Knuckles was sprawled out, fast asleep, on top of the Master Emerald on its altar on Angel Island. He awoke with a snort as gunshots and shouting could be heard nearby. He sat up and looked around, it early in the morning; the sun was just beginning to rise over the world below. Just what's going on here? He thought as he slid off his beloved Emerald and looked around.

A loud scream echoed through the wilderness, and Knuckles knew who it was.

"Rouge!" he exclaimed and began to race off, but stopped dead in his tracks and looked back at the large green gem sitting on the altar, what am I doing! He thought as he turned back to the Emerald. Surely Shadow must be with her...

Another loud scream pierced the tranquillity of his thoughts. His mind began to race, should he stay here and guard the Master Emerald, or should he help out his friends. With a growl of frustration he grabbed the Master Emerald and took off.

As he raced through the rugged wilderness he saw many G.U.N soldiers lying on the ground in defeat, and as he neared the exit of the forest he spotted a familiar black hedgehog caught in an electric cage. He stopped and went over to him.

"Shadow what happened?" Knuckles asked.

"It-it was Metal Sonic, we overheard his plans to try and steal the Master Emerald, so we ambushed him, but he was to strong..." Shadow the hedgehog replied, and then groaned in pain. "Rouge still there, trying to stop him" Shadow finished as he collapsed to the ground, unconscious.

"Don't worry, I'll handle this" the echidna replied and ran off as yet another scream could be heard.

Knuckles soon reached the edge of a nearby cliff, where Metal Sonic was holding Rouge over its edge. Knuckles noticed that one of her wings was broken.

"Hey!" he roared at Metal Sonic. "Leave her alone!"

Metal only laughed "you think you have a chance of defeating me!"

"Yeah I do" Knuckles said confidently and charged at the blue metal hedgehog.

The impact shattered Metal Sonic's jets, Rouge was flung out of his grasp as the metal hedgehog began to fall backwards, and down onto the world below...

"ROUGE!" Knuckles yelled and stretched out one hand, while holding the Master Emerald in the other. He grabbed as she began to fall and struggled to hoist her up.

"I'm slipping!" she cried out.

Knuckles felt his heart racing, if used his other hand, he would have the strength to pull her up, but if he did, the Master Emerald would fall over the cliff. Sweat began to drip down his forehead has he felt her hand slipping out of his.

"No!" he roared and out of nothing more than instinct grabbed her with his other hand and lifted her up to safety. The pair of them watched the green gem fall down to the waters below.

"You-you saved me, why? I thought you only cared that Emerald of yours?" Rouge asked.

"This is why" Knuckles replied and kissed her, and she kissed him back, both locked in a passionate embrace.

As they walked back to the cage Shadow had been in, they found the cage was destroyed, and the black hedgehog nowhere in sight.

"Looking for this?" a voice said behind them, they turned to see Shadow the hedgehog holding up a large green emerald.

"But how?" the pair asked, Shadow smiled.

"I got a hint that this would happen" he replied and left the emerald in their care, and warped away using Chaos Control.

As the sun rose over Angel Island, two figures could be seen standing on the altar, in light of the Master Emerald, was the echidna and the bat, kissing passionately under the orange glow of the sun and the green glow of the emerald....

The end