Because you all deserve better, I went back and added more detail to the fight scenes and just Chapter 6 in general. (I give many thanks to Jacklethekitsune and rugtugba for their amazing help). Go ahead and reread it if you want. Otherwise...
Chapter 7: Not Even Words
"Blaze...you have some explaining to do."
She looked down at her feet for a second before daring to meet her father's purple eyes. King Lance had wanted to get his daughter's side of the story before he made his final decisions concerning the ceremony. He had a tentative idea of what he wold do, but there were still too many things unclear in his mind. So he'd brought her here, to a meeting room, to hear her out.
The king gently placed his hands on the princess's from across the table, to reassure her. "Now...tell me how it is you've come to know this Silver fellow."
Blaze let out a sigh. "It started on that day I...used my flames to save him."
King Lance nodded in memory. At the time, it'd been just Blaze being Blaze. "Did you two see each other after that?"
She bit her lip, but knew there would be no way to hide it now. Besides, maybe by telling her father the truth...he might understand. It'd be the only way to clear Silver's name in any case.
"That same night...I snuck out to the castle wall," she confessed, her voice but a gentle whisper. "But it was just to think and be alone. Somehow, he met me there. We talked for a little while, then agreed to meet again the next night."
"Just talked?" Lance confirmed.
"Yes, the first time. The second night...Silver offered to teach me how to fight."
Lance's eyes widened.
"I've never been allowed to use my flames, Father, but I've always felt this longing, this need to use them. So when he offered...I took him up on it."
The king looked up at the ceiling for a minute, processing this information.
"Where did he take you to learn?" he continued to ask, turning his intense eyes back to her.
"A field outside the castle. He taught me so well...and for once, I actually felt like I was doing something right in my life. Like I was meant to do it." Her tone was characteristically unemotional, but Lance could sense a little passion in her words.
"And it's because of this that you two were able to defeat Eggman Nega."
Blaze nodded slightly.
"What about last night?" Lance continued.
"He didn't rape me," she quickly insisted. "We never did anything inappropriate, Father."
"That's what all the evidence points to. But I would still like to know what he was doing in your chambers."
Blaze veiled her golden eyes for a minute. "I...had told him of my betrothal. He...and I, we were both upset. And Silver suggested that we run away. Together. So we had gone to my room to gather some things."
Lance looked at her in shock, not believing that Blaze would ever even consider running away with someone. Had this been what she had been reduced to, forced to consider? As the King studied his daughter, he couldn't help but feel a little guilt, even knowing none of this was his fault. He knew Blaze had always been different, never seemed to be suited for life as a princess. And her flames...that blessing and curse that had always made her withdrawn...Why had she been the one born with powers?
"My daughter..." Lance started and looked deep into her eyes. If she only hadn't happened to be born first...
An idea, a plan suddenly hit the king like a shock wave. Of course. It just made too much sense. It was if Sol himself had this planned out all along.
"Forgive me, Blaze," Lance said and pulled his daughter into a hug. "For not understanding you, or letting you be who you are. But I can make things right now."
He then explained what would happen in the coming ceremony, watching a rare flower of joy bloom on his daughter's face.
Silver couldn't remember the last time he was this nervous. Okay, maybe he could - that first time he'd sat on the wall with Blaze had been pretty nerve-wracking in its own right. But this - a ceremony held by the king? A whole nother animal. He'd like to think that the king would announce that he was going to marry Blaze, but he knew it was more likely that he'd just honor for him for being a hero.
The two of them, along with Blaze's sister Coral and Blaze's...fiance...Mercury, were lingering outside in the courtyard, waiting for this ceremony to begin. Why those two had been invited as well, Silver had no idea. The next king was glaring at him coldly, even when Silver offered him a smile. Ah, so maybe he'd never drop the rape stigma. Silver bit his lip and stared at the ground.
He raised his head to look at Blaze, not failing to notice Mercury tensing up. She didn't say anything else, but gave him a soft smile to reassure him. It was all he needed.
