The Artist's Apprentice

Author's note: Okay, I'm warning everyone right now. This is an AU, alternate universe and Amy's personality is starkly different. No, she's not hostile towards Sonic, she's just a lot more mellow and witty rather than the canonical devoted fan. Don't like? Don't read. Otherwise, please do give this story a chance.

Disclaimer: I don't own Sonic the Hedgehog….shame, really.

It was a crisp, beautiful day in Mobius with a clear aquamarine sky and not a cloud in sight. The grass sparkled with fresh dew and even the leaves on the trees appeared to be a shinier, healthier green. Through the snow capped peaks of the mountains, one could see a majestic stone castle sitting on a series of hills.

The morning light streamed in through the large, ornate glass windows of the castle, gently falling into a grand library containing walls upon walls of books seeming to be on every subject in existence with a few pieces of mahogany furniture along with some throw cushions were strewn about the room.

Sitting on a wooden stool or squirming, rather, was one of three teenaged royals of the castle Prince Sonic. Ugh, portrait day! He thought with disdain, glaring at the awaiting art supplies in front of him. The mere idea of holding still for more than a minute instead of running around in the fresh air makes my quills stand on end. The only thing that would make the next hour or so close to being remotely tolerable was the fact that this was just a painting for the castle and not what the cerulean hedgehog liked to refer to as "free advertising" for prospective princess brides.

Not that Sonic wanted a bride in the first place. For starters, he was fifteen! Too young to marry in his opinion and being tied down was most certainly not a top priority in his book. His sixteen year old sister, Sonia on the other hand was looking forward to the day some foreign prince would carry her off to a far off land to become his blushing bride. Gag.

Sonic remembered a time he and his brother Manic, also currently sixteen, yet nearing seventeen had "corrupted" a visiting prince their sister had developed a crush on. Well what were they supposed to do? Naturally as two boys who had been eight and nine years old respectively, they couldn't just sit back and let a fellow kid get glommed by a girl, even if that girl was their sister. It just wasn't done.

The prince was startled out of his musings by the slight creak of the library's door and the subsequent slam that followed it. Two Mobian women walked into the room. Well, one woman and one girl who appeared to be at least three years Sonic's junior. The woman was a rabbit with large and often knowing chocolate brown eyes. Her name was Vanilla and although she wasn't the head artist in the castle, she was the one best known for portrait renderings. Sonic also remembered that Vanilla had a daughter, a six year old named Cream who was the kindest kid the speedster had ever met.

The girl who walked behind Vanilla was a hedgehog just like Sonic but with a soft sakura pink rather than the fuchsia color belonging to Sonia. Her eyes were large emerald orbs that hesitantly eyed Sonic as he stared back. He couldn't remember ever seeing the girl in the castle before, then again, the place was large and Sonic was more apt to exploring the outside world rather than his own home.

"Good afternoon, Prince Sonic," Vanilla greeted in her ever warm voice.

"Hi, Vanilla," Sonic returned before nodding toward the other hedgehog in the room. "Who'd ya bring with you?"

Vanilla smiled as she turned toward the girl. "This is my apprentice Amy Rose. Amy, meet Prince Sonic."

Amy's smile was much softer compared to her mentor's. "Hello, Prince Sonic."

"Hiya, Amy. How's it goin'?"

Her smile became a little brighter, relieved that the prince wasn't as cool and aloof she had pegged him to be. Then again, as a mere apprentice she was hardly ever around royalty so how was she to know how he would act?

"It's going fine, your Highness. It's an-"

Sonic cut her off with a wave. "Please, just call me Sonic and don't use formalities such as," here he took what he liked to call a "hoity-toity" voice. "It's an honor to meet you. It's just an ordinary day…where you're here…painting me…" He trailed off with a slight frown at the reminder of having to sit still.

Amy laughed. "Lady Vanilla will be the one doing the actual painting, Sonic. I'm just here to practice my drawing of actual Mobians rather than just scenery."

"Ah," Sonic said with a nod. "Gotcha."

