound, better than any music that he had ever heard. He turned around, confused. Anais was shaking her head as if to shoulder off some silly thing that he'd done. She must have noted the confusion in his eyes, because she now looked like she was about to lecture him.
"My dear Sonic, didn't you know? Those villagers- your friends, your family, your fan-base- they don't really care about you!" Sonic could feel his eyes popping out of his sockets. He definetely hadn't expected her to say that! The feline continued. "The villagers- they only think of you as their hero because of your speed. They don't know the real you, and if they did, they wouldn't even care," she stated.
The hedgehog had now gone into shock. He didn't know what to say.
Anais continued, seemingly oblivious to Sonic's silence. "Your friends- the Freedom Fighters- they don't care, either. To them, you are merely a tool, a distraction during their missions. They may act kindly, but they are merely acting. That little fox- he just wishes that he had your speed, which is why he follows you. And that princess, the pretty little princess...she's using you...she never loved you- not really."
It was at this time that Sonic had shaken off his shock, and his blood was now boiling. How dare she! How dare she talk that way about his friends, his fighters, his princess! He opened his mouth to shout a protest, to tell this woman that she was wrong- when she leaned over, grabbed him roughly, and pulled him onto the bed. He now lay on his back, with the blond feline hovering over him. Before he could do anything, she touched her lips to his, locking him into another kiss, this time deeper and more passionate than the one that she'd given him last night. This time, it was much more...personal...This time, she was much closer...and, as much as he hated to admit it, he actually enjoyed it. It felt so good...
Anais pulled away for a moment. "Let me tell you something, though- she doesn't know you the way I do, doesn't care, doesn't want you, doesn't love you, the way I do. You're mine, Sonic Hedgehog, and she should know it."
At that moment, Sonic gave in. he believed her now- believed everything she said, as though just finding out the truth for the first time. He'd been living a lie- a lie he'd stupidly believed, like an idiot- all his life. Now this woman here- she would fix it. She loved him, and being loved, truly loved, felt wonderful. So he let her kiss him. Again, the unusual draining process took over him, but he didn't think twice.
Anais had him under her spell, and he enjoyed every minute of it. Which was why he felt slightly disappointed when she got up and walked to the door, turning around for just a split second. "Good night, sweet prince of cobalt and tan. I shall be here when the dawn greets the Great Forest. And don't forget what I told you," she purred.
Glancing at him with a silky gaze, she shut off the lights. Sonic sat up, gazing at her. Standing in front of the opened door, the light spilled out from all around her, diminishing her form to a shadowy silhouette. "Good night," he said in a soft voice that he wasn't sure sounded like his own. Despite the shadow effect, he could still see her smile. At that moment, he didn't think that there was anything more beautiful that he could name.
With a last glance, Anais stepped out the door, carefully closing it behind her, leaving Sonic to nothing but darkness, bed, and dreams.
Anais grinned to herself, one of evil, hunger, and lust. Sonic had easily given his anger to her when she insulted his friends, which had tasted tangy, and had given his love to her , which was sweet, and yet, slightly tart, like strawberry. Both were delicious, and strengthening her by the day. She now had him under her spell- he was hers to do whatever she wished to do with him. And she had several things in mind...
Nighttime in the Great Forest was usually a peaceful time. Dusk had fallen upon the sky, and twilight bands now blended into the sky- indigo, black, violet, and silver- with a slight spattering of stars. Everyone in the village had retreated from their daily chores and wandering, and had retired to their huts for the night. Some slept peacefully, their heads filled with pleasant dreams, while others slept fitfully, tossing and turning throughout horrid nightmares.
Of course, there were those who chose not to sleep at all, but ponder throughout the night. Among these late owls was Knuckles, who was now mentally kicking himself for what had happened earlier today, occasionally releasing his anger by throwing a random punch into the air.
As it turned out, dark had fallen sooner than he'd expected, which didn't bode well for his eyes- it was much easier to search by sunlight rather than the soft gleam of a lantern. Sally, of course, had come with to aid him if necessary, along with Bunnie Rabbot, one of her most trusted friends. Together, the three had searched thoroughly around the grotto, but it was Knuckles who'd found the vital clue- a power ring about four yards into the forest. Apparently, Sonic had gotten the ring, but had dropped it. As if he were in a hurry, and forgot it. The only question was- what?