Right then the ceremony commenced, and Silver had to focus all of his attention on breathing and walking, lest he mess this up somehow. He marched in step with the three cats, but almost fainted when he entered the throne room and saw just how beautiful it was. Golden walls, graceful arches, stunning oil paintings, and tons of glittering jewels and crystals stole his attention. It would be a mighty understatement to say Silver felt overwhelmed and out of place here. If this beauty wasn't enough for him, the throne room also just happened to be packed with all the leading noble-cats and royal officials as well as the castle guards.
As the hedgehog suddenly came to a halt in front of the red velvet-lined thrones, next to Blaze and in front of her relations, he became very conscious of the fact that he had quills and not just fur.
There was suddenly silence, and Silver was sure he was going to faint, when King Lance stood up and spoke, his deep voice matching his royal midnight blue fur and give him credence.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I have called you all together today for some important announcements. I would like to honor two heroes today for their valor and courage.
"Last night, the Sol Emeralds were once again stolen by the notorious Dr. Eggman Nega. However, Silver the Hedgehog and Blaze the Cat intervened in a timely matter to defeat him and recover our stolen family jewels. They are to be highly commended."
Polite applause echoed in the throne room, and Silver snuck a glance at Blaze. She smiled at him softly, and he had to take a deep breath to keep his heart pumping.
"However, this is not the first time trouble has befallen the Sol Emeralds, nor will it be the last. This recent tribulation has made me decide to appoint a new Guardian."
Whispers buzzed, but Lance raised his hands and they ceased. "Usually, the second prince is the automatic Guardian, but Sol has blessed me with three lovely daughters, and no male children. However, the first child he has given me, Princess Blaze, was bestowed with the power over fire. When Blaze retrieved the Sol Emeralds, she absorbed their power and transformed like no one except a true Guardian ever would."
"For this reason, I believe Sol has given me a Guardian all along, in the unlikely form of my pyrokinetic daughter."
More whispers buzzed, this time more furiously, almost angrily. "Silence," Lance commanded, and his subjects obliged. "I have appointed a new Guardian of the Sol Emeralds. However, since dealing with the two duties of Queen and Guardian would be impossible for anyone, Princess Blaze has agreed in advance to give up her birthright."
The lavender cat stepped forward.
"I, Princess Blaze the Cat, give up my birthright and right to be the next queen, and accept the duty as Guardian of the Sol Emeralds."
"As it is spoken, so it is done," a priest said, confirming the action of the king and Blaze herself.
Blaze turned around and gave Silver a winning smile, but he was still too stunned and happy for her to respond at all.
"Now that Princess Blaze has given up her birthright, her betrothal to Mercury the Cat, our next king, has been moved to the next in the royal line, Princess Coral," Lance informed everyone.
There would have been complete shocked silence if Coral wouldn't have squealed in surprised delight and Mercury's jaw wouldn't have hit the floor.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, your next king and queen, Mercury and Coral."
"As it is spoken, so it is done."
The two now betrothed cats clasped hands and regarded the crowd, basking in the furious applause, both of them happy to be getting their dream jobs after all. Silver was so stunned that he barely heard Lance's next words, but when he did and their meaning hit him...
"However, Princess Blaze has already gone through the betrothal process, and betrothals cannot be broken. Usually Guardians are not allowed to marry, but in this case we will have to make an exception."
Lance turned to rest his eyes on Silver, smiling at how flabbergasted and overwhelmed the hedgehog was. The King was more sure than ever he was doing the right thing at that moment.
"Silver the Hedgehog, you are hereby acquitted of all charges placed against you last night, and are promoted to the rank of Junior Captain in the Royal Castle Guard, for your valor against Dr. Eggman Nega."
Polite applause started, but King Lance wasn't finished. "And you are now hereby betrothed to my daughter, Princess Blaze the Cat."
Silver didn't even hear the priest's obligatory words, the angry outrage of the crowd, or the silencing by the king. No, all the hedgehog was aware of at the time was the smile of the gorgeous lavender cat next to him and her delicate hand squeezing his.
"I still can't believe it."
Silver turned his eyes from the cascading fountain he'd been staring at to the beautiful princess next to him. His fiancee. No...it just didn't seem possible that he was actually going to marry her. It didn't matter that this was what he'd been dreaming about and hoping for for Sol knows how long...now that it was actually going to happen...