"Shall we begin?" Vanilla asked, glad to see that Amy was warming up to the prince. Normally the girl was very outgoing and adventurous, always talking about she wanted to see the worlds beyond Mobius, her dreams taking her farther than she believed she would ever go. However when it came to people she didn't know, particularly those of a higher rank, Amy tended to clam up, sticking with those she knew like Vanilla herself or her daughter.

"Yeah," Sonic replied with a sigh as he resigned himself to remain immobile as Vanilla did her work. His eyes briefly flicked over to Amy who plopped herself down on the stone floor and arranged the skirts of her faded red ground to keep the cold from stinging her legs. He noticed she had a sketchpad with her and flipped it over to a fresh page. Lifting a pencil, Amy immediately began drawing, her eyes briefly lifting to look at Sonic before dropping down to her paper.

"Eyes over here if you please, Prince Sonic," Vanilla gently coaxed.

Sonic snapped his gaze over to the rabbit and smiled sheepishly. "Oh, heh. Sorry."

"It's fine. Hold still please."

Ugh, he inwardly groaned. He hated it when those two words were in the same sentence. But for Vanilla, one of the nicest adults he ever knew, he would do it…to the best of his abilities anyway.

It felt like hours had passed, the cerulean hedgehog's cheeks and jaws were getting stiff and he could feel a crick developing in his neck. Heck even his quills and back spines were starting to ache. The only thing that provided interest was the occasional check in on Amy. She was still sketching, whereas Vanilla had moved onto painting. Her movements switched from quick flicks of her wrist, to elegant flowing motions. Once in a while her emerald orbs caught Sonic's jade ones before darting back down to her open sketchbook, the blush dusting her muzzle however, was something she couldn't hide.

He found Amy to be amusing in a sense. She was shy, which was a normal reaction for a first meeting yet that wasn't the usual case for when a girl met Sonic. What would typically happen either involved screaming or swooning and a rolling of the eyes on the prince's part. Amy's blush was kinda cute too. Not that it meant he was looking for a girlfriend, mind you! It just added to what it was about the girl that interested Sonic and found so refreshing.

Finally, finally…Vanilla looked up with an indulgent grin present on her face. "Alright, Prince Sonic, I believe that is enough for today."

Sonic nearly melted with relief as he gave a tired grin and thumbs up. "That's a relief," He said. "Can't stand sitting still for too long."

Vanilla's smile turned wry. "I thank you for your patience then, your Highness." She turned to Amy. "Alright Amy, you're free to spend the rest of the day however you may like."

Standing, Amy flipped her book closed and bowed. "Thank you, Lady Vanilla," she demurred.

Vanilla gently patted Amy on the head before gathering her supplies, figuring she would return for the still wet painting later. As soon as the tawny furred rabbit left, Sonic hopped off the stool and zipped over to Amy, snatching the sketchbook out of her hand.

"H-hey!" Amy yelled, startled. "Give that back!"

Sonic waved her off, "In a minute. I just wanna see how your drawing of came out is all."

Amy rolled her eyes and scoffed. "Well, if you're that conceited, just stare at the painting Lady Vanilla worked on as it dries!"

"Ah, I'm not that conceited, besides, I've seen tons of Vanilla's drawings. It's yours that have me curious."

This caused Amy to blush. "Why?"

"Dunno really," Sonic shrugged. "A new point of view I suppose. Ah, there it is."

Glancing down at the paper, the prince had to admit that Amy had an impressive skill of her own, figuring that with time, her talents might rival that of her mentor. There was one thing that seemed off about it. It was just an outline, a fury of lines and curves, no shading or highlighting to be found.

"Are you going to color it in or something?" He asked, holding up the paper.

Amy shook her head. "Nope, it's done."

"Really?" He blinked. "How come? I mean, not to be rude, but I'm used to seeing drawings in full color."

"It wouldn't do to color it in," Amy replied. "The colors would be like a mask hiding away the real you."

Sonic raised an eyebrow at her cryptic answer. "Er, what?"

Amy laughed as she carefully tore the picture out of the sketchbook and handed it to the prince. "Think about my words, Sonic. You seem smart, I bet you can figure it out."

After Amy left the library Sonic continued to stare at the portrait, completely perplexed at the apprentice's words. "The colors would be a mask…?" He titled his head to the left and then to the right, turning the paper this way and that. He had no conclusion.