After that, the three had searched around the same area for hours, until Sally insisted that they turn in for the night. Knuckles had protested, but the princess had it made- she never lost an argument. In the end, she'd won. Which was why the guardian was now beating himself up in the guest hut. He was so close- so close, and yet so far.
He wouldn't tell anyone, but he was desperate to find the hedgehog. They'd gotten off on the wrong foot the first time they'd met, but he'd gotten over it. Nowadays, he considered Sonic his best friend, and was actually rather fond of him for his free spirit and love for life. Which was why Knuckles wanted to make sure nothing happened to him. If it had, then he just had to wonder- why? Sonic was intelligent enough to resist any enemy's tricks and deceits, and could easily protect himself against the odds. What would distract him enough to forget his duties as a Freedom Fighter? It didn't make any sense.
His thoughts were interrupted by an arubt knock on the door. Glancing up, he called, "It's open!" A furry brown head poked through the doorway. "Hey. Are you all right?" she asked. The echidna glanced briefly at the princess, sighing as he glanced back down to his pillow. Sally then stepped into the room, not yet out of her boots and vest. She plopped down next to Knuckles and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Knuckles, none of this is your fault. These are unusual circumstances- even I'm not sure what to do anymore." She spoke this in a reassuring voice, trying to convince herself as well as her friend.
Knuckles turned his head to get a better look at her. Though she wore a grin on her face, her crystal blue eyes hid several layers of emotion- uncertainty, concern, and frustration. He decided not to say anything, but he managed to give her a small smile. Just enough to show her that he was there. However, it didn't last long. Giving a frustrated sigh, he started to mutter- just loud enough for her to hear.
"No. I should have been able to find something other than the ring, but I couldn't. I'm just not sure what to think anymore- I've run all possibilities through my head and I still can't come up with a straight answer. Damnit! Why did this have to happen? Why now of all times?!" he exclaimed. He growled angrily, glaring down towards his hands in his lap. He instantly felt guilty as he felt Sally back away from him slowly in fright, but he was relieved as he felt her put her hand back on his shoulder.
"Knuckles, all I can think to say... is that I don't know what else to do. I'm feeling the same way as you are right now. However, the most we can do is hold onto each other for support. We'll get through this- I know we will. We'll find Sonic."
The echidna smiled in spite of himself, and cast a grateful look to his friend. The ground squirrel smiled at him and, giving his shoulder a last pat, she got up and exited the hut, leaving the guardian alone with his thoughts. Sighing, Knuckles couldn't think of what to do, except try to get some sleep. He had a long day ahead of him tomorrow- he needed to be refreshed. This in mind, he yawned and turned off the lamp on the nightstand, and buried himself underneath the covers.
Sonic sighed, rolling over on his right side. It didn't matter- no matter now soft the mattress was, no matter how fluffy the pillows were, no matter how warm the comforter was- it did no good. Sleep was futile- it had always been. Ever since that moment with Anais on the bed.
At the thought of the beautiful feline, his heart started to pound. Louder, faster, until it was about the only thing he could hear in his head. This was what happened every time she popped into his head, which happened quite frequently nowadays. Quite frankly, she drove him wild. There was just something about her...
He shook his head impatiently at that thought, getting down to the matter at hand. After all she had told him- about Tails, the Freedom Fighters, Sally- an instant wave of depression had washed over him. However, that wasn't it. He felt betrayed, used, abused. Unclean.Of course, he'd been in denial beforehand, ready to argue his point- but then she'd kissed him, and...all the anger and disbelief had melted out of him. Just like that.
Once again, he sighed, thoughts once more wandering over to the strange, beautiful entity of the young feline who he knew as Anais. She confused him, she honestly did. He'd just met her three days ago, and she already had this effect on him. Was that supposed to happen? Especially out of the blue like that? He didn't know- wasn't sure what to think anymore.
