Final chapter to Wonderful. I've had alot of fun writing this, and this is going to be a building block for my request from nisswa789. That should be up later. After this chapter, I'll probably finish the next chapter to Forgiveness. This has kind of been a break from the long story, and I feel ready to write more to Forgiveness. Forgive me on my lateness. xD
Anyway, thanks to all the loyal reviewers that have stayed to this story. This story really makes me grateful to actually have a father that didn't walk out on me. And I pray for those who's fathers did, or whose fathers have passed away. God bless you all.
That night after Tails and James were long asleep, Sonic still was awake.
He couldn't find himself able to shut his eyes. Sure, he was tired after the long day of helping Tails pack, but he couldn't find the strenght to shut them. He was afraid to. He was afraid to shut them, afraid to face the day Tails would leave him forever. And Sonic had never been afraid of anything before.
He had faced evil robots, killer machines, guns, mad scientist, and even his own evil clone, and he was never afraid. But now fear crept up Sonic's spine. He wasn't facing his clone, or dodging gunfire.
He was losing his best friend, his brother.
Sonic sighed, turning again on the couch, staring up at the ceiling. He didn't know what he was going to do once Tails was gone. What could he do? He was so used to hearing him tinker in his workshop in the early morning hours...how could he wake up everyday, knowing he was alone?
And then there was James. Why did he want Tails now? There was no doubt the man was Tails's father, but how, after 8 years, did he seem so ready to enter into his sons life? It wasn't him that was there for every birthday, for every achievement. It was Sonic. He understood Tails's side, that after so many years, he wanted a real father.
And somewhere inside Sonic's heart, that stung.
Obviously, he would never be a good enough father for the young kitsune.
Sighing against the pricking pain in his chest, Sonic forced his eyes shut, thinking about the times he and Tails spend together, just talking and hanging out. He didn't see how he was going to let all that go.
Only meer moments after he shut his eyes for the first time that night, Sonic heard a quiet thud coming from his and Tails's shared bedroom, where Tails and his father were sleeping. Sonic forced his tense body to relax, and he shut his eyes, listening with invisibly perked ears. He heard almost silent footsteps come through the hall, and in the darkness, when he opened his eyes slightly, he saw a shadow silently making its way toward the door.
Only when he reached for the knob did Sonic make his presence known.
"Whatcha doing?" he said casually, but his eyes were narrowed, staring at the shadow that tensed in shock, its hand meters from the door knob. Sonic glanced at the clock before looking back and getting on his feet. "Now, who would go outside at 3 am?" He reached for the lamp switch, suddenly sending the room out of the shadows. Surprised sprinkled through him like sand, and he narrowed his eyes angerly at James Prower, standing at the front door, looking at Sonic with wide eyes like a deer caught in headlights.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" he growled lowly, his voice calm but low in supressed anger. His blood was boiling, sending his heart racing in anger. James stammered for a moment, and Sonic took a single threatening step toward him. James removed his hand from the air, turning away from the door, avoiding Sonic's eyes.
"I...I have to change the plans with...with Tails," he said nervously, swallowing the lump in his throat. "Something's come up and--"
"Don't you dare lie to me, you damn coward," Sonic snarled, his anger hardly supressed now. "If that's true, why the hell sneek out at 3 am?" At this, James said nothing, looking away. "You really are a damn coward, James. You were sneeking out so you wouldn't have to tell Tails you didn't want him."
"That's not true, Sonic," James said, suddenly looking up at Sonic. "It's not that I don't want him. I...I jus--"
"Then why, James?!" Sonic interuptted, his voice raising. "Why leave a 2 year old alone in the forest? Why?"
"I...I wasn't ready!" he replied, shaking his head. "I wasn't ready to take care of a child." He paused, and Sonic bit his tongue. "I thought I was...but when his mother died..." He sighed, looking away. "I couldn't do it!"
"So just leave him, then? Hope that some...some creature will come and pick him off quickly, huh?" When James didn't reply, Sonic took another step toward him, his voice lowering dangerously. "What kind of father would do that, huh? I was hardly 8 years old when I found him, James. 8 years old. But when I saw him, alone and crying for his father that left him, I couldn't leave him there. Do you think I was ready?" Sonic's voice was raising, his vision blurred with angry tears. James had said nothing, looking at the ground. "Do your really think I was ready to take care of a 2 years old when I had to struggle just to take care of myself?" Sonic narrowed his eyes. "How damn pathetic." James lifted his head suddenly, looking angry.
"Well, I'm glad it all worked out for you, child!" he said, his voice raising. "Damn it, Sonic, I was scared."
"You were scared?" Sonic nearly screamed. "I was 8! How scared do you think I was?! I thought he would die!" He paused, glaring at James. "But I started to love that kid like my brother, and I couldn't leave him."
"Well, I'm glad you're a perfect father for him, then, Sonic!" James shouted at him. "I'm glad a child could take better care of him than me! At least he had someone to look after him!"
"Then, why, James?" Sonic shouted, then lowered his voice, looking at him hopelessly, with anger burning like fire in his emerald eyes. His head pounded, his blood burning with anger. "Then why come back? Why get his hopes up, and then leave?!"