"Hmm," Sonia mused as she examined the paper in the same manner her brother had looked at it earlier, head tilted, shifting the picture every now and then. "Colors would be a mask…" She muttered.

"Hiding the real me," Sonic continued from his perch on the windowsill.

Currently the three siblings were in Sonic's room, Sonia and Manic having come in because they were curious when Sonic had passed them, staring at what appeared to be a simple piece of paper with total confusion etched onto his face.

"You look real to me bro," Manic put in, twirling his drumsticks, the rest of him sprawled out on Sonic's bed.

"Har har," Sonic said with a roll of his eyes.

"Lemme see the picture, Sonia," Manic gestured with several quick waves of her hand. With a shrug, Sonia gave him the drawing.

Manic took a cursory look at the pencil sketch. "Well, the girl-"

"Amy," Sonic interjected.

"Amy has a lot of talent," Manic went on, hardly fazed by his brother's interruption.

"I know that, but I don't understand what she meant when giving her reason for not adding color to it!"

"Does it really matter if color is added or not?" Sonia asked Sonic.

"Well, maybe if she said she just didn't feel like it. But with her answer, it's like she's expecting me to puzzle it out," Sonic replied.

"I doubt she wants you to go crazy over this bro," the jade hedgehog pointed out mildly.

"I know," Sonic sighed. "But at the same time you and I both know I don't have much patience, especially for brain busters!"

"Why don't you go ask your friend Tails?" Sonia suggested. "You've mentioned he likes puzzles and riddles."

"Yeah, but something tells me this type of riddle ain't his cup of tea."

"Wait," Manic said as he sat up. "I think I got it."

Sonic and Sonia both shot their brother a skeptical look. "You did?"

The eldest of the Hedgehog children rolled his amber eyes. "Yeah, I think I've figured it out." He arched an eyebrow. "Why is that so hard to believe?"

Immediately his two siblings tried to feign innocence. "No reason." That was Sonia.

"Yeah, no reason at all to doubt you, bro!" Sonic, with one of his winks.

Manic still wasn't convinced. "Mhm. Anyway, what I think Amy was trying to tell you Sonic is that the real you can't be conveyed as some masterful drawing, but as a mere sketch because, in a sense, a sketch isn't always there. I think she was trying to portray your longing for not staying in one place for too long. It's like trying to draw air itself instead of something solid."

"But Amy hasn't met me until today," Sonic pointed out doubtfully.

"True," Manic conceded. "But you've gotta admit, your impatience is legendary. Even around the castle."

"There is that," Sonic agreed with a nod.

"Good!" Manic handed the drawing back to Sonic. "Now go tell Amy you've figured it out and make her all proud of you and whatnot."

"But I didn't figure it out."

"What's that saying?" Manic wondered. "What she doesn't know, won't hurt her?"

"Manic!" Sonia admonished, swatting her brother's shoulder. "Don't tell him that!"

"'Sides," Sonic said. "I think I'd rather be truthful to Amy."

"Okay," Manic replied with a shrug. "But you might want to do it after dinner which is probably soon." He gestured toward the window and the view of the setting sun. He turned back to face Sonic. "Unless you want me to eat your share of the chili dogs?" He asked impishly.

Sonic dropped his gaze to the portrait. "Eh, I guess I can wait. I don't think Amy even leaves the castle grounds." He placed the paper on his nightstand before racing out toward the dining hall.

"Well, I guess I was wrong about Amy not leaving the castle grounds," Sonic mused to himself as he searched high and low for the sakura hedgehog. He traversed through many stone halls, up and down several staircases but still couldn't find the one who intrigued him so.

"Where are you hiding, Amy Rose?"

Fortunately Sonic didn't have to search much longer before a voice chirped out, grabbing his attention. "Prince Sonic!"

Grinding to a halt, Sonic whipped around and saw Cream standing not too far behind him. "Hiya, Cream!" He greeted. "Have you seen Amy?"

"Last I saw her, she was headed toward the Western Valley to watch the stars."

"Western Valley," The cerulean hedgehog muttered to himself. "Thanks, Cream!" Giving the young rabbit a quick wave, Sonic took off out of the castle and blasted through the night toward Western Valley.

