A/N: So at first, we thought about telling this one from Silver's point of view, but that's been done and we wanted to do something a bit different. Obviously, this is set in the Sonic Rush universe. And we would like to thank Chocovi for beta reading this for us.
Pen: You want to do something different? Write some good, or decent stories, for a reputable demographic instead of pandering to these mindless masses.
Sword: Oh hush you! The author only owns Pen, the plot, and me. All other characters are owned by SEGA and the lyrics in bold are owned by Sean Paul. Cause ya ain't 'eard non' o' dis type before man!
Pen: Wow. Now we are going to have to deal with offensive Jamaican speech? I am leaving.
Anyway, please enjoy.
Blaze's face contorts into a miserable expression, silently confiding in me as we walk down the marble hallway of her castle how much she disdains these war meetings. Not that she would ever say such a thing aloud within earshot of others.
It comes as no surprise to me really. Being one of her top military advisers, I know full well that she would rather be out fighting with the troops, using her skills to their fullest instead of listening to a group of old men prattle on about what should be "considered" next. And it is not as if she abandons these duties anyway. She attends every meeting, however trivial, to appease her counselors and the aristocrats, who believe she should act more like an upcoming ruler and cease rushing out to battle the threat of Nega and other enemies, risking her life alongside the so-called "common soldiers".
The princess is really too hard on herself. One could see it in her ragged eyes, how she pushes herself to the breaking point when she longs for the simple life of battling as an ordinary soldier.
She grumbles under her breath, to which I hold in my chuckle, and we continue on, passing soldiers who immediately salute and stand with perfect attention. Seeing the younger recruits almost causes me to reminisce, but we have already reached the door.
Blaze squares her shoulder back, prepared to enter and lets her eyes wander to the side. I see the hesitation etched on her face and turn in the direction she's facing.
At the far end of the hallway, leading a small battalion out to patrol the some of the towns is a silver hedgehog wearing black boots with a white stripe on each. His stiff, straight spikes bobble to and fro as he keeps one golden eye on his troops and the other on the lookout for anything approaching them. His stern and serious demeanor is simply a façade for those that know better that beneath it is still a shy, headstrong soldier dedicated to his duty.
It is quite obvious that Blaze has become entranced by him. Coughing into my hand to gain her attention, I face the doors and say, "Why don't you go with Silver? I'm sure he could use some help controlling the soldiers." She is ready to protest, but I counter her argument with my own. "After all, you know how these things are anyway and I'm sure nothing will be different. I can just give you a brief summary of what goes on later."
Her head spins back to Silver, who has noticed her and tentatively waved, and then back to me. The normally lackluster gold mines now stare at me with a faint sparkle of joy. Grinning halfway, she thanks me in her own way, in case anyone was in our vicinity. "You are right. He could use some assistance. Very well. I expect a full report later then."
She rushes over to her loyal captain of her bodyguards and walks side by side with him, turning the poor boy into a bundle of nerves. No doubt whispers would fly among his men later on, but by now the pair were accustomed to it. Besides, anyone could plainly see how close to the two were and how they enjoyed each other's company. So while the higher-ups and people may have scoffed at the idea of a princess and her bodyguard being close, those same people were nonchalantly waved off.
And for people such as myself, who were privy to the more private affairs of the princess, we knew that she had a special place in her heart for Silver. He may be the only person she actually trusts completely, but that is only speculation on my part. Not that she would ever admit any of this. As she had grown into a beautiful woman, Blaze had become sagacious in who she discussed thoughts and feelings to. And while I did not have the pleasure of being as close to her as her hedgehog companion did, the one thing that had not changed since they were younger was how much they cared for one another.
I had not always had the duty of a war advisor for the kingdom. No, just like anyone else, I had started small. I was part of the regiment assigned to guard the royals with my life. And I was usually given the honor of watching over Blaze, so much so to the point that she knew me by name.