For a moment, James said nothing, avoiding Sonic's eyes. He seemed to be struggling for an excuse, but in the end, he sighed, shaking his head. "I wanted him to. I really did...but...I still can't do it. I'm not ready yet." James looked up this time. "But I will come back. I will take him with me one day." Even as he said this, Sonic could see the lies sparkling in his eyes. James turned toward the door, reaching for the handle. "Tell him that for me, will you?"
Sonic said nothing, simply watching James as he turned the knob and opened the door. "I'll tell him the truth, James," Sonic said, his voice low. His heart cracked in his chest. "But the truth will break his heart." James seemed to hesitate, as if changing his mind. "If you walk out that door, don't dream of ever thinking to come back, even though we both damn well know you won't."
For a moment, James lingered at the doorway, looking at the boxes still packed in front of the door.
"That was all he wanted, James. His real father."
After another moment, and without a word, James Prower walked out of the door, the door closing behind him with a click of the lock. And Sonic stood alone in the living room, his blood boiling at his teeth nearly snapping from being grinded together so hard. He hoped ever so little that James would change his mind, turn around and take decide to take Tails with him, but another part of him was glad that James was gone.
But he knew very well how this would kill Tails.
Sighing deeply, his head pounding like a bass drum, Sonic the Hedgehog turned away from the door...
...and stopped short when he saw Miles 'Tails' Prower standing at the entrance to the hallway, staring at the front door, holding a sheet of paper in his hands tightly.
For a moment, Sonic simply watched him, his heart breaking for the young kitsune. How much had he seen and heard? Had he been there the whole time, listening to the shouts between his father and Sonic? Sonic couldn't move, couldn't bring himself to ask Tails if he was alright. For a moment, all he did was stare at Tails.
He swallowed the lump forming in his throat, and Tails suddenly moved, walking toward the door in a trance-like state, walking by Sonic without even casting him a glance. Sonic reached out to him, but didn't touch him, and hesitated before speaking.
By now, Tails was looking out the glass door, and at hearing his name, he whipped around suddenly, his eyes wide and his body tense, and he shook his head quickly, letting the paper in his hands fall to the ground as he clenched his fists. Sonic shook his head, wanting to kill James for doing this. He was about to speak, but Tails got there first.
"Of course he would just leave," Tails said angrily, starting to pace back and forth. Sonc simply watched him, his heart breaking for the kid. "He did it once. It's easy to see he would do it again. I lived without him for 8 years...8 years without a father, and look at me!" He threw his hands in the air, his voice loud. "I'm fine, I'm great! I'm an inventor, I can pilot a plane, and who gets thanks for that? Not him." When Tails walked by him once again, Sonic managed to get a glimsp into his eyes, and saw that the anger was just a wall, just an emotion sat up to be strong, to hide his real one.
But with every word, Sonic could see the wall being torn down.
"I don't need him," he said, and with every word, his voice got lower and lower, his steps slower and slower. "I don't need him...I was without him for 8 years. I can...make it without him..." After a moment of repeating this to himself, with Sonic silent to the side, Tails stopped in his steps, his eyes finally breaking away from the anger, and filling with a sadness Sonic had never seen there before, and his heart nearly shattered in two when Tails turned them toward him, his sapphire orbs filling with thick tears as the anger he built around him to show he was strong melted away. He stood in front of Sonic, looking at him for the first time.
"Why doesn't he want me, Sonic?" Tails whispered, his voice breaking and sounding absolutely heartbreaking to Sonic's ears. With those words, silent tears began to fall down Tails's face, and Sonic found his own tears blurring his vision. And in single moment, Sonic did something he never did enough.
He took his younger brother in his arms, and hugged him tightly as he cried into his shoulder.
"Why doesn't he want me?" Tails whispered into Sonic's fur, and Sonic rocked him gently from side to side, not able to hold his own tears back. They fell from his face, and he listened as Tails sobbed quietly at his ear. "He promised...he promised...Why am I not good enough?"
For awhile, Sonic couldn't speak, couldn't find any words to comfort his younger brother. He simply let him cry until he could find words soothing enough.
"That's not true, Tails," Sonic whispered back in his ear. "He's not good enough for you. He's not good enough for you..." Tails sobbed quietly into Sonic's shoulder, and Sonic could do nothing anymore, simply let his younger brother, his best friend, cry.
"You're the only father I have, Sonic," Tails whispered finally before breaking into sobs once more. "You're the only father I need..."
Sonic stayed that way, letting Tails sob into his shoulder. His eyes wandered to the ground where the paper in Tails's hand had dropped, and held his brother tighter when he saw it.
"I'll always be here, Tails..." he said, closing his eyes. "I won't leave you...Everything will be wonderful someday...I promise..."
Silence was broken only by their quiet sobs. The picture on the ground was facing the door, as if waiting for James to come back. From the picture, Tails smiled, inbetween Sonic and James, and all three held hands together.
And in the corner were four simple and hopeful words, written from the heart of a child that only wanted his father.
'Everything is wonderful now'.
--End of Story--
Omg. I'm crying and I wrote the story! -sniff- I think this has to be the best oneshot I've written with Tails. I really think it is. This time, he doesn't die at least. -sobs- I think...I'll go kill James now...
Thanks for all the loyalty for this short story, everyone! I appreciate the reviews and support in pushing me along this story. Just can't wait to see the reaction of everyone when they read this final chapter. :3
Thanks, and God bless all the fathers who were strong enough to stay, and all the kids who have made it without one.