Within seconds he reached his destination, soon spotting Amy lying against a tree, surrounded by a small field of flowers. Using the full moon's light to her advantage, Amy was drawing something on her sketchpad that was dutifully balanced on her lap. Nearing the unsuspecting artist, Sonic called out to her.


Said hedgehog jumped, completely startled, her sketchbook flying off her lap, her pencil careening in another direction. Hand over heart, Amy took a moment to calm herself before looking at Sonic. "Prince Sonic!" She cried. "You scared the living daylights out of me!" She paused, glancing at the moon. "Er, nightlights, I suppose."

Sonic laughed sheepishly. "Heh, sorry about that, Ames."

Amy quirked her head to the side. "Ames?"

"What? You've never had a nickname before?"

"No," Amy admitted. "I'm either called Amy or Amy Rose. But not Ames."

"What about Rosie?" Sonic asked with a teasing grin.

Amy rolled her eyes and grimaced. "Agh, please don't be the first for that one too."

"Okay," the prince chuckled. "I'll just stick with Ames." He plopped down beside her.

Amy quietly gathered her drawing materials before speaking again. "So why have you come to find me?"

Fishing the picture from his back quills, Sonic unfurled it and handed it to her. "I figured out your little puzzle."

A smile spread itself across Amy's muzzle. "You did?"

Sonic chuckled sheepishly. "Well, actually my brother figured it out. But I understand what you were trying to tell me. I had no idea anyone could be so perceptive. Especially about me!"

Amy paused for a moment. "Manic is the name of your brother, right?" Sonic nodded. "So what is his answer?" Her grin had a sassy edge to it.

Another sheepish laugh. "That you see me as someone who doesn't like to stay in one place…as a solid entity in other words." Sonic frowned as he tried to remember Manic's words. "Almost like the wind itself?"

Amy flipped to an earlier page in her book. "Though I've never met you formally, I have seen you zipping around the kingdom before. Particularly around the mountains. This was the best I could do for drawing you." She placed the book in his lap.

Sonic looked at the drawing. In the background, there was a range of snow capped mountains and in the forefront of her drawing was a blue streak running from one side of the page to the other. Surrounding the streak were blurred layers of light blue.

"This was all I could see of you," Amy confessed. "Well, I have seen portraits," She clarified. "But this was from my own two eyes. I had heard of your incredible speed, but I didn't expect you to be so fast!"

The cerulean hedgehog grinned. "Yeah and it's quite a rush. Maybe one day I could take you for a run."

"Really?" Her voice was tinged with doubt. "Isn't there some kind of royal protocol that you'd be going against?"

A shrug of the shoulders. "Maybe. I'm not the type to listen to the rules too often." Sonic winked, causing the apprentice to blush.

"Okay then," She said. "I accept your offer to go on a run sometime."

Sonic grinned. "Cool." He stood an held out a hand. Amy stared at it in surprise.

"Wh-what?" She gave a small laugh of incredulity. "You want to take me on a run, now?"

"Yeah, c'mon, there's something going on in the marketplace that I want you to see."

Amy was still unsure as she put down her art supplies and tentatively reached for his hand. "Okay…"

Sonic grasped Amy's hand and in one fluid motion flipped her over his shoulder and onto his back.

"Wh…H-hey! S-Sonic!" Amy protested.

"Hold on tight, okay?" Sonic instructed as his hands gripped her legs. "Unless you'd prefer to be held in my arms, I just thought you'd get a better view from up there.

Amy glanced at her surroundings. "Well, you do have a point," She murmured, her hands going up to grip his shoulders.

The prince chuckled. "Yeah, I usually do, now like I said. Hang on tight!" As soon as the last syllable left his lips, Sonic shot off into the night. Amy let out a small cry of surprise, her arms wrapping around his shoulders for better support.

Everything around the female hedgehog blurred into sapphire tinted masses, the wind whipping across her face at such incredible speeds she wouldn't be surprised if her crimson headband flew off. It seemed like the world was at a standstill as Sonic kept running.

"This is insane!" Amy shrieked. "Amazing and exciting, but insane!"

Sonic laughed. "I know! Hey, how are you feeling?"