There were all these doubts he'd been having lately. Anais- was she true to him? Was she all she appeared to be? Or not? Did she run deeper than that? Was there something she wasn't telling him? It was thoughts like these that ran through his head, tormenting his soul. Every moment that was added to his life, he'd swear to himself to talk to Anais, interrogate her and find out what she was all about.
And then, it would all vanish from his mind once she'd get near him. All the thoughts vanished from his mind, rendering him to a state of burning love and passion. She seemed to put him under a spell, and he wouldn't notice until her presence left him. Then, it'd be times like this- beating up on himself for acting like a complete idiot, and thinking until his brain hurt. All in all, he just didn't know what to do or how to react. She was tearing him up from the inside out, and he didn't know how to deal with it.
Growling in frustration, he gave the pillow a punch with his fist. Just to let out his frustration a bit. Then another. And another. Soon, feathers were flying around the room, until the hedgehog collapsed from sheer exhaustion. Panting slightly, managed to fall under the deep depths of sleep.
Anais had both fingers pressed firmly to her temples, her mind locked onto his. She frowned at his inner thoughts. Since she'd drained the very happiness and anger out of him, she'd been keeping an eye on his thoughts- just to see the after-effect it had on him. Judging by what she'd seen so far, this was not what she'd had in mind. He wasn't taking this very well now, though he was when he was around her. Smiling at the thought, she gently dislodged her mind from his as he drifted off to sleep.
Her plan was still working, after all. He'd serve for her true purposes very well. She just had to get him a bit closer this time...get deeper into his mind...wrap him around her. And then...then, she'd be ready.
The next day dawned dreary and gray, with chilly winds and constant rain. Normally, it was nice when it rained in the forest; the sweet scent of rain mixed with the natural essence of fresh, green plants and rich soil was often rampant throughout the air. However, this was not one of those light, warm summer rains; on the contrary, this was a rough, vicious storm, with roaring winds and harsh, pelting rain.
Strangely, however, there was one out in the horrible weather, unknownst to anyone else (though not for long). The figure was a jet-gray bat who appeared to be around seventeen or eighteen. His long, scarlet hair looked short form the front, but only because it was pulled back; it actually cascaded down to his knees. A pair of frayed, blood-red wings were folded closely against his back, arching gracefully over his back. The thick branches and leaves cast his jet-gray body into seemingly endless shadows, hiding the scars that ran up his torso and making him indistinguishable to the naked eye. Had one looked hard enough, they would have only seen a pair of pupil-less eyes, glinting like icy blue mirrors in the dawn.
He stayed up there, crouched in a position as though he were ready to pounce. The rain and wind would have chilled anyone else to the bone, discouraging them, but he appeared not to notice it, as if it didn't make any difference to him, rain or shine. He looked attentive, keeping an intent eye on the worn dirt path below him. It was as if he was waiting for something...
All at once, there came a rustling through the brush, and seconds later, a blur of shimmering scarlet seemed to come out of nowhere, and blow past his watcher, not even aware of the bat's presence. Within moments, the blur was gone. The bat smiled grimly, in spite of himself.
Anais has a new victim. He has no idea of what she is yet, and doesn't know to fight back. She's got him wrapped around her finger. There's no hope to be had for him. Not yet. However, unlike the past victims, this one appears to have someone that cares for him. The Guardian of Angel Island, no less. May be gullible, but has a will of iron. If they reunite, the innocent one's life may stand a chance.
The bat pondered this for a split second before leaping nimbly to the next tree branch with a grace and agility that was obviously practiced. He leapt to yet another tree branch, shooting through the air like a silver arrow. He continued on like this, following the crimson echidna's path. He had no doubt in his mind that the Guardian knew where he was going, but he'd never be able to find the mansion- it was too well-hidden. He needed someone experienced to guide him.
For a moment, the bat's lips curved slightly upward in an almost-smile. Luckily for the echidna, he happened to have centuries of it.
Knuckles barged through yet another bush, snapping several twigs in the process. Though unintentional, Knuckles didn't care, or even notice for that matter. Nor did it matter that he was soaking wet, water running into his amethyst eyes, or that he was practically freezing, wearing nothing at all other than a pair of sneakers and white mittens. He was on the right trail- he knew it. He could feel it in his gut, and he'd learned a long time ago in his training as Guardian to follow those gut feelings- they were usually correct.
