Here it is the final chapter, enjoy. :)
Knuckles woke up a couple of hours later. He was initially unsure where he was, but when he saw Rouge sound asleep in his arms, it came back to him pretty quickly. She had a peaceful smile on her face as she slept.
Being this close to her was something he was really enjoying, and he blushed when he realized just how happy he was like this. Knuckles had always thought he'd be stuck by himself on Angel Island forever, with no one to talk to but the Master Emerald. And yet, here he was, on his solitary island, holding in his arms the most beautiful girl he had ever met. His blush deepened when realized exactly what he'd just thought. He really did think she was beautiful, he'd just never really thought about it like this. Maybe he wasn't doomed to eternal solitude, maybe he and Rouge could live together and start a family. Now he turned a brilliant red. Where had that thought come from?
Knuckles decided he should get up before his thoughts strayed any further out of bounds. He slowly pulled himself up and set Rouge very gently onto her pillow before pulling the covers over her and heading for the door. He stopped halfway there and decided to write her a quick note. "Shout if you need me. -Knuckles"
He went to his room afterward and did a bit of weight lifting to get his mind off of the sleeping bat in the next room. Perhaps he should ask the Master Emerald for advice later. Sure, it didn't talk, but he had a special link with it, and when he really needed something, it would give him a clue. Like the first time it had broken, and he didn't know where to look for the last few pieces, an image of the Egg Carrier had appeared in it's bright green depths. No, he finally decided, this is something I have to figure out for myself.
In the next room, Rouge was starting to blink awake. She immediately noticed the absence of Knuckles' warmth. Sitting up slightly she noticed his note and smiled to herself. He hadn't wanted her to think she was alone. She stretched her wings out as far as they could go. Seeing as they were currently the only unharmed part of her body, it was probably a good idea to keep them in shape. Rouge used her not broken arm to examine the bandaging Knuckles had done on her stomach. She noticed it didn't go up very far which likely meant he'd been trying to avoid her breasts. She smiled again thinking about how shy he could be. That made her realize just how odd it was that Knuckles had taken the time and courage to cuddle with her the way he had.
She really did love that silly little echidna. Sure he could be a jerk every now and then, and he was probably the most gullible person she'd ever met, but there was more to him than that. He could be a sweet and caring person when he tried, and he was exceedingly loyal to his friends. Not to mention his strong, quiet determination. She'd never tell him, but the whole reason Rouge had been on Angel Island the night Nak had shot Knuckles, was that she hadn't been able to get him off her mind for weeks.
She closed her eyes and let out a long deep sigh. "How am I supposed to tell Knuckles how madly in love I am with him."
"When I'm through with you, you won't be telling anyone anything, bat."
Rouge's eyes shot open and her head snapped up at the sound of the voice.
In the corner of the room stood the last person she wanted to see. "Didn't expect to see me so soon?" Slick asked with a malicious grin.
"How'd you get in here?" She tried to control the shaking in her voice.
"The window of course." Slick walked over to the door and clicked the lock in place. "Now how should we do this Rouge?" He was tossing his knife from hand to hand as he walked closer to her bed.
Her mind raced as she tried to think of a way out of this. She glanced at the note and knew Knuckles was her only hope.
Slick was right next to her now and noticed the note as well. "Don't even think about screaming." the black cat said as he placed a hand to her throat and the knife to her heart.
She knew it was dangerous, but it was her only chance, if she didn't try she'd die anyway. Rouge closed her eyes, took a deep shivering breath and yelled as loud as she could. "KNCUKLES HELP!"
"Damn you!" Slick shouted tightening his grip on her throat.
Knuckles heard the shout immediately and threw the enormous dumbbell he was holding halfway across the room before making a mad dash for the door. He sprinted to Rouge's door and upon noticing it was locked he didn't hesitate to smash it down with one fist.
The sight that greeted him was Slick trying to strangle Rouge with a knife pointed at her heart.
"Get the Hell away from her!" Knuckles dashed forward, grabbed Slick by the shoulders and threw him across the room and into the wall. Slick coughed as he lay on the ground, but had no time to react before Knuckles came back, liftede him by the neck and pinned him to the wall. "You just don't know when to give up do you, you sick bastard!" Slick was making a gurgling noise due to Knuckles' fist. The echidna didn't wait for him to say anything else and punched the cat in the gut. He threw him to the ground and placed a foot on his chest to pin him the.
"Now listen to me and listen good. If you EVER so much as lay a finger on my girl again, I will personally hunt you down and kill you with my bare hands! Now get off my island before I have to throw you off." He lifted his foot so Slick could get up and gave him a deadly glare. The cat lifted himself slowly and headed for the door before Knuckles stopped him and took his knife. "I'll be taking this." He continued to glare as if daring him to disagree. But he just kept walking, and Knuckles waited until he heard the front door shut before snapping the blade in two and turning back to Rouge.
"You okay?" He placed a hand on her cheek and held her good hand in his other. "You're not hurt?"
She smiled and shook her head. "I'm fine, you got here just in time."
"Good" He sighed and tightened his grip on her hand.
"So," Rouge continued with a grin. "I'm your girl now, am I?"
Knuckles blushed but didn't hesitate to reply. "Yeah, if that's okay with you."
She just nodded.
"Rouge," He continued, staring her directly in the eyes. "I think I'm falling in love with you."
She gave him a huge smile and tried to bite back the tears she felt welling up. "Knuckles I fell for you a long time ago."
He smiled back before deciding they should make it truly official. Knuckles leaned in and gave Rouge a gentle kiss on the lips, which she happily returned.
After a few seconds, they parted. Knuckles smiled. "So," he said, their foreheads touching. "Does this mean we're a couple now?"
Rouge laughed. "Yes it does. So that means you have to start giving me flowers and jewelry." She grinned playfully.
"Ha, I think I can do that. But does that mean we have to start using silly nicknames?"
"You bet, Knucky."
"No fair, my name's easy. How am I supposed to come up with something for Rouge?"
"You could just call me sweetheart."
"That'll work." He crawled into the bed with her and held her in his arms once more.
"Knuckles?" Rouge said quietly.
"Thanks for taking care of me. And for saving me again."
"Hey, I'll always be there for you when you need me Rouge."
"Good. Because I don't want to be alone anymore."
"Don't worry, you'll never have to be alone so long as I'm around."
They stayed like that for quite some time, just happy to be together. Knuckles realized somewhere in the back of his mind that he'd have to tell everyone else about this. Sonic would pick on him about it for months, but he really didn't care. He had Rouge now and she had him, that was all that really mattered.
Phew! Done! I really enjoyed writing this one so I hope you all liked it too. Don't forget to review and tell me what you think. ;) Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go upload a quick Amy thing I wrote before working on the next chapter of my year-and-a-half old fic, Sonic jam session.(Shameless plugging!)