"It was amazing, Blaze! You should've seen him!" Sonic said excitedly, while trying to shovel as much of the salmon meal into his mouth as he spoke.

He, Blaze, and Silver were in Blaze's personal dining area, feasting on salmon and various side dishes, as they discussed that night's events...

... All but Silver, who just sat glumly at the table, cheek in his palm, pushing his food from one side of the plate to the other, meshing it all into one big pile of gray blob. Sonic had explained everything to Blaze... except for the fact that it was Silver that stole the Jeweled Scepter and took it to Juilana. He instead embellished the truth to make the soldier of Sol innocent.

"He was totally on top of things!" Sonic continued as Blaze listened intently, "If only you were awake in time to see the big show down start! He was not about to let that woman get away with you."

Silver sighed silently, wondering if Sonic was really trying to cover for him, or just torturing him with these false facts of what had really happened.

"What about you?" Blaze asked Sonic, "Why did you ask Shadow to help if you knew Silver was on it?"

Sonic glanced over at Silver, who didn't even look up, continuing to play with his food. The blue hedgehog gave a simple shrug. "Guess I wanted to make myself look good. I offered the Chaos Sol if he helped me get to Juilana before Silver did, and be your 'knight in shining armor'." He gave a shy grin, "I am suppose to be the hero, right?"

Blaze rolled her eyes. "Next time, get your head straight," she scoffed, "Duty comes before affection, right Silver?"

The silver-furred hedgehog nearly dropped his fork into his food pile. "Uh... right..."

Blaze raised an eyebrow. "Are you okay?" she asked, "You barely touched your dinner."

"Oh..." Silver's eyes darted away from her, "I'm just not real hungry, I guess..."

Blaze frowned, looking concerned. Sonic gave a hearty smile. "He's just tired from all that adventuring we did, right buddy?" He gave Silver a wink, but the telekinetic wasn't in the mood to be hearty back at him.

"... Yea..."

"Well, I'm impressed with you both," Blaze announced, "Especially you, Silver." She reached over and placed her hand over his. "Perhaps a promotion in rank is called for."

At that, Silver jolted up suddenly. "No, please!" he cried, "Don't!!"

Blaze and Sonic were taken back slightly. "Silver, what's the matter?" asked the Sol princess.

Silver eased back down. "I'm sorry..." he spoke, "I... I just don't deserve it."

"There's no reason to be so modest," Blaze smiled, "You personally defeated Juilana, a lesser-known yet fierce enemy of Sol. I've never been prouder of you."

Silver cringed, looking away even more in shame. "Blaze..." he uttered, "There's something I have to tell you...I..." He turned to looked at her, but couldn't look her in the face, and looked back to his food, "I... Iiiiiii... need to talk to you privately!"

Blaze blinked, once again growing concerned. "Oh... very well," she said and rose from her seat, "Sonic, please excuse us for a moment."

The blue hedgehog nodded, looking over to Silver in pity. Silver looked back at him as he held the door open for Blaze, almost as if to say "thanks anyway", then left, closing the door after himself.

Sonic sighed, feeling bad for the soldier, hoping things would be all right... then eyed the mush pile on Silver's plate. Glancing back to make sure they weren't suddenly returning, he reached over, grabbed the plate, and scrapped the pile onto his own plate, and immediately dug in.

"So what did you want to talk to me about?" Blaze asked once she and Silver were outside on a balcony.

Silver approached the rails and leaned against them, looking down at the Kingdom of Sol from above. "Blaze..." he spoke, "You really have no memory of what happened?"

Blaze scratched her head as she tried to think back. "I can only remember up to a few weeks ago," she responded, "But everything between then and now is completely blank." She smiled over at her friend, "I'm lucky you and Sonic found me in time, before I ended up losing everything."

"Yeah, about that..." Silver turned and looked to the ground. He still couldn't face the princess. "Sonic was just being nice and trying to spare me with all he told you. But actually, Juilana making it past the perimeters, her getting the scepter and nearly taking your whole memory..." He took a deep breath. It was time to face the music. "... It was all because of me."

Blaze's eyes widened and she made a soft gasp. "What? How?"

"I wasn't paying attention at my post, and she slipped by me. I tried to stop her, but I wasn't strong enough..." Silver took another deep breath, trying to collect himself. No need to blurt everything out all at once.

Blaze's face softened. "Is that all?" she said forgivingly.

"No..." Silver shook his head, "That's not even half of it. I bumped into Juilana later in the courtyard. She said that she could help me with my problem if she had the Jeweled Scepter. Blaze..." For the first time that night, he finally looked her in the eyes, "I stole the scepter and gave it to Juilana!"

Blaze was taken back at this. "What??" she cried, "You?!"

"Yes..." Silver turned away again, "And on a whim, I knocked you out, took the Chaos Sol, and warped us to Juilana's lair. I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway! That's why I don't deserve a promotion... Hell I don't even deserve to be a soldier!!" The hedgehog grasped onto the railings, "I don't even deserve to be your friend..."