So intent was he, that he didn't notice the sound of footsteps until they were three yards behind him. Any other being wouldn't have noticed, either, what with the sound of heavy raindrops hitting solid earth and the roaring wind, but the echidna's role as caretaker of the Master Emerald did quite a bit for him. Being around huge amounts of unbridled Chaos Energy enhanced his senses, making him particularly sensitive to the slightest sound or light. Whirling around, he glared at the huge mass of green and brown that made up the forest, seeing no one. He wasn't fooled that easily, though- he knew there was someone there.
He barely had any time to react as he heard a dull thump from behind, and felt someone close the space around him. Not even thinking, his Martial Arts training kicked in, causing him to instinctively jump forward and whirl around, sending his attacker a swift punch to the gut, all in one fluid motion. Normally, this would have sent even the best fighter sprawling back in pain, but his opponent simply rushed forward again. Knuckles barely managed to dodge the bat's flying foot.
"Fast reflexes. Impressive, though not surprising for someone of your status." Knuckles blinked at the deep voice, surprised to hear it come out of something that seemed so small and frail. Backing up a bit, he got a clear view of the figure standing before him. The bat was a deep gray, almost black, with a silvery muzzle that glinted slightly in the pale gray light. A pair of black, leather pants hugged a well-built body that most males on Mobius would have killed for. He wore a pair of black cloth gloves, which appeared to have daggers built into the wrist. The most notable thing about him was the numerous scars that laced his slim torso, especially the wide A that was cut directly the center of his chest.
"Why are you here?" the Guardian demanded. The bat gave him a grim smile. "I know what it is you seek. I know where you can find it." Knuckles started a bit, surprised by the steady, calm answer. "How- how do you know what I seek?" he asked, a bit more surprise in his voice than he meant to let on. The bat stood still. "You're on the right trail, but without my help, you'll not find it. Let me lead you there," he said, holding out his hand. Knuckles backed away a bit, not once letting his suspicious gaze get away from the bat's emotionless face. "I don't trust you..." he growled. The bat shrugged and turned away. "Fine then. However, the hedgehog is in trouble. His fate is most unspeakable. You're the only one who can save him. All hope is lost if you choose to let him alone to his doom."
The Guardian stared after the bat, stunned. "Wait!" he called after a few moments. The crimson-haired bat turned his head ever so slightly. Knuckles started to walk towards his companion. "You...know where Sonic is?" he asked. "Yes. What are you implying?" The Guardian hesitated before saying, "Take me to him. He's been missing for three days now- we have no idea what could have happened to him." The bat turned around fully now, looking the echidna straight in the eye. "'We'?" he asked. "Yes, 'we'- his village." Ice blue regarded amethyst for a moment before saying, "Very well, then. Come with me. I'll explain everything to you on the way," he said, striding out of the clearing. The Knuckles followed intently, unsure of what to think next. There was so many questions he wanted to ask, but none of them came to mind.
Quickening his pace, he was soon walking shoulder-to-shoulder with his companion, putting him directly in hearing range. "So...who are you, exactly?" he asked. The bat looked heavenward, as if looking for an answer to the question. Five minutes passed before he said quietly, "I'm not certain, exactly. I was a long time ago, but since then, I've aged, and gained wisdom." Knuckles cocked an eyebrow at this rather random answer, but didn't say anything. Okaaaaay then, so now what?
"Well then...what's your name?" he asked. The bat paused again before replying, "You may call me Shatter." That's the most he said before stepping forward, leaving the Guardian behind again. Shatter...he thought, keeping his pace steady so that he stayed a yard away from the bat. Nice name. Fits him well. As he kept on, he couldn't help but wonder what the future had in store for him, or ponder the mysteries of the silver-furred bat.
Meanwhile, as the worst storm in weeks raged outside in the forest, it was warm within the confines of Anais' mansion. Warm, but not at all cozy. Not in the way that Knothole was.
Sonic sighed, sitting by his window seat yet again, just watching the rain fall. Over the time, this darkened room had become his sanctuary, in the house that he frequently got lost in because of so many useless rooms. This was the area that he could always find, and where he could gather his thoughts. With so little to do and nowhere else to go, he'd been thinking a lot more lately.
