~*The Garden of Eden*~
He had saved the world—but they had taken his.
Silver woke up with a gasp, jumping to his feet and whirling around in a tight circle, hands glowing a bright teal as he gathered psychic energy to his palms.
All around him were trees. Not so thick as to form a forest, but perhaps a thin wood. They were in full bloom, complete with fragrant flowers of a dozen colors and a bushy exterior of leaves. He sighed in relief at first; letting his yellow eyes search through the foliage, just to reassure himself that there was nothing there.
He relaxed, straightening his battle ready posture. "Heh, wow, Blaze. The future—or our present I guess—looks a lot better. Doesn't it?" It was only when the hedgehog turned around did he realize that she wasn't there. It took his mind a few seconds to recall the events that had transpired.
She's not here! She sealed herself…with Iblis…using the fire in her soul and…But we defeated Iblis in the past, with Sonic and Shadow. Right? Then…there should be a paradox and…ugh. Time. Blaze could figure this out. I've got to find her!
Silver drew himself up, lifting into the sky. Everything was so fresh and clean and beautiful. It was as if he was a hawk looking down on some exotic garden. Birds fluttered past his head, shedding iridescent red feathers in their wake. His senses took in everything that was unfamiliar…and shouldn't be. He felt horribly disoriented. He had memories of a future—a present—that was ravaged by the Flames of Disaster. This world had none of that. The sky was clear blue instead of murky gray. There was sunlight, and the animals, along with the foliage, hadn't evolved into shapes he was familiar with to adapt to the heat and fire.
As he searched, scanning the fields for a flash of purple, Silver let his mind wander, hovering slowly forward.
I should have a whole life I know nothing about. I feel like a stranger here. It's so weird. If Iblis never happened, then I should have a family and a home…and I don't. I can't remember. In reality, his head was hurting rather badly. He rubbed at his mess of pointed quills, frowning. But, if I don't remember…what if this Blaze doesn't remember me? Should I just start my life over? Get to know her? "Oh, hey, want to be friends?"
Silver dropped down after a while, feeling drained, and decided to continue his trek on foot. There was no end to the garden that he could see, but at least he wasn't in danger of starving. Clear streams and rivers ran almost everywhere, and the plants around him bore plenty of fruits that even he recognized as edible. The hedgehog looked up at the unfamiliar navy sky, and he wondered if he simply had been transported back to the past. This had to be Sonic's gorgeous world…not his own.
Sonic's time period felt like home to me. I wonder if Blaze liked it as much as I did.
He snorted. He had been so intent on catching the "Iblis Trigger" that he had never once stopped and asked the lilac cat what her opinion had been. His single minded determination was idiotic. No wonder she called him naïve.
Silver lost track of how long he aimlessly traveled, eventually sitting down beneath a tree and leaning back. His spines scraped against the bark of the trunk whilst his fingers ran through the soft emerald grass. "I'm a stranger," he murmured aloud. "A foreigner in my own time period. I'm lost." His voice sounded cracked, and this confused the hedgehog more than anything. It was only then did he realize he was crying, tears coursing down his tawny eyes to stain his light gray fur.
No wonder I'm crying. I lost my only friend in the world, and I don't know where she could be.
He drew his legs to his chest and buried his face in his arms, trying to stop the senseless sobbing. It was stupid, right? The future was fixed, the world was at peace. He had done it, with some help. Silver was the hero that no one would remember.
But that would be okay. If only she remembered.
Something rustled in the ferns, and Silver instantly sat up, instinctively flexing his fingers towards anything that he could fling towards his enemy. The creek gurgled distractingly beside him as he strained his ears to pick up any sounds.
A beautiful Flicky the color of a cerulean firework flew up to him. It had long wings and even longer tail feathers, shimmering and shining like a jewel covered with glitter, sparkling exotically and elegantly in the sunlight. It had a pale white belly speckled with black, and deep, dark eyes like river pebbles. Its yellow beak didn't have the curve of a predator's, so it wasn't a threat.
Besides, even if it was, the bird was only about the size of his fist.
Silver reminded himself to stop overreacting. He extended a hand towards the creature, and it settled on his palm, almost weightless. It gave him a long, intelligent stare.
"Sorry. Did my crying bother you?"
The bird shook its head.
"Where am I?"
Giving him an incredulous look, the Flicky glided to the ground and drew its little talons across the soft dirt near the creek's shores. It formed one single word.
"Eden," Silver muttered. He smiled, though the action cracked some of the dried salt that his tears had left behind. "Appropriate, don't you think?"
The bird jerked its head down once, with the abrupt movements that only their species could do.
He hesitated, and then decided there was no harm in asking. "Have you seen a purple cat? About this high?" The hedgehog lifted one hand. "She's my best friend. Her name is Blaze."
Fluttering to eyelevel, the Flicky closed its eyes and hummed a sweet song for a second before chirping excitedly.
Silver felt his heart jump into a quick, stuttering rhythm in his chest. "R-Really? Can you please take me to her?"