The "guarding" for her wound up to be more along the lines of babysitting. Take her into town, keep watch over her in the playroom, and, when she fancied, escort her to the park. Oh, the park; a harrowing experience for anybody watching her due to the shunning of others. And it is exactly where she first met Silver.
The young hedgehog had been part of the lower class of the city. Raised in the local orphanage, he only stood out for two reasons. One was his ridiculously styled spines. They caught anyone's eye and added at least another foot to his height, technically making him the tallest boy his age.
The second was his exclusive, peculiar telepathic abilities. Very few citizens in the kingdom were born with such unusual powers as Blaze and Silver were. I had heard the rumors and whisperings that there may have been others, but none had been confirmed. Most people never even saw one, so the fact that I knew two was a bit overwhelming.
And I suppose that such gifts would undoubtedly draw toward one another, as was the case with that pair. It had been one of those days that Blaze had developed the itch to go outdoors, possibly to the park. Despite all the children avoiding her out of fear she might set them on fire (as well as the parents, but they were more reverent in their behavior), she still loved to play there. So I agreed to take her.
When we arrived, everyone immediately made way for her. It was more fear than respect really. The first time Blaze's powers had manifested in public had, unfortunately, been at this park where she set a swing set on fire. It had frightened the local populace and confined her to playing by herself, usually in the sandbox. Which relieved me since the sand would put out any flames she created.
As she ran off to the creaky, wooden box holding with a plastic spade and bucket, I remember I had felt a little sad at the situation. Not only did she have to trade a normal childhood for a sheltered life as a princess, having to live up to expectations, but her gifts had barred her from forming any sort of bonds with the other children…or most of them.
While I kept watch over her and enjoyed the lovely weather that day, I spied a spry, little hedgehog running over to the sandbox. Blaze was unaware as she constructed a small sand castle and my first instinct was to snatch her up before any sort of incident occurred.
But I was too late. The new boy had already reached her, so all I could do was patiently wait, hoping that my interference would not be necessary. He climbed into the sandbox, hands empty save for the glowing gloves he sported, with the light source coming from teal rings in the middle of them.
Blaze had ceased building the castle for the moment and examined the intruder. I could barely catch the parts of their conversation, and my memory is somewhat fuzzy, but I believe he spoke first. "Hi," he greeted her. "Nice castle."
She was positively perplexed, but nodded back at him in response, thanking him, I suppose. As she continued the construction, he stood there, digging his boots into the sand. His head hung in thought and his hands were wringing themselves to death behind his back. Blaze was obviously intimidating him with her cold, almost apathetic demeanor. But being given a wide berth from others, save for a few catcalls and taunts from behind her back, had turned her into an untrusting and antisocial person.
He did not relent though. He gathered his courage, or enough of it, and sat down next to her. Scooping up some sand, he copied Blaze's castle building. It was strange because it looked like it almost flowed off his fingers, effortlessly following his command. Blaze apparently noticed this as well.
I moved to a closer bench and caught her ask, "How did you do that?"
"I'm just good at building sand castles," he quickly answered, a little too quickly in my opinion. But Blaze thought nothing of it, so I held myself back. Besides, I did not want to spoil this chance for her. It had been so long that she had been given the chance to make a friend that I figured she would eventually be known as "The Lone Princess".
Things went smoothly after that. The typical affair of moving on from the sandbox, to the slides, and finally to the swings were carefully observed by myself and every other parent who wished to protect their children. They seemed to know something that I did not at the time. Like they knew about him, but I assumed they were overly cautious of Blaze.
It was near sunset and I was about to call it a day. The other children had left, leaving the pair to compete on the swings of "Who can jump the farthest and worry their chaperones the most". Nobody had broken anything so far, but that did not prevent me from chewing on my lip like jerky each time they jumped off at the peak of their swing.
The hedgehog went first this time, practically flying through the air and landing gracefully on the wood chippings below. With a victorious grin, he turned around and waited for his companion.
