Just as a forewarning, this is my first fan fiction. Why I didn't warn you in the summary is mostly because that implies that I only want easy critics. Not so. If there's anything wrong with this chapter, please let me know. I'll never learn otherwise. I have chapter 2 written, but I want to see how everyone likes chapter 1 first. Alright, here I go. ...I feel nervous.

The blue hedgehog lay against the wall of his cell and shivered. This was nothing new; in fact, this was probably his routine for the past 2 months or so. He was beginning to lose track. All he knew for sure was that he was cold- freezing cold. And hungry. His stomach growled. With a moan, the hedgehog slid further down the wall, trying to remember how he had gotten this way.

"Come on, Tails! Let's go!"

"I'm coming! Keep your fur on!"

The fox in question, a certain 8-year-old genius, was attempting to lug a huge crate nearly his size to his waiting plane, The X-Tornado. Upon reaching the leg, he heaved a dramatic sigh and slumped against the box, looking up at a teenage hedgehog sitting upon the wing.

"It'd go a lot quicker if you'd help me, Sonic!"

Sonic looked down and smirked; within a moment the startled fox gave a cry as his support was swept out from under him and he thumped to the ground. The now extremely annoyed kitsune looked up to where the hedgehog had returned to his perch. Nothing had changed save there was a large box sitting upon the opposite wing.

"Humph!"

Tails turned around and crossed his arms, pretending to be angry. Sonic rolled his eyes.

"Help, don't help, there's no pleasing this guy, is there?" he asked, addressing the sky.

Tails couldn't help but laugh.

"Alright, alright, I'm sorry. Can we please go now?"

Within a few minutes the two were high in the sky, soaring above the clouds looking for a special spot for a picnic they had scouted out together. The occasion? Summer was finally here, and although summer vacation meant nothing to the duo, having never attended school, that wasn't about to stop the two from enjoying it. Suddenly there was a knock on the plane's window, and Tails looked out to see Sonic pointing down to their specified location. Immediately the plane began to dip, heading slightly to the right of a tree upon a very tall hill overlooking a valley. Normally hilly terrain was a nightmare for pilots, having no straight runway path to land on. Not Tails; He was a natural, having piloted since the age of six. The two landed without interruption. Sonic leapt out instantly, hoping for a chance to run.

"Hey! Help me with this first?" Tails called from the wing, trying to untie the cumbersome package.

"Sure!" Soon the thing was finally up the hill resting underneath the tree.

"So, you finally gonna tell me what's in that thing, or what?" Sonic asked, stretched out beneath the tree.

"Well, our food, first…" the fox giggled. "There's no way you could forget that!"

"Well, duh! Other than that! Seemed pretty heavy to you before we left." The hedgehog opened one eye and mimicked his brother's tone. "There's no way you could forget that!"

Tails shifted. "Well, I packed some other stuff too…"

"Like?"

"Like, some shade, our radio, some spare parts for the plane…and your present."

"My…? Aw, Tails! Ya didn't have ta-"

"I wanted to-"

"But really!"

"But nothing! You deserve it!"

"I don't have anything for you!"

"It's not much anyway. And this is a thank you gift. You know… for being my friend."

"Tails…" Sonic glanced at Tails, touched. "…at least let me treat you sometime, kay?

"Like I said, it's nothing. But sure." The yellow fox opened the crate and pulled out a strange, circular device, barely a centimeter in diameter. It was ring shaped, and when Tails presented it to his "brother," that's just what Sonic did-slip it on his finger, over his glove.

"It's one of my first inventions- one of the ones that didn't blow up, that is."

Sonic laughed-a good deal of his first inventions were indeed lost that way, before the fox 'got so danged good at it!' "It's awesome. I won't ever take it off."

Tails smiled happily. "Thanks. That means a lot to me. It was one of my first ionic defragulators."

Seeing his brother's puzzled face he rolled his eyes and laughed. "Those things I make that light up all pretty and make flashy patterns?"

Understanding dawned on the hedgehog's face. "Oo-h. Why didn't you say so?"

It stuck the fox-not for the first time, actually- how incredibly funny it was an 8-year old knew more about machinery than he did. Who couldn't understand an ionic defragulator, for goodness sake? He couldn't help it. He burst into laughter, startling the hedgie, who did not take kindly to it.