As warm as it was within the mansion, at this point in time, he'd rather be out in the cold, stinging rain rather than in here. Anais seemed to be getting more clingy, possessive, almost. At first, he'd been delighted at the thought, knowing that someone in this great wide world cared about him, and was willing to take him in, after the civilians of Knothole had betrayed him in such a way.
Sighing again, he looked down. He was completely aware of a small tear grazing his peach-colored cheek, leaving a crystalline trail in its wake, but not really caring at all. The hedgehog knew well enough that he should just forget about them. They weren't worth his time or mourn. And yet…all his life, they were all he'd ever known. They had come together, in the way a family would. Or at least, he thought they had. Now…to know that they'd never even really thought of him other than a fighter who could easily be replaced…it hurt.
Looking out the window, he marveled at the small droplets of water that clung together on the cool glass. They looked almost like glass themselves, but they reflected so much more. It was amazing, really- how they could sparkle like diamonds in the right light, yet show so much of the world around them, all on one tiny surface.
Looking past the glass, Sonic glanced at the swaying branches of the trees. It looked as though they were about to snap off the trees, the wind was shaking them so hard, and yet…there they were, hanging on for dear life. No matter how violently they shook, they always managed to hang onto the bark, never falling off.
Caught in the fierce beauty of nature, the cobalt hedgehog barely managed to catch the sound of footsteps in the distance. Yet, it came as no surprise to him, as a soft golden light started to slowly fill in a wide, rectangular shape, cut off only by the shadow of a lovely figure with flowing golden hair.
The leaden grey bat had now slowed to a more relaxed pace, easy for the Guardian to keep up. The two of them were side by side, two elegant forms in all the chaos of Mother Nature's fury, keeping their ground, one of crimson, the other of silver.
Amethyst glanced sideways into ice, tentative and eager, though the same could not be said for the other. Shatter was obviously biding his time, though it was impossible to say whether the reason was because he was uneasy with the subject, or he simply wanted to keep Knuckles waiting.
Taking a deep breath, Shatter began.
"Have you ever heard of the Mori bloodline?" he asked.
Knuckles shook his head. He was no expert on Mobian history, except, of course, his own. Pretty much the only royal bloodline he'd ever heard of was the House of Acorn, and even there his knowledge was limited. I definitely have to ask Sally about that when I get back, he thought.
"I suppose not. They aren't exactly famous around these parts." He gave a bitter laugh, and the Guardian couldn't help but push back a pang of guilt.
"Well, this bloodline consists of many Mobians, mostly feline. They go back generations. They used to be quite famous, actually. They were noble and wealthy, and made quite a legend of themselves. However, this isn't a legend that people will fondly tell their grandkids. You see, the Moris are also known as…"
Shatter paused for a moment, appearing somewhat reluctant. He only continued when demanding amethyst probed deep into his own.
"…demons. See, they had certain…powers. I suppose you could call them vampires, but they don't feed on blood."
Knuckles, under most circumstances, would have scoffed at this, but now he stared at Shatter, wide-eyed. This was a story much like those that his mother used to tell him when he was still very little. She'd told him about these creatures before- vampires that stalked the night, looking for innocent victims. This wasn't a tale known widely across Mobius, but it was one that had always remained clear in his mind.
"They feed on peoples' emotions, their hearts, their souls, their most personal thoughts and beliefs- the basic lifeblood of personality. They take what they know about that person, and use it to twist them to their will. Lifeblood of personality acts as energy for them just as food for most Mobians. Souls of the innocent act as their lifeblood; without it, they lose their immortality, and become just like any mortal Mobian. Because of this, they were banished by the Acorn monarchy centuries ago from Mobotropolis when a few of their servants were…feasted on…by them."
The bat shuddered at this. Knuckles didn't blame him.
"How could they tell it was them?"
"Each victim that a Mori gets his hands on can easily be distinguished among the rest. They go missing- usually for about a year- and if they return, they aren't themselves. Without their lifeblood of personality, their bodies simply become living, breathing shells. They are doomed to walk Mobius for eternity, unfeeling and emotionless."