He was oblivious to the fear in Blaze's eyes, but I could see it well. Heights were never for her and the reason was anybody's guess. Yet, she never backed down and refused to give into her nervousness, no matter how daunting the challenge. And today, courage had been defeating fear so far. And it did so again as she steeled her face in her resolve to leap farther than her opponent. Taking one more swing, she pushed off and let go of the safety of the rusty chains and plastic seat.
But something was wrong. The fear in her eyes poured out and covered her entire face as she glanced down. Her mouth was opened like that of a fish, waiting for the scream of alarm to force its way out of her windpipe. Alas, it was much too large and stayed stuck in her throat, resulting in an inaudible cry. Next came the flailing. She reached out for any sort of stability, any sort of support. None came, or so I thought at first when I tried to dash over to catch her.
I had jumped up, ready to rush over and catch her. The boy beat me to the punch, apparently taking note of her evident fear, as he flew into the air and hovered in her discombobulated flight path. I could only watch with awe when she fell into his outstretched arms, knocking them both to the grass outside the wood chip area. He positioned himself just before the impact so that he took the brunt of the fall, leaving her relatively unscathed.
The world stopped for the two of them. They were still enough to have been a statue that suddenly rose out of the ground. Staring wide-eyed at one another, Blaze locked eyes with him, marveling at his heroic act.
"You can fly?" she asked incredulously. He nodded slowly, and hid his eyes behind his lids. Almost like he was afraid of her reaction.
"I can use te-tele-telele- telepathy," he finally stuttered out, having a bit of trouble with the word.
To say her face lit up in delight would be an understatement. She was practically glowing, and not with fire this time. I attributed it to her discovery of something, someone, just like her, who knew what it was to have strange gifts and be different from the norm. To her, this was a holy treasure, a blessing from the gods that was more wonderful than precious jewels or more priceless than ancient artifacts. It was someone like her.
The stunned silence of the revelation must have made the boy believe she wanted nothing more to do with him. He slowly backed off, standing up and itching to run off. "Uh, um," he stuttered, "When you asked before how I could build good sand castles, it was because of that." Still she said nothing and that diminished his speech further. "I had thought maybe we could be friends, but I guess I should g-"
"I'd like that," Blaze finally responded. I let loose a breath I did not know I had been holding. Inside, I was jumping for joy at this new friendship forming. And so did the boy, whose face was overtaken by a smile.
"Really?" he inquired, unsure of her sincerity.
She grinned and stood up, brushing the dirt off of her clothes. "You're a bit naive, aren't you?" He cocked his head at the foreign word, but it swiftly changed to awe when she demonstrated her own power, assuaging his doubt with a fireball forming in her hands.
"Neat!" he said, marveling at the crispy ball of flame. He formed a small, green sphere in his own hand and covered the fireball with it. Yet the fire did not diminish and the orb did not dissipate from the fire. They stayed perfectly together and caused the children to chuckle in delight.
"Um, I never did ask what your name was," Silver admitted sheepishly.
"Silver," he pointed at himself, answering her unasked question.
"This is a promise," Blaze told him, holding the flame and orb out between them, "that we will always be friends."
Silver nodded in agreement. "And that I will always be there to catch you." He flushed crimson at the rather bold declaration, but Blaze found it sweet and chuckled. He regained his composure and they both let their respective balls fade away into the air. It was at this point that I decided to make my presence know, though I hated to interrupt the moment.
"Princess," I said, walking over, "I'm sorry to intrude, but it's getting late."
Both of them were downcast and I am sure they mentally cursed the setting sun. But Blaze moved to my side and nodded. She waved at Silver and we walked in the opposite direction of him. "I will see you again. Bye Silver," she bade softly.
"Bye." And then he added airily in hushed tone. "Blaze."