"He-y! Quit laughing! What's so funny?"

This had the exact opposite effect on the fox, who collapsed on the ground laughing. Sonic pretended to be insulted a while longer before giving in. When they finally recovered their breath, they agreed to take out their food and make plans for another summer tradition.

"I'm thinking somewhere north."

"I'm thinking west."

"To the northwest then?"

"Alright, that'll work. Vanilla's house is somewhere over there."

"Hmm. Alright, but I'll need to finish the project I promised to the Nooks, then we'll head over."

"Uh, maybe YOU will, but I'm not waiting! I'll run ahead and stay at Vanilla's, and then you can come in a few days. It will take only a few more days, right?"

"Right." Tails wasn't at all insulted that Sonic wasn't willing to spend three more days in his company. He knew the other well enough to know that he simply wanted to be going. Sonic did not make plans in advance. Once he mustered the patience to sit down and plan something, expect that thing done in a day at the latest.

The picnic finished without much incident, although Sonic somehow managed to get milk everywhere but his mouth, including on Tails (don't ask).

At sunrise the next day, Sonic was packed (meaning he had his gloves, socks, shoes, and ring on) and ready to leave.

"Wait! I just remembered something!"

Sonic glanced back from his runner's position. "What?"

Tails shook his head. "Nevermind. Safe Travels."

"Kay, bye!" he winked. "Say hi to Timmy for me!"

"Will do." No sooner had Tails finished his sentence that Sonic was off like a rocket, headed northwest towards their vacation. The fox headed back inside. Time to finish that project, then he could follow him.

Sonic was finally slowing down a bit. He had had a good run all morning, and was now looking for a potential meal on one of the many trees in the forest he was passing through. With a frown, he stopped suddenly, glancing at his ring. The thing was just a little too tight on his finger over his glove. With some effort, he got it off, then took off his glove. He thought he heard some rustling in the bushes behind him, but dismissed it. He slipped the ring on his finger, and then replaced his glove. There. Perfect fit. Now for breakfast. Just as he stepped forward, a sharp pain entered his shoulder.

Unbeknownst to the hedgehog, a tall human lay just behind him, shielded by the bushes. Silently, he wiped his brow with his hand. He had been tracking Sonic all day, and waited ahead of him at this point once he got a general idea of his direction. Of coarse, it would have been much easier just to send his robots out after him, but there were some things the doctor liked to do on his own. Now he was waiting and watching for his chance. He leaned forward, trying to get a good view of him without giving himself away. He froze when he pushed into a branch, making a rustling sound, but either the hedgehog didn't hear or didn't acknowledge it. He was currently fiddling with his glove, all attention on it. A sitting duck. The human smiled. Eggman couldn't believe his luck! Carefully, he brought out his gun leveling it with Sonic. This would have to be precise. He'd only get one shot at him. He squeezed the trigger, watching a special dart fly less than three feet across to the unaware hedgehog, embedding itself in his shoulder.

The impact pushed Sonic forward a few steps, followed by a sudden weakness in his knees. He quickly jerked his head around, scanning the infected area. There! A dart protruded out of the skin in his shoulder. He grasped the object with slowly numbing hands and pulled it out, dropping to his knees in the process. The dart was dripping some kind of toxin.

"Well, well, well, what do we have here?" came a voice from somewhere behind him, dripping with sarcasm.

Sonic hissed. He knew that voice. "Eggman."

"My, my, it looks like you've run into some trouble here," Came the reply, the human stepping forward.

The hedgehog snarled and lunged forward for a bite, but, his reflexes slowed by the toxin in his veins, came nowhere close to his enemy. The expended energy did, however, offer the chance to his sedative to attack brutally. He gasped as he went down to his hands. It was about then that he realized what a bad position he had put himself into. He had never called ahead and told Vanilla to expect them, and Tails wouldn't be over for days. In short, no one would notice his absence until it was too late. Might already be too late, he thought feebly as the last of his strength deserted him and he slid down into a laying position.

"Dear me, Sonic!" came the mocking tone, "You don't look so good!"

Sonic tried to reply, but all he could manage was to move his head off the ground a few inches, then slump back.

A hand closed around his wrist. "We'd better get you inside."

Then all was black.