Swooping off into the woods, the feathered creature began to sing a song, its voice clear and loud in the silence of Eden. Silver pelted after it, running so fast that his feet left the ground. All the energy he had was diverted to his telekinesis, and he hovered after the Flicky with all the speed that he could muster.
The world became a green blur, with the only solid point being the bird a few feet ahead of him. It dove and dipped unexpectedly at points, but it was clearly heading somewhere specific. Silver dared to hope that Blaze may be just beyond the next ridge…
The blue bird flared its wings suddenly and Silver dug his heels in to avoid colliding with the creature. He skidded to a stop on a hill dotted with various wildflowers, overlooking a brightly lit field. The sun was showing signs of going down, the horizon becoming a deeper, darker blue, with the twilight verge carrying tints of red.
And there, in the meadow, curled up as only cats can, was Blaze. She was surrounded on all sides by the colorful Flickies, apparently fast asleep, her ears flat to her head. The sight made Silver's breath catch in his throat, and briars lodged themselves between his tongue and his voice, so he couldn't even form a word.
Silver bolted soundlessly down the thick grass of the hill, feeling tears pricking at his eyes. His gaze locked with the feline's face, and he concentrated on nothing else. He wanted to tackle her and bury his face in her shoulder, but he wasn't that young anymore. He stopped a foot away, giving an appreciative smile to the birds that parted quietly to make room for him.
A part of the hedgehog was suddenly afraid. What if she was only an illusion, to vanish the instant he placed his hand on her? Silver looked at all of the Flickies clustered near him, their dark eyes intent on the scene, his azure companion crouched amongst their numbers. None of these Flickies were as beautiful as the one that had led him here.
"Thank you," Silver murmured. The sapphire avian dipped its head. He took another deep breath, and then touched her shoulder. Her fur was very warm to the touch, as always. Shaking her gently, the young hedgehog whispered, "Blaze? Wake up."
A clear voice suddenly spoke from his right. "She's been unconscious for ages."
"We brought her some food, but she won't eat it."
"She's not hurt."
"She's breathing fine."
"It's like she's asleep."
Silver's head snapped around quickly, so fast that his neck cracked. Then he finally understood—the Flickies were speaking. Not the blue one, but the other bejeweled feathered friends.
"What's the matter?" Anxious, he shook her a little harder. "Blaze, you've got to wake up. It's me. Silver."
She twitched slightly.
If I still remember the ruined future, maybe she's still drained from taking Iblis inside of her. Silver strained his senses, but he couldn't detect the Flames of Disaster now. It was as if he had never been. And in this time stream, he hadn't.
Silver wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tightly, shifting her so that she was in a sitting position. "You can't just give up on me now, Blaze! Come on, listen to me. I'm right here. The world is so much better now. I mean," and he let himself assume a joking tone. "There's grass, and more green than we've ever seen. It's like Sonic's world, but different. I think it's better." He rambled on, telling her about what he thought of Eden. "And you're worrying our friends here. C'mon, you've got to wake up, Blaze."
She made a small sound, and her ears lifted up from where they had been laying against her skull.
"Wake up, sleepyhead. We've got a whole new world to explore," Silver urged. He sighed in relief as she placed one gloved hand against his chest to steady herself, pulling back. Her golden eyes were a little unfocused at first, but then they snapped to attention in a heartbeat.
"Silver…? What's going on?" Blaze shook herself, her tail curling over her back as she stretched. Silver grinned hugely, exultant now that he knew that she both recognized him, and was okay.
"What's going on?" He laughed and embraced her. "We did it. The future is saved."
"Iblis is gone?" Blaze inquired, her tone disbelieving.
"He's not gone. He was never here."
The Flickies celebrated with a chorus of music, taking into the air. The blue leader circled their heads once, and Silver called a thank you as it put on a burst of speed and soared away into the evening.
Blaze and Silver waited until they vanished from view, then they turned to one another.
"I found you," the hedgehog's eyes were bright with joy. "I was so afraid that you were…I don't know, a different person. But you're the same."
She flicked her whiskers, amused. "Still so naïve. No matter what happens, I'm always Blaze. Never forget that." She lightly kissed his cheek, and Silver turned bright red under his fur.
Happiness—and this was a rare emotion up until now—bled into his system, burning through his veins until he felt as if he was being consumed by a pleasant fire. He leaped to his feet, looking in the direction the Flickies had gone. He then started running.
There was a pause, and Silver heard the muffled footfalls of Blaze as she hurtled after him. "Where are we going?" She asked. Not "you". We.
He looked over his shoulder, his smile wide. "We're racing!"
Blaze's expression was surprised. "Where?"
Silver looked at his friend, easily keeping up with him, with her quick, bounding stride. "Where? Wherever we want. We're free, the world is saved, and I think it's time we did whatever we want."
The burden of saving the world had been lifted from his shoulders, and the hedgehog felt as light as air.
Once again, I noticed I hadn't written any Sonic the Hedgehog stories lately. So here's a nice little piece that I'm relatively proud of.
Musical Inspiration for this story: "Fireflies" by Owl City, the harp instrumental version.
Be sure to drop a review, if you please. Don't read and bounce, as my friend says.