By now, the echidna was entranced. When his mother told him this tale, she'd definitely failed to mention that part!
Shatter continued. "The only one of the Mori bloodline left is the one named Anais Kaede Mori. Being the only one of her people alive, she desperately wants to keep herself alive. The only way to do that is to get a new victim…"
"And that 'victim' is Sonic!" finished Knuckles. He suddenly felt a pang of anger deep in his chest, fists clenching so tightly that, had he not been wearing mittens, his nails would have cut deep into his palms. He barely noticed. How dare that Goddamned bitch do that to Sonic! How dare she try to feed off him like a leech!
"I thought you'd be angry." Knuckles looked at Shatter, regarding him so coolly and calmly, in such a nonchalant way, and his anger suddenly magnified. "How do you know all this, anyway!? Who do you think you are to tell me things, and expect me to believe them, when all I have is your word!? Why are you even bothering to delve into what isn't your business!?" he demanded angrily. The bat didn't even bat an eyelid. He just continued to stare at the echidna with ice blue mirrors, icily, almost emotionless…
Instantly, Knuckles put two and two together. "You're…one of her victims…aren't you?" he muttered. Anger had completely vanished, replaced by a humming sensation of awe. Shatter looked down. Without saying a word, he pointed to the A carved into his chest. "This is a symbol of just that. Anais has very sharp claws, and is very possessive. She marked me just before I escaped. The scar will never heal completely; it will remain there for eternity."
Walking forward a few feet, he was silent. For a moment. Turning his head only slightly so that his damp crimson hair waved across his back, an icy, pupil-less iris glanced at Knuckles from the corner of red-lashed eye.
"Anais and I are both damned. When a Mori feeds on enough innocents, he or she eventually becomes an undead being; he or she can't die, nor are they living. Of course, Anais doesn't know this, so she continues searching for victims, though no matter what she does, she'll always be here.
Likewise, I can't die, either. I can't feel anything; not physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. Therefore, I don't take stands. After all, I can't act on what's not there. Take this war, for instance, between Robotnik and the few groups of Mobians that exist. Most act against Robotnik because of strong emotions that run through them. I can't do anything, because I don't feel hatred against Robotnik, or anger at what he's done and continues doing, or pity for those that suffer, or even love for those around me."
Knuckles was completely silent. Awe, though not quite replaced, was now being pushed aside with guilt. And pity. The echidna himself had been often described as emotionless, but that really wasn't true. Next to Shatter, he was probably a real softie! However, something didn't make sense. With this in mind, he was compelled to ask;
"If what you say is true…then why are you doing this? I mean, telling me about Anais, and taking me to her?"
Shatter didn't say anything for what seemed like centuries, but was probably only a minute.
"With Anais, most victims don't get away. Ever. However, I was one of the few that did. It was a rainy night, just like this one. After I escaped, I knew it was too late; I was almost gone. I wasn't too fond of the feeling. So, just before I lost the rest of my humanity, I swore to myself that I wouldn't let anyone have the same fate as I had been condemned to."
Shatter turned back to Knuckles, and his eyes stared directly into the Guardian's. It was like those icy mirrors could see past the amethyst irises, and look directly into Knuckles' soul. It was rather unsettling to him.
"When Anais first set out after me, I was rather a social outcast. That was one of the reasons I didn't get out in time- no one came looking for me while I was missing. I didn't believe anyone cared, so I didn't bother to escape at first. It was only near the end, when I was almost gone, that I realized I wasn't completely useless after all. Anais hadn't quite drained me of all my emotions- there was still a trace of resolve and bitterness left."
Shatter took a step closer to Knuckles. "However, your Sonic is a hero among your friends, is he not? You all still care about him. Because of this, he has a chance to see past Anais' lies, and get out while there's still time."
Sighing, the bat turned on heel, and started walking in another direction. The echidna, eager to hear more, quickly followed.
"The hedgehog is strong. Stronger than most of Anais' victims."
"If he's so strong, then why did he fall for her in the first place? When he found her, why didn't he just walk away?" asked Knuckles. He couldn't quite place it. He himself knew Sonic was intelligent enough not to fall for a pretty girl.
