Judgment Chapter 24

7 days later

(Sabina's point of view)

Yesterday, we buried Darius. Well…his coffin. I was so exhausted after the fight with Nightmare, I passed out. I woke up five days after the fight in the hospital. Tails was there, waiting for me to wake up. He took me to Amy's house. I fell asleep there, not knowing what was going on.

The next day, Tails took me out to a small hill a few minutes from Amy's house. There was a single coffin, but Darius wasn't in it. They had been unable to find his body in all the ruble that came from the coliseum's explosion. All we had to put in the coffin was a coat of his. I don't think I've ever cried so much in my life.

No one wanted to leave the grave after it was sealed. They tried to make me go back to the house to rest, but I wouldn't. Sonic and Knuckles finally carried me back. I was to tired and upset to resist.

Other than Tails, I don't think anyone knew how much I liked Darius. They seemed a little surprised by my pain, though did what they could to comfort me. They finally led me up to the room in Amy's house where I'd been staying.

I haven't come out since then. I haven't needed to. I'm not hungry or thirsty. Or maybe I just can't tell. But who cares?

The bedroom actually has its own bathroom complete with a shower. It's comfortable…I guess. I think I would rather sleep on the hard rocks in Amy's back yard if it meant that Darius was still alive.

Amy and Shadow are probably going to get married soon. It seems like they need to be together. So do Knuckles and Rouge. Speaking of those two, Rouge thinks she's pregnant. She is ecstatic, though Knuckles doesn't seem sure about the whole thing. At least, that's what Amy told me the last time I talked to her a few hours ago. She seems to be keeping everyone away from me for the time being, though I'm sure that it's either Shadow or Tails' idea. They're afraid I'll snap and kill someone. To be honest, it's tempting. If it means feeling the way I did during the fight, then it might be worth it.

Amy tells me that Cream's been staying much closer to Tails that she has in the past. Tails doesn't seem to mind much, though he's not exactly embracing the idea of love right now. I hope those two do get together. I would hate to see Tails be the last of the two-tailed foxes. I'm sure he's going to outlive me by several years.

I haven't heard much about Sonic. Apparently, he's left for a while to go get the Chaos Emeralds back. Knuckles and Shadow went with him. Amy made Rouge stay at the house for a while. Rebuilding isn't that important at the moment.

I never got to know Bergan, not that I care. The only reason that I'm curious is because Tails told me that the last words from the cat's mouth were something about me fighting like a Judge. Tails did some research, but came up mostly empty. The only thing that he found was that the Judges were a group of elite warriors who killed their king for some reason. There was nothing else on them. It still doesn't make much sense to me.

Nor does Nightmare. I'm still not sure what he was. He looked so much like Darius, and fought just like him. I just wish I knew more.

It's almost midnight now. The moon is beautiful tonight, and the stars are unusually bright. The beach is abandoned like it normally is. Even though I saw him die with my own eyes, I still look out onto the beach, hoping to see Darius walking around, or lying in the water. But he's never there, nor will he ever be again.

Right now, I wish I were dead.

The next day

(No longer Sabina's point of view)

Amy opened her eyes, lying alone in her bed. Shadow still hadn't come back from that hellhole. But it probably wouldn't be long before he did, a couple of days at the most. The pink hedgehog yawned, getting out of bed and stretching.

On her way downstairs, she walked by Sabina's door. The sound of the shower running came as a relief to Amy. She was scared that Sabina might try killing herself. The snow-white fox was torn up pretty badly over Darius. Amy knew that she would be the same way if it were Shadow, probably more so than Sabina was. The snow-white fox was probably hiding most of the pain she felt.

Downstairs, Tails and Cream were still asleep. The young rabbit's head was on Tails' chest, though the young fox probably hadn't let her fall asleep like that. Amy was slightly surprised that Cream wasn't freaking out about this. Then again, they weren't very old yet.

In the kitchen, Vanilla and Rouge were talking about pregnancy while Vanilla cooked. The bat was thrilled at the idea of being pregnant, though Vanilla seemed nervous about it. However, the older rabbit was happy to share what she knew.