And as the world turned and as time burned, that boy and girl stayed true to one another. Each day, both would go to the park again and each day they would both leave, bidding one another farewell accompanied by a look of, "You know I'm gonna be there tomorrow at the same spot, waiting for you. That my want to see you again is ever blazin', ever blazin' girl/boy and you know it's not going to change."
It was quite cute in my opinion. Although some of the officials of the court opposed it. And since they were the law and order of the country- until Blaze was old enough to co-rule with them- what they said went. But that did not keep the two from seeing one another. And it soon blossomed into a beautiful friendship between them.
They stuck by one another, through both the ups and downs. And it did wonders for both of them. Blaze became more sociable, though still distant, and proved herself to be a capable up-and-coming leader while Silver matured, yet still retained his happy-go-lucky attitude and innocent beliefs. That and the heavy doses of flustered fidgeting that occurred around one another, mainly from Silver, and tried to vainly hide.
However, as I mentioned before, all was not to stay like this. With Blaze expected to stay in the castle more until she was ready to rule, the court did not appreciate her letting a commoner, an orphan no less, behind the walls of the castle.
They had soon put their foot down and forbade Silver to return. It impacted them both deeply that day. I should know because I was once again there to hear it all. Not that I was trying to eavesdrop this time, but I did need to stay relatively close. After all, by then, I had been promoted to captain of the guard, and it was my duty and privilege to protect the monarchy.
She was savoring her last day with her best friend that the court had "graciously" allowed, all the while trying to put the depressing situation in the back of her mind. But with each glance at him, it was obvious that it wormed its way to the forefront again, mocking them both with insidious glee. And it was especially tenacious now that it was nearing sunset, with the moon creeping closer to pull them apart forever from one another; or, at least until Blaze assumed the status of queen. But heaven knows when that would be.
Neither knew what to say. Plans of running away, fighting the court, and various other ideas had ended with either failure or no attempt made at all, either because it would risk both their lives, or possibly doom Silver to prison and the princess to eternal confinement within the castle. So they had spent their day as they best knew how: enjoying one another's company in a wide array of activities, from races to simply just talking with one another.
At the moment, neither knew what to say, except for the hedgehog. All he could utter was a meek, "I had a fun time with you today."
Blaze agreed somberly and glanced up at the sky. The pair stopped, as did I, and faced one another. I turned away, wanting to give them their space, but at the same time, dedicated to my duty. So I watched out of the corner of my eye as they stared at each other's footwear.
"I guess this is the last time we will see each other," Blaze said.
"For now," Silver reminded her.
She nodded, chuckling at his idealistic view of the future, but did not want to crush any hope that he could cling to. Besides, I believe that if she allowed him to maintain that dream, then perhaps she would come to believe in it as well. "For now."
They tentatively touched their fingertips together before clasping the other's hand in a tight grip. And it was at that moment where one could nearly see the light bulb of an idea that appeared over Silver's head.
"I got it!" he cried, causing Blaze and myself to jump.
"What?" she questioned, but he was already gone, running over to me of all people. She followed and to say I was as puzzled as her would be an understatement.
"I want to join the military!" he declared. "Or more specifically, the royal guard!"
"What?" Blaze cried again, echoed by myself as we reeled in shock at the revelation.
"It's perfect!" he explained. "If I'm part of the royal guard, then I would be able to stay with you!" I raised a quizzical eyebrow, causing him to retract his statement. "Er, I mean stay in the castle with you."
She looked at me, hoping that I would be able to talk some sense out of him. But I make it quite clear that I can do no more than anyone else. His mind was set on the proposition and if anyone would be able to talk him down from the lofty dream, it was she.
"Silver, think this through," Blaze said calmly, although I could sense she was just barely controlling herself. Perhaps she was afraid of the certain risks joining the military posed. I could tell anyone from experience that, and I did not believe Silver fully comprehended that. But I did admire his tenacity as he shook his head, quills and all at her, followed by his counterargument.
"I have," he said. "I had thought of it a long time ago, off and on. It's the best idea."