"Kinda lightheaded," His companion admitted. "But I think that's just an adrenaline rush." She beamed. "This is so cool!"

"You think this is cool? Watch this." Sonic raced over to an arc created by erosion in a craggy mountain pass and ran the full three hundred and sixty degree loop. Amy screamed, though it was short lived, turning into exhilarated laughter.

"What's next? Are you going to tell me you can fly?" She joked.

"Ha ha, nope. Can't fly."

All too soon, Sonic raced up a tree that seemed to be aligned with the middle of a small yet brightly lit and bustling village, a marketplace settled right in the center. "What are we doing here?" She wasn't sure why, but Amy felt like she had to whisper.

"You'll see," Was all Sonic said, smirking as he heard Amy sigh. Served her right for being cryptic with him earlier.

Luckily, neither prince nor apprentice had to wait long for within moments, the village became livelier than it was before. A parade of sorts broke out as music burst into the air and villagers decked out in a variety of colorful clothing began to dance, some motions fluid and graceful while others were staccato and snappy. Different cooked aromas sizzled and wafted through the air, tickling noses. Happy chatter joined the atmosphere while children ran around from stall to stall, diving and weaving around their elders' legs.

"Wow!" Amy maintained her whisper, but it hardly masked the excitement and awe in her voice. "This is so cool!" She looked over at Sonic. "Why are they doing this?"

"Dunno," Sonic answered. "I think it's just to have a good time. I mean we're not at war or anything, so it's not like it's a way of keeping their spirits up. These people just do it for the fun of it."

"It sure does look like fun," Amy agreed.

"So why don't you go down there?"

"I don't know," Amy said doubtfully. "Wouldn't it be odd for someone to pretty much come in out of nowhere and join the festivities?"

"I don't think they'll notice you," Sonic replied. "And if they did, I highly doubt they'll view you as some enemy." He gave her arm a gentle nudge. "Go on down there."

"Will you go too?"

A wry smile crept across Sonic's muzzle. "Ames, have you heard of the term 'fan girls'?"

Amy giggled. "Maybe. Though I don't understand, why…you aren't that good looking."

Sonic's jaw dropped, his eyes becoming reminiscent to the size of dinnerware. "H-hey now!" He protested. "Way to take a damaging swipe at my ego!" It was only then that he noticed Amy's teasing expression.

"Oh ha ha," He grumbled. "Very funny."

His friend snickered. "I thought so!" She then lightly tugged at his hand. "C'mon," She wheedled. "I'll only go down there if you go."

The Mobian prince sighed in mock exasperation. "Fine, but if I get swarmed by a mob of fan girls, a: it'll be all your fault and I'll be reminding you about it for the rest of the evening and b: you'd better not ditch me!"

Amy's voice became overly sweet. "Don't worry my prince!" She struggled to maintain a straight face. "I shall come to your rescue! You won't be a damsel so long as I'm around!"

"Hey," Sonic said indignantly. "Guys aren't damsels. If anything, we're damned and in distress." Amy burst into a fit of giggles as she hopped down the branches of the tree. Once her red booted feet touched the ground, she looked back up at her cerulean companion.

"Coming?" She called up. She raised an eyebrow as she saw Sonic casually lounging amongst the branches, his hands behind his head, one leg thrown over the other with a loose, carefree smile on his face.

"Nah," He called back. "I think I'll stay up here."

"Hey," She pouted. "You said you'd go with me. That's the only reason why I got out of the tree."

"Yeah, I know." One of his scarlet trainers bopped to a silent beat. "But I changed my mind."

Amy let out a sigh. "Guess there's nothing I can do…" A wicked grin crossed her lips. "Except for this!"

Sonic popped open a jade eye just as Amy flicked her wrist. Both his eyes opened fully in surprise when he caught sight of a hammer appearing out of thin air and into her open palm. "Wh-what…h-h-how…how did you…?" He spluttered.

Amy's grin grew as she gave a mighty whack to the tree, her body hardly bothered by the force of her swing. Sonic yelped as he fell to the ground.

"Oof!" He grunted. "Nice arm. By the way, magic hammer?"

"You could say that," She practically cooed as she lovingly twirled the weapon in her hands.

