Here is the true final chapter of Dusk Sets, and what better way to usher in a new year than to end a great story with a look at the future? Hope all of you are ready for 2009! I'll go ahead and let you read the last chapter with just this to say...

I do not own Sonic the Hedgehog or any other related characters, all are owned by SEGA/Sonic Team. The only character I do own is Dusk Rose.

Epilogue: Moving On

Eggman sat on the bed in his cell, grumbling and cursing at the fact that he was finally caught. Three weeks he had spent in his cell, three whole weeks of confinement, and he loathed every second of it.

Part of his grumbling was due in part for the malfunction of his escape pod. It was supposed to have taken him to a back-up base, but instead it landed right in the middle of the GUN training fields...right as a whole platoon of soldiers were prepping for their training.

As he laid on the bed, cursing his bad luck, a sudden clanging at the cell bars accompanied by the guard saying, "Eggman...visitor." drew his attention. The genius turned around and saw Dusk, of all people, standing there; an unamused look her face and her arms crossed over her chest.

"Dusk!" he exclaims while hurrying over to the bars. "It is about time you showed up. So what is the plan for getting me out of here?"

"Plan? What plan?" Dusk asks while raising an eyebrow, "Your fat butt isn't going anywhere with my help."

"W-What? Did you forget that..."

"Shut it." Dusk said with a little anger in her voice, cutting Eggman off, "For a genius you sure are an idiot. I'm never helping you again. The only reason I even bothered to come here and see you is to ask why? Why did you lie to me?"

"Why? It doesn't matter whether I told you the truth or not, you should still serve me since I created you!"

"You know what Eggman? You really aren't a genius after all. You thought that I was just like your robots...supposed to follow any order without question, regardless of the consequences. Why can't you see that I'm not a robot? I'm a living being, with emotions and feelings. The reason I left you is because I overheard you and your idiot assistants talking about the real truth. That was what made me change over to the real good side." She pauses to put a hand over her heart, "But when I heard you say that I was just some weapon to you...that tore away in here. I trusted you like a father, but when I heard that...all of that trust fell away."

She pauses again, "Eggman...I absolutely hate you. I hate you so much for lying to me and taking advantage of me. I'm not some robot, I'm a living, breathing girl...with emotions and innocence that you took full advantage of. At first I thought that you cared about me, but when I heard the truth I knew that you didn't care at all. Now I'm returning the favor...I am not a Robotnik anymore...I am a Rose and you can rot in that cell for all I care. Take a good look at me are never going to see me again." With that Dusk turns and walks away, leaving Eggman standing there with a stunned look on his face.

"And by the way," Dusk suddenly called back, "Your pod didn't malfunction, I reprogrammed it to take you here. Get over it." She continues on down the hall, not bothering to turn back towards her 'creator'.

As the clinking of her Extreme Gear on the metal floor faded away, Eggman let out a heavy sigh before climbing back onto his bed...and a tiny tear snuck out of his eye as he realized how foolish he really was.

A week has passed since Dusk had went to go see Eggman, and ever since then she had been cheerier. Instead of dwelling on what she did when she was a Robotnik, Dusk was now looking forward to her future as a Rose...and not having the public hate her anymore played a role in cheering up the purple hedgehog too.

It was a slightly chilly winter evening, but the windows were shut and the heating was on in Amy's apartment, keeping the purple hedgehog nice and warm. Amy was out on a date with Sonic, off to go see a Crush 40 concert in Central City. Sure it was over 600 miles away from Station Square, but that was barely a minute's run for the blue hedgehog.

They offered to take her along, but Dusk politely declined. She was a big Crush 40 fan, but having to skate for 600 miles through freezing temperatures kept the purple hedgehog at home...she hates being cold.

Dusk was tidying up a little, just sorting through the messy pile of magazines on the coffee table and tossing away empty envelopes that were left on the end tables. Just after tossing a handful of garbage into the trash, a sudden knocking sound from the front door caught her attention.

Curious as to who would come here this late when it was so cold outside, Dusk hurried over and opened it to see a Shadow on the other side, his body was shivering and there was plenty of snow sticking to his quills...odd because it wasn't snowing outside and hadn't snowed for a couple days.

She didn't have time to ponder the weather though, Dusk quickly grabbed Shadow by the hand and lead him over to the couch. Once her boyfriend was sitting, Dusk quickly put a blanket over him before hurrying into the kitchen to make some nice warm soup.

As the food was cooking, Dusk asked the obvious question, "Where were you Shadow? And why is there snow in your fur?"

"I just got back from a small town in Blue Ridge Zone."

"Blue Ridge Zone?!" Dusk repeated in shock, "That place has been pummeled by a blizzard for days! What could possibly have dragged you all the way out there?"

"Its a bit of a surprise..." Shadow replies, a tone in his voice suggesting that he'd like to change the subject.

"Alright, if you say so...hey, did you hear? Tails got some secret new job at Wright Aerospace."

"The giant plane company?" Shadow asks, making sure he heard right.

"The same one...he wasn't allowed to tell us what it was, but whatever they're building, it must be big for them to call in Tails for help."

Shadow grunts a little to show he understood. "So how has Amy been?"

"Amy? She's been spending plenty of time with her beloved Sonic. The two left to go see a Crush 40 concert at Central City. They won't be back until tomorrow though, the concert ends at like...11:30 tonight, so they also rented a hotel room."

"Single or double bed?"

Dusk laughs as she pours the soup into a bowl, "I'm guessing its got two beds since Sonic's the one who made the reservations, but you never know...he might've gotten a single."