"But what if they put you on the front line instead of here?" Blaze pointed out. "After all, they may find your skills more valuable against foreign enemies."
"Or they may decide that it would be in their best interest to protect the court and the princess." She was actually surprised. He had thought this through to a startling degree.
"And how do you plan on being stationed within the castle? Much less be a part of the royal guard?" She placed her hands on her hips, confident that she had the quarrel in the bag, and prepared to relish in her victory.
But Silver was full of surprises that day. "You could put in a good word for me," he suggested. Then he faced me. "As could you. And I know a few other guards who believe I am a good candidate." I would have laughed at the crestfallen expression on Blaze's face had I not been so familiar with her fire abilities. "Even the head of the royal guard. And," he raised a finger as if another reason had just occurred to him, "the court would want to please you and keep you satisfied right? What better way than this?"
The lilac princess eyed me, hoping I would have a retort, but my reservoir of excuses was just as dry as hers. The boy had presented several valid points for this plan, including my involvement as well, and if they came together, it was quite possible that it would all work out. All that was left was for him to hear Blaze accept it.
Much to my surprise, she relented. Stubborn Blaze, who never backed down, giving into Silver? I rubbed my eyes in amazement and listened as the conversation continued.
"On one condition," she said. Ah, and here I thought she had lost it. "I want him as my personal bodyguard." She turned to me, failing to regard that I might take offense to being replaced. But I was fine with it.
"Well I could couple my recommendation with the princess'." I turned to him. "That should raise your chances considerably. Although there is always the gamble that you could possibly be put on the battlefield, in some far off nation, battling bloodthirsty enemies."
"I'll take my chances," he nodded. "Which are looking quite good."
And just like that, it was settled. Blaze still seemed distressed, but she walked off with her friend in tow to calm down. And the very next day, he was true to his word and enlisted.
Needless to say, he received the position he wanted and more. He was promoted to my position eventually, allowing me to step up to the rank of war advisor. And he was given command of most of the grunts in the royal guard due to his skill and past deeds rising through the ranks, all of which are tales for another time.
Personally, I was still surprised that he had risked so much for what he publicly called a friend. So one can see where the rumors started. Either those two were some of the best friends anyone has ever seen, or the embers of romance were kindling something passionate that they had hidden very well.
As I prepare myself to face the music and explain to the court why the princess is not there, I quickly shoot my eyes over to the two. At that moment, Blaze trips, heading for the ground. I squint my eyes, not wanting to watch.
But there is not hard smack of a body meeting the floor. I open my lids to see that Silver has caught her, almost cradling the lilac cat in his arms. All the guards continue to march, not stopping as he settles her back on her feet. Eventually, it's just the two of them.
"Thank you for keeping your promise," Blaze whispers, grinning slightly at the blushing and fidgeting hedgehog before her. He raises his head and cocks an eyebrow, but the memory soon hits him. His goofy, lopsided smile overtakes his face…doubly so when she leans in to peck his cheek.
But by this point, I've spied on them too much and must resume my duties. Their footsteps echo toward the exit as I open the door. And yet, I cannot help but smile myself. For as the world turns and as time burns, that girl and that boy still continue to know that the other is always gonna be there. And I cannot help but feel that their is a secret love to their who supposed friendship. A love that is ever blazin'. Ever blazin' from both the boy and the girl to the other. And I believe it will never fade away.
A/N: So there you go.
Sword: Ya'll ain't e'en 'eard th' bes' stuff now, ya 'eard?
Pen: Cease and desist with that voice.
Sword: Don't put me down, ya 'eard?
Pen: That's it! En garde!
So let us know what you think. As you can probably guess, I had more of it planned out in the first flashback, while the second didn't seem to come out like I wanted it to. Just didn't seem to hold up to the first one in my opinion, but let us know what you think. If you have any comments or critiques, constructive criticism, etc. then leave them in a review please. If you think someone was out of character or if we missed a word in spell check, let us know.