"Right," Sonic said as he warily eyed Amy and her hammer. "Remind me to be grateful you're on my side."

Amy giggled as she dropped her hand to the side, the mallet effectively disappearing.

Sonic gaped. "How…?"

"I'll tell you later," She reassured him. "C'mon Prince! Let's go have some fun!" She began to lightly shove Sonic toward the festivities.

"Ugh," Said prince groaned. "Don't call me by my title. And remember what I told you about the fan girls."

Amy rolled her eyes. "I know, I know." Her mischievous smirk returned. "Unless you would prefer if I became a fan girl?"

Sonic whipped around, his jade eyes wide with fear. "Please don't!" He cried. "I like you the way you are!"

Blushing, Amy laughed. "Relax, I just thought I'd give that ego of yours a boost since I apparently damaged it earlier."

Sonic became smug. "That's right, you did. But still, don't become all fan girly on me. You're better off not being a drooling doormat."

Another roll of the eyes. "I'll keep that in mind." She finally grabbed his elbow and dragged him forward. "C'mon, let's go before the sun rises."

A dramatic sigh escaped Sonic. "All right, all right…" He let Amy pull him forward. "This does look like fun."

Intermingling within the crowds, the two hedgehogs took in the colorful sights with a level view. Dazzled by all of the lights, scents and sounds, they didn't know what to do first. Amy caught sight of a group of dancing Mobians moving in a large circle. She nudged Sonic with her elbow. "Want to go join them?" She asked the prince with a tilt of her head toward the crowd.

The speedster grimaced. "Ah, dancing's not really my thing," He confessed. Inhaling, he took in the spicy aroma of one thing. "Mm, chili," he breathed, mouth already watering.

Amy smiled. "You like chili?"

"Love it," Sonic affirmed with a nod. "Particularly chili dogs."

"All right. Let's go get some."

"You like chili?"

The aspiring artist laughed. "Let me clarify. You get the chili dog and I'll get some ice cream or something."

Sonic frowned thoughtfully. "Come to think of it, I want ice cream too."

"Are you sure?" Amy verified. "You know, you look like the type who would actually mix up the two."

"Chili dogs and ice cream?" Sonic asked, trying hard not to gag. "Oh Amy, even I'd draw the line there."

Amy grinned. "Just double checking," She replied. "Now let's go find some ice cream!"

The pair wandered through the marketplace for about five minutes before stumbling across a vendor selling ice cream. Sonic walked away with a double rocky road while Amy was content with black cherry. Something which the prince was quick to comment on.

"Black cherry? Gross."

Amy smirked. "It's an acquired taste I'll have you know."

"For the artsy types and old people," Sonic shot back. As Amy's smirk grew, he groaned. "I walked right into that one, didn't I?"

She nodded, too engrossed in finishing her ice cream as they walked. "Hey Amy?" She eyed Sonic.

"How did you really know I was like the wind other than from my speed?"

Amy didn't reply right away, taking swipes from her cone as she was lost in thought, Sonic waiting not so patiently by her side. "I guess I could just see something in your eyes. When I met you in the library, there was this light you have in them when you were speaking to me and when Vanilla told you she was done with the painting and therefore you were able to leave." She smiled lightly. "That light burned brighter when you knew you no longer had to sit still. But during the entire drawing and painting process, that light had dimmed. Your whole being seemed dull and forlorn."

Amy looked directly at Sonic as she asked her next two questions. "Are you happy Sonic? Or do you feel trapped?"

Now it was Sonic's turn to be quiet. He dropped his gaze away from Amy's as he contemplated her question, biting his lip as he searched for his answer. He wasn't even sure if he had one. Perhaps it was an answer that could be discovered over time. Yet for now Amy did need some sort of response from him. And he knew he had to answer her in the only way he could when found in predicaments like this.

Skirt around the subject.

"What about you, Amy?"

The aforementioned girl blinked in confusion. "Huh?"

Sonic shrugged, trying hard to let it not show that he was dodging her question. "How do you feel with your life? If you could draw yourself, what would your portrait look like?"

A wry grin graced Amy's lips. "Heh, quite a question for someone who's never done a self-portrait."

Sonic was surprised at that. "Really?"