The purple hedgehog slowly leaves the kitchen with the bowl of soup in hand. She hands it over to Shadow, who promptly begins eating the warm, home-cooked food. Once the first spoonful is swallowed, Shadow releases a pleased sigh at both the delicious taste of the soup and at how warm it was. "This is great Dusk!" he compliments before swallowing another spoonful.

Dusk giggles a little, "Thanks, I cooked it myself. Its not really all that much though...just some spare veggies in the fridge, water, and a little broth."

They don't say anything else until Shadow finishes the soup, which only took a couple minutes. Dusk puts the bowl into the sink to be washed later, then returns to the umber hedgehog. She slips under the blanket and snuggles up close to his left side. "You don't mind?"

"Why would I mind having such a cute girl try to keep me warm?"

Dusk blushes at her boyfriend's words and snuggles a little closer, wrapping an arm around his back in the process. "Did you know that Blaze has taken a break from her princess duties? She wants to experience normal life for a little bit and moved in with Silver for a few weeks."

Shadow rolls his eyes, "Bet the guards weren't happy about that."

"From what Blaze told me, they put up quite a fight trying to keep her in the palace...but she is the princess after all." Dusk pauses, "Although I think she only used the 'experience-normal-life-to-be-a-better-ruler' thing as an excuse for a vacation from her princess duties."

"Don't blame her though...those koalas are so strict with protocol and schedules. I don't know how she can stand those guys."

Dusk giggles a little more before asking, "So have you caught up with Rouge recently?"


"She pulled a couple strings and got a whole GUN platoon to guard the Master Emerald while she and Knuckles go treasure hunting. It took a little convincing, but Knuckles gave in when she said that guards were given direct orders to not touch the Master Emerald at all...straight from the GUN head himself."

"I wonder what those two hot heads are going to do if they do find some treasure..."

"I bet I know...they're going to argue over who gets what."

Shadow gives Dusk a light smile and slips an arm around her waist. "And what has the great Dusk Rose been up to?"

Dusk blushes a little from the wording of Shadow's question. "To be honest...nothing really. I went to go see Eggman and tell him that he's no longer in any part of my life about a week ago, and ever since then I've been feeling great...but nothing besides that."

The two sit there in silence for maybe a minute before Shadow speaks up again. "Hey Dusk? That surprise reason I braved a blizzard to go to Blue Ridge Zone?" He pauses while reaching into his quills and removing a small, midnight-blue jewelry box, "Here it is...for you."

Dusk takes the box from him and opens it, then gasps at what was inside. It was a small pendent...a small round pendent that gently tapered down to a soft point in one direction. The other direction lead into a silver holster that had a small loop on it, through which was a silver chain. The pendent was beautiful to Dusk not only because of its flawlessly rounded shape, but also its color...a dark, midnight-purple with flecks of black in it.

Shadow smiles at her reaction and gently takes the pendent out of its box, "This is a shadow-diamond and its very rare to find one of this quality. Almost all of the ones discovered aren't even worth turning into kiddy prizes...only two have been discovered that are jewel-level quality." He pauses while leaning over to her ear. "That one is the second." He adds in a whisper.

"You really braved a blizzard just to get me something valuable?"

"No. I braved a blizzard to get something as unique and special as the girl who will wear it."

Dusk gives Shadow a smile that was saying 'thank you' and lets some tears form in her eyes while Shadow clasps the pendent around her neck. The pendent was absolutely beautiful on matched her fur shade, complimented her eyes. blended perfectly into her outfit, and beautifully hung about an inch from the base of her neck.

"'re the best."

Shadow gave Dusk a smile while wiping her tears away. " are."

The purple hedgehog giggles a little before leaning in for a kiss, which was happily returned by the umber hedgehog. After maybe ten or twelve seconds, the two separated and Dusk rested her head against Shadow's shoulder.

The two cuddled a little bit before Shadow spoke up again. "Hey Dusk?" he asked to get her attention, "Once the weather gets warm enough, say mid-March, would you like to go on a trip with me? For maybe a week or so?"

Dusk's eyes brightened at the idea of traveling with Shadow and she eagerly responded, "Of course I would! Where to?"

"Don't know, I'll take you to wherever you want to go."

"Sorry to disappoint you Shadow, but...I don't know where I want to go. My whole life I've been fighting either you guys or Eggman. I've never had a chance to study the different countries and such."

"Well, March is still a couple months away...take your time before choosing someplace, its not like I have to know where you want to go right this second." Shadow says before drawing Dusk a little closer and nestling his muzzle into her hair. "I can wait for your choice."

Dusk sighs before replying with, "Alright...a whole week in some foreign country with you...I can hardly wait!" she squeals.

Shadow lets out a couple laughs at his girlfriend's enthusiasm. He didn't say it aloud, but he was looking forward to it too.

That's the has done its job of showing what everyone is up to now that Eggman is gone. But it has also served another purpose...

...setting things up for the sequel. That's right! I'm planning a sequel! I've got no idea as to when it will premiere, but hopefully it'll start before June. If any of you want to be alerted when I do start the sequel, just say so in a review or PM and you'll be alerted once the sequel starts. Remember, every ending is just a new beginning (winks).

Seriously, its been awesome writing this story...I myself am amazed at how much Dusk has changed since I first created her in my mind so long ago...I've recreated her so many times before this story premiered, and even when that happened, Dusk still continued to change from my original plan. If you'll pardon the metaphor, I'm so happy and proud at what she's bloomed into...a truly beautiful rose.

Well, I shouldn't draw this farewell statement out anymore than I need to, so here's my last words...It really has been fun writing this story, and I do look forward to the sequel! I hope that all of you are looking forward to it as well!

Until the sequel premieres, farewell!