This is Tai.
For my faithful fans, this will probably be you re-reading this, as I've recently begun editing this.
For example, I've combined Parts 1 and 2 of act 1. I will continue to do so for some of the other chapters.
For my first time readers:
This is my first story on . However, this is not my first story.
~This is a Sonic fanfiction. If you don't like Sonic or co, go bother someone else please. I don't care ^^
~These characters have been humanized. I find it's easier for writing.
~The point of views will be with the particular scene breaks. Acts will