Cleaning up what had been Tails' house hadn't taken as long as they had though it would. The fire had destroyed everything, leaving nothing bigger than a chair in tact. The garage, which was made of an unusual type of steel, had been closed off at the time of the fire, and had been unharmed. From what Tails had explained to everyone that the alloy he had used only melts under a certain type of heat. No one had seemed to understand much else, other than Shadow. Sabina had been in the hospital resting at the time.

Though no one would admit it in front of Sabina, Tails had said that he expected Darius to show up at any moment as if nothing had ever happened. The young fox said that killing Darius was much harder than it looked. The idea wasn't taken to warmly. Amy personally though that it was wrong to inspire the hope that the impossible would happen. However, she privately hopped that Tails was right. But it HAD been a week now, and there was no sign of either of the ebony and crimson foxes. No one ever wanted to see Nightmare again. After what Sabina had done to him, it seemed unlikely that they ever would.

Unknown to Sabina, Tails had found some more information on the Judges. Sabina had been asleep at the time, and Amy didn't want to wake her up. Details were somewhat sketchy, but it gave a much better idea than what Tails had found originally.

Sabina felt her eyes fill with tears again. She was sitting in the shower with her back pressed up against one of the walls of the house. Her arms were wrapped around her knees, which were pulled up against her chest as a result. Her two tails were wrapped around her feet. Clutched tightly in her right hand was a small, red stone that Darius had left in her backpack. She had been surprised when she found the backpack where she had dropped it.

The small red stone was some kind of emerald, though she had no idea what type. It didn't look like it was natural, though it could have been. She guessed he had either found or made it when they were in the caves. She hadn't seen it before then.

It was the only thing of his that she had kept, other than her memories. She didn't know that his trench coat had been in the coffin until after it was buried. At her request, Knuckles had put a thin layer of diamond around the coffin to keep it from ever weathering.

She started crying again, squeezing the stone as tightly as she could. Amy didn't know it, but Tails had came to her and told her that he thought that Darius would probably show up in a few days. As he said it, he was cowering as if he was going to get hurt. However, the idea didn't anger Sabina at all. It just upset her again. She had been hoping the same thing would happen. To his surprise, she gave Tails a hug and told him that she agreed. The young fox was wise beyond his years.

The snow-white fox spun her head when she felt a hand placed on her shoulder. However, there was nothing there but the warm water, which was raining down on her.

"Great," she said to herself, sniffling as she did so. "Now I'm hallucinating." As she said it, she felt the stone in her hand get warmer. It was as if Darius was there, comforting her.

Turning off the shower, the snow-white fox walked over to the window in the bathroom, drying her of with a towel. Outside, the sun was rising lazily across the water. Putting her clothes on, she walked downstairs.

From the kitchen, Amy heard Sabina walk down the stairs and out onto the porch. The pink hedgehog followed the fox, walking up beside her.

"Last night, after you fell asleep, Tails found some more information on the Judges. Almost a thousand years ago, they were the main warriors of some country. It was their job to carry out the king's orders. They were the commanders of the army, and the most elite warriors. They were all capable of using various kinds of magic, though a few were extremely gifted in them. I think Tails said that the best were named…I think he pronounced it Zodiark, and another one who's name wasn't listed. Zodiark was the head Judge, the commander of the other 11. Tails thinks that Bergan, that cat that fought with us, was also a Judge. Apparently, they were legends on the battlefield. They never lost. Also, they were peace lovers, not war freaks. They only fought to keep the peace, until the king that they killed took power. The website said that they only killed the king to stop a pointless war." Sabina's face hadn't changed. The fox still looked upset. Amy decided to tell he what Tails had said. "Ya know, Tails said that he though that Darius would come back soon. I didn't want to tell you because it would upset you," said the pink hedgehog, looking out over the water.

"I know," was the reply.

"What do you think?" asked Amy, turning her head to Sabina. The fox was smiling peacefully, looking out over the ocean, leaning against the railing. She closed her eyes.

"I don't think," she said, opening her eyes and looking at Amy. "I know."

"What do mean?" asked the pink hedgehog, cocking her head.

"He'll be back."

A-part End.