"Still," Silver insisted.
Blaze gave him a gentle smile. "When do you think it will sink in?"
Silver let out a happy sigh. "Ah, I don't know. Maybe it won't ever sink in and I'll just float around on this amazing feeling forever. Sure wouldn't hurt me any."
The hedgehog squeezed Blaze's hand and turned back to the fountain, but it's beauty couldn't match his fiancee's so he turned back to her. The red ruby on her delicate forehead no longer mocked him, but instead served as a reminder that she was bound to him now.
"They're still going to hate us," Blaze reminded him. It was true; a princess marrying a castle guard was not to most people's liking.
"Bah, who cares about them," Silver dismissed. "We're together now. Nothing else matters."
He was right. Blaze looked deeply into his wonderful golden eyes, entranced by him...everything about him just made her feel so wonderful. So...happy for the first time in her life. Blaze realized with a start that she'd never told him, had kept all of these feelings locked up in her heart. Maybe she should.
"Silver," Blaze said his name again, with the same intentions she'd had all the previous times. This time, though, she would not lose her will in her shyness. After all, they were soon to be married. The thought sent an pleasant shock through her body.
Silver gave his usual response. "What is it?"
"Have I ever told you..." Blaze started and brought her hand up to stroke his long quills. "...how I feel about you?"
Suddenly it was very hard for Silver to breathe, and yet he wasted precious air by stuttering, "N-no..." Silver was very conscious of her touch, her beautiful eyes gleaming, her soft muzzle oh so close...
"It's because..." Blaze paused and brought her fingers up to his ears, caressing them as well. "It's because I don't have the words...to say how I feel about you..." she whispered and Silver felt her breath on his mouth.
And then there was no more air between their lips. Silver raised his arms to link them around Blaze, pulling her figure against his body and her lips deeper into his. The cat started purring involuntarily, the vibrations an outpouring of the love in her soul. The purrs along with the kisses certainly made up for her lack of words in Silver's eyes.
"That's okay..." Silver assured when he pulled away slightly, so their lips still brushed when he whispered. "...because I don't have words either...just this."
He leaned forward and kissed Blaze, showing her his own love for her. The two lovers held each other, their lips caressing gently and sweetly, and it all felt so right. Like it was all meant to be.
Silver felt a little lightheaded, and he realized it was his need for air catching up, and not just from being around Blaze. He pulled away just slightly, taking deep breaths to make up for the missed ones. But he used the opportunity to tenderly rub his muzzle against hers.
"Blaze...I think I may have come up with some words..." he whispered.
She stroked his back quills, willing him to go on.
"I love you, Blaze."
It was so simple yet...those words would be enough for her. And no matter how many times Silver would remind her of that for the rest of her life, they'd never get old.
"I love you, too, Silver," Blaze assured him and rested her head on his shoulder while nuzzling his muscular chest, his soft fur encasing her lips in bliss.
And then the two just held each other, enjoying their presence, totally oblivious to the royal passerby who were giving disapproving glances. No, these two outcasts just had each other, but they needed nothing else.
Not even words.
I told you all I can't write sad endings. Everybody wins! ^_^
And I don't care if that was too mushy, I believe I owed you all something after all that stuff I put you through earlier. :) This story really had a mind of it's own and it pretty much wrote itself (ever have that feeling?) So yeah, reread the new and improved fight scenes if you want to.
So this is the end...for now. If you guys bug me enough, I may either write more or do a sequel, as in how their marriage works out and everything. But not now guys, I have a lot of stuff on my plate at the moment.
For those of you that care, my next project will be a request that Samantha27 asked me to write for her WAY too long ago. I will be writing that along with Give it a Chance...(A Whole New World may never get finished...)
And while we're on requests, my friend Jacklethekitsune is writing a story for me, so if you all would be kind enough to go read and review it, that'd be freaking amazing. (Yes, go do it. Now. Not kidding. GO.)
And to all who have reviewed, faved, subscribed, or just read...thanks for all your support.