Amy shrugged. "I never thought I needed a reason to do a self-portrait. But now that I think about it, it is like a self reflection, isn't it?"

At Sonic's nod, she continued, her voice thoughtful. "Mm, well Cream had guessed that my own portrait would be blurred, as if the ink were smeared by water." A fond look crossed her eyes. "See, I've always loved the water and could swim in it all day long if I had the time. There were those both inside and outside of the castle, friends and strangers who have teased me by wondering aloud if I was born some sort of water creature in another life as if my very soul was bonded by the water."

The apprentice let out a laugh. "I'm sorry, I bet that sounded stupid. It's only a superficial speculation."

"It's not stupid at all," Sonic insisted. "In fact, it sounded kinda cool. Even if…it has to do with," here, he cringed. "Water…"

"You don't like water?"

"I'm not it's biggest fan," The prince admitted. "Anyway, didn't you just say the water theory was superficial? Well, what's the more profound reasoning behind it."

Amy thought for a moment, carefully picking out her words. "I guess if my self portrait to be a blurry image using water based mediums, I suppose it would mean that I'm dreamy, always wanting something that's out there but because I don't know what the thing I'm desiring, it's constantly changing shape, never staying whole for long and just like water, it slips from my grasp, seeping from my fingers. If also I think about the ripples that can occur by a stone's throw or a falling leaf, it shows all of the possibilities and possible changes that have yet to be discovered."

Sonic whistled lightly. "Whoa, that was really intuitive of ya, Ames. So basically what you're saying is that you're like the water and I'm like the wind?"

Amy nodded. "That's really cool!" Her friend enthused.

The female hedgehog opened her mouth to say more, but Sonic beat her to the punch. "C'mon, it's time to go back up, the show's about to start."

Amy frowned in confusion. "Show? What show? And what do you mean, 'go back up?'" She was answered in seconds in the form of Sonic wrapping an arm around her and rocketing them back up into the tree. "Oh."

Sonic smirked and nodded toward the still dark night sky. "Watch."

Following his gaze, Amy soon saw what Sonic had meant by watching the show. Hardly a full minute passed before the sky was alight with color. Fireworks burst into the air; reds, blues, greens, yellows and purples dazzling everyone's eyes. Spectators "oohed" and "ahhed" at the display as sparks fell toward the planet in harmless showers before dissipating into spider web-like clouds that floated through the air long before completely fading away.

"It's so beautiful!" Amy exclaimed in an awed whisper.

"Yeah it is," Sonic agreed.

All too soon, the fireworks show was over and so it seemed, the festival was as well for vendors began packing up their stalls as parents began ushering their kids back into their homes. A silence that seemed to spread across the small town failed to affect the two visiting hedgehogs. "Aw, we have to go back, don't we?" Amy pouted.

"Mm, not necessarily," Sonic answered. "However I can see the exhaustion that is beginning to creep into your eyes, and don't deny it Ames, cause it's there. So I think we ought to go back and get some sleep. There are still plenty of days ahead for us to hang out, so don't think of this as a once in a lifetime deal, okay?"

"Kay," Her sigh turning into a yawn.

The cerulean speedster smirked. "Toldja. C'mon, let's go." He carefully swung Amy onto his back and took off once again into the night. He raced over to the Western Valley and picked up her art supplies which he handed to her before jetting back to the castle.

As Sonic walked Amy back to her room, he realized he had a new inquiry for the aspiring artist. "Hey, Amy?"

"Yes, Sonic?"

"Do you…" He bit his lip in hesitation. "Do you think you could teach me to see the way you see? Maybe starting with drawing something?"

Amy smiled. "That's a good idea. Start with drawing something. Take a sketchbook with you, wherever you go."

"Any advice?"

"Draw what you see, not what you know," Her grin grew. "Thanks for such a fun time." She disappeared into her room.

"You're welcome," Sonic called. It was only seconds later that Amy's piece of advice sank in. "Draw what you see, not what you know…? Aw, c'mon Amy! Not more cryptic answers!"

A bout of giggles was his only response.

To be continued…?

A.k.a I'll only continue it if people want me to. Another thing, I know black cherry ice cream isn't strictly for "artsy types and old people". I just figured something like that would be what Sonic would say.