Shatter looked to him once again, and the echidna braced himself for another story.
"It's not that simple. As you may have been able to figure out, Anais is very beautiful. I know your friend wouldn't easily fall for a beautiful girl," he said, as if reading Knuckles' mind, "but many females of the Mori bloodline have another talent. They can sing. Their voices are particularly beautiful and hypnotic. That's how they lure their victims. " The bat gave a bitter laugh, sending chills down Knuckles' spine. "I wouldn't be surprised if that's how she got Sonic."
The echidna was now silent, having no more questions, processing the information he'd just been told. Neither he nor Shatter said another word as they continued through the Great Forest, the only sounds apparent that of the falling rain, and their own beating hearts.
About half an hour later, Shatter stopped abruptly. "We're here," he said simply. Knuckles regarded the thick foliage suspiciously. There was nothing unusual about it, other than there was a lot of it, and that it was tangled in a rather peculiar way. Shatter, seemingly knowing what he was doing, cleared a path through the tangled shrubbery. Holding it open with one hand, he moved aside, motioning for Knuckles to step through first. The echidna hesitated, but deciding that the bat had said enough so that he could trust him, stepped through the path.
What he saw before him made his jaw drop open in shock. A little clearing was directly in sight, and in a small path, hidden by the shadows but visible nonetheless, was a huge mansion. The windows were dark, as if there were no lights on. Then again, the rain was still coming down hard, and this looked like only part of the mansion. Who knew how big it was?
"Come," Shatter ordered softly. Bat and echidna walked side by side once again, coming close to the house. However, it was there that Knuckles paused in confusion. There were no visible doors, and all the windows appeared locked.
However, Shatter kept going, keeping a steady pace beside the mansion. Apparently, he knew where he was going. This in mind, Knuckles continued to follow him. After a moment, he saw what the bat had been aiming for; an old cellar entryway.
Shatter examined it for a moment before saying, "It looks like she's sealed the passage off. These shutters are locked from the inside." He looked up at Knuckles. "We're going to have to force them open…"
The echidna knew what was being implied. Without another word, he grabbed a hold of one of the shutters, and pulled it from its socket with a sharp Creak! It sounded almost like a protest. Shatter nodded. "Impressive, Gardian!" Gracefully, almost soundlessly, he leapt up, lowering himself into the cellar on ruby wings. Once inside, he glanced up at Knuckles expectantly. The Guardian, not knowing what to expect, hesitantly followed suit.
"Hello, Cobalt." Sonic turned his head, glancing up at Anais. His emerald eyes widened slightly when he realized that she wasn't wearing her usual slimming gown. Of course, about two thirds of Mobius' population often didn't wear clothes- Mobians had fur, feathers, or scales which acted as a permanent layer of clothing- but still, some still bothered with clothing themselves. When they did, it was slightly shocking to see them do without.
Once he got over the slight shock, however, he managed to look her directly into her eyes. He could swear there was a flicker of amusement in there. He managed a small smile in her direction. "Hey, Anais. What's up?" he said. It was surprising to hear the soft voice come out of his lips.
The feline sauntered over to where he sat, curling around him in a teasing manner. "What are you doing?" she purred. Sonic sighed, not being able to resist leaning into her. "Just…thinking," he replied. Anais chuckled. It vaguely resembled a purr. "Are you always so deep?" she muttered. The hedgehog sighed, not answering. He'd never realized before how soft she was. And so…warm.
Anais gave a contented sigh, burying one of her hands into Sonic's long, cobalt quills. "Sonic…" she muttered. She sounded inquiring.
The hedgehog raised his head slightly. "Hmm…?" he managed. "Will you do me a favor?" Sonic nodded slightly. "Meet me in the kitchen in half an hour. I've got something I want to show you, but I have to prepare it properly."
Sonic, surprised and a little disappointed, hesitantly nodded as the feline rose from the window seat and sauntered to the door. Before she exited, she turned her head to look at him. "Thank you. I'll see you then," she said, just before exiting, shutting the door behind her, leaving the hedgehog in pure darkness once again.