There was a tense silence between them. Silver dared not to look back at her. He didn't feel worthy enough.

Finally, Blaze broke the silence. "Why did you do it?"

Silver shook his head once again. "It's too stupid... I can't--"

"Yes you can, and yes you will!" Blaze demanded, "It shouldn't be that stupid, if you're willing to commit treason over it."

Silver clenched his eyes and his fists. "Because... because I... I..."

"What?? Tell me!"

"Because I love you, okay?!"

Blaze was once again taken back. Her eyes went wide, and she didn't know how to answer.

"I've... always loved you..." Silver continued, "I just didn't know it until you were already in love with Sonic." He rested his hand on the railing, "Juilana told me that with the scepter, she'd make it so that, well... we'd have a chance...

"I should've never listened to her!" he raised his voice, "I should've known she was up to no good! And because of me, I almost lost both you and the whole kingdom!" He began pacing a few steps as he went on, "I don't know what I was thinking! I don't think I was thinking! But that's no excuse! It was completely selfish of me! And just so... STUPID of me!!" He turned and slammed his fists onto the railing, "And I... I..."

His emotions were catching up, as his voice quivered and tears ran down his cheeks. "... I'm just so sorry..."

He wiped his eyes with his arms and slightly turned his head, trying to see Blaze out of the corner of his eye. From what he could tell, she was still standing there, shocked at the confession, and still very much silent. He sighed, turned back, and made his way around her without trying to face her. "I'll gather my things and leave first thing in the morning..."

As he headed towards the door, his arm was suddenly latched by a hand. "Don't go."

Silver blinked, and turned to see Blaze holding onto him. As she turned to face him, she lightly pulled his arm to turn him around as well. "Silver..." she said. The hedgehog lowered his head, expecting the lecture of all lectures, or for her to get off her chest just how angry and disappointed she was in him. But he certainly did not expect this; "I'm sorry."

Silver blinked some more. "Wh... what?"

Blaze lowered her head. "If I had known how you felt, I would've been more considerate of your feelings."

"Aw, Blaze, no," Silver waved his hands, "None of this is your fault. I was the one who--"

"Shh..." Blaze placed a finger on his lips, "No, you shouldn't have made a deal with Juilana, and yes, you should've had better judgment!"

Silver looked away in shame, only to have Blaze lightly cup his cheek and turn him back to face her. "But what you just did right now only proves that I made the right choice making you a soldier."

The hedgehog was now confused. "Huh?? But Blaze, all I've done--"

"You could've kept quiet on the whole thing, and I would've never known," said Blaze, "It took a lot of courage and wisdom to come forward and confess like a man. Because of this, I know that I can still trust you."

Silver didn't know what to say and glanced downwards. He was touched, but he wasn't sure if he still deserved it. Blaze could read it in his face. "You're so naive..." she murmured. Silver glared up at her, but his face lightened when he saw a smile across her face. Very rarely did he manage to get the feline to smile.

"Listen," Blaze continued, "I'm in love with Sonic..." She then took her silver-furred friend by the hand, "But my love for you will always be deeper and meaningful. When I was shunned, you befriended me. You took care of me like a brother always should. You are my brother Silver... and my best friend. And nothing, not even a terrible mistake, will ever change that." She then took his other hand and clasped them together. "All I ask is that you continue to stay by my side. Please...!"

Tears rolled down Silver's cheek once again, and he raised her hands up to his lips. "Always..."

Blaze smiled deeply, her own eyes glazing a bit. "Thank you..." She leaned in and planted a soft kiss on his cheek. She then pulled back and gave a soft chuckle. "Come on. Let's head back inside and finish dinner, before Sonic eats our share."

She headed to the door and opened it, looking back to see Silver still standing there, lost in thoughts. "You coming?"

"Oh... yeah," Silver responded, "I just need a minute."

Blaze smiled and nodded before heading inside, leaving the hedgehog alone to stare into the sky, counting his blessings. If he couldn't be with Blaze, he was lucky to at least still have her in his life.

Sometimes, there's a personal struggle between love and loyalty.

Lucky for Silver, he had the best of both worlds.


And NOW it's the end. XD I was getting a few reviews saying "Great ending!" and I'm over here thinking "I ain't done yet!" ;

The last line is a double entendre. Not only does Silver love AND is loyal to Blaze (as she is to him, clearly), but this fic has a bit of "both worlds" hopefully... A SilvAze story that didn't end with SilvAze, but still leaves that warm, fuzzy feeling inside you...

... assuming that it's not from wanting to puke because you hate every bit of trace of SilvAze. :P

Okay, my next fic of the summer stars hedgehog #3: Shadow! Only this time, I'm steering clear of my "own" Sonicverse. This fic, ladies and gents, is actually going to be a SatAM fanfic. Can ya believe it? ME?! SatAM?!

Hey it's not THAT bad. :P

Anyway, thanks for reading and sticking with me. I hope you'll enjoy the next one. ;)