There's not much to tell about us. That's pretty logical. There isn't an 'us'; just a me, and a her. Sometimes, it's like we're light years apart from each other. And sometimes, she just waltzes up and pokes my heart into action. Most of the time, she plays. And I watch. That's us.

Cream. What a name. I guess mine's no better. Tails is a name for a kid, and I don't really deserve a kid's name. Especially not one that's purely descriptive. But Tails is the name I go by. And her name really is Cream. We're four years apart, by age. Big deal. But for the moment, four years is almost half my life, and two-thirds of hers. It's an epoch that can't be crossed by any plane I could build. But it seems so much greater still when I stop to think about it. About us.

Every so often, when Eggman takes a break from taking over the world, I babysit her. Well, it isn't really babysitting. She's not a baby, and I'm not an adult; we just kind of look after each other for a couple of hours. I think that Ms. Vanilla understands the weird relationship we have, at least a little. She needs to me to keep her amused. And I need her to stop me shutting myself away with my machines.

Like I said, she plays, and I watch. That's how it is. She says she feels 'safe' when I'm looking out for her. Why? I don't know. But I like to watch her play. She's a kid. And maybe, when she's playing, I can be a kid too. Just a little.

Maybe I'm jealous. I never got to be a kid, like she did. I've been following Sonic around since before I can remember. And, as can be expected when you hang around him, I got in trouble from time to time. And every so often, I'd get in really bad trouble. And it played over and over again in my mind, until I couldn't sleep, and I looked for boring books to help me nod off. I can't believe I ever thought that aeroplane manuals were boring.

But, I guess somewhere along the way, I lost what she's got. That glowing spark in her eyes when she finds something new, or that funny puzzled look she gets when she's just on the edge of understanding. Innocence. And, I guess that's why I watch her. For just a fleeting moment, I can see things out of cocoa-coloured spectacles, and everything's shiny and new and vivid. And then, I'm back to looking out of my own blue-tinted lenses, and life's like looking at a blueprint.

Every so often, she tries to get me to take her to the library. I hate it. But I take her, every time she asks. When we get there, she rushes off, and I always know exactly where she's going. I browse the books on machinery. After exactly five minutes, I sit down at one of the tables, with the old fashioned reading lamps. Two minutes later, she comes bouncing back, and presses a book into my hands.

I read to her. I shouldn't, really. She can read perfectly fine. But she likes it when I read her things. So I do. I don't like the books she wants me to read. But I read them anyway.

It's always, always a fairy tale. Knights and dragons, wizards and princesses, swords and magic. It makes sense. She's a kid, after all. And I'm not. She loves them, I hate them. You'd think it's because I only believe in science. That's what I thought, too. It's logical. But, actually, it's not that at all.

It's because, when I read, the story seems to come alive for her. She's there, in that make believe world. I don't envy her, because, every so often, I find my way there as well. What can I say? Those stories are classics. But, it hurts to see what roles we take in those stories. And they're always the same.

She's the princess. It's obvious. She was raised like a princess in real life. She's sweet, innocent. It's the only part she could play, at least in my mind. And that's okay. It's my role that burns in my chest. A princess has her prince, her knight, her servants. I'm none of those. Sonic- Mr. Sonic, if you ever listen to Cream- is the prince. Charming, dashing, handsome...for a hedgehog. He's cut out to be the leading man.

Knuckles is the knight. I see them together, sometimes, and he acts like her granddad. He'd protect her with his life, just because that's his style. Strong, stoic and dependable. That's our Knuckles, and that's her knight.

As for me? I'm the wizard at the top of the tower, who only appears in the story to give the prince the magical sword he needs to slay the dragon. Or let him use my aeroplane. Same thing. It's not my place to be with the princess. That's the job of the prince, or sometimes the knight. I'm behind the scenes. Secretly, with my magical inventions, I save the kingdom, just so the princess can have her happily ever after.

That's the problem. I want to be there to see the happily ever after. I don't want to be the wizard. But that's all I can be. I can't be the prince, and I can't be the knight. So I just sit in my tower, watching the princess play in my magic mirror. And wish I was there.

I asked her who she liked best in those stories, once. She surprised me. She said she liked the knight best, because he watched over the princess and protected her, instead of only being around when evil struck.. And, recently, I got to thinking. The prince is out of my league. But maybe, just maybe, I can be a knight.

So, she plays, and I watch. And I try my hardest to be a good knight. Not a knight in shining armour, but a knight all the same. And every time she goes home, she tells me, in her childish, innocent way, that she loves me. And sometimes, I just need to say it. I never do. But it's still there, at the tip of my tongue, and I don't know why.

"Love you too, Princess."

***

Well, there y'are. One short chunk of true-blue Creils oneshot. I think it fits almost well with Tails' character, matching his thoughtfulness...and a little of his childishness, too. Still, I don't think I got entirely the right voice. Oh well. I consider it a little better than my previous Creils oneshot, which was intended to be fluff but came out very childish indeed. I prefer the deep emotional stuff. Yup.

Gotta say, the thoughtful introvert character appeals to me. In the Sonic genre, Tails is about the closest to that archetype (Shadow being the other major competitor, and he's either 'brooding loner' or, depending on how skilled or not the representation is, just plain emo.) But, it works a treat, especially since the Sonic games rarely give detailed insights into how the characters think, possibly due to the fact that they are action games in the end...

Tempted as I was to put this up under a new profile (my current one has experienced stagnation, and might do for some time), I decided not to. TheVulpineHero1 I was, and TheVulpineHero1 I shall remain.

This fic was written for Valentine's Day 2010. It's part of a movement I like to call 'Let's Hear It For The Introverts!', and it celebrates those characters (and people) who can love all too well but who just can't seem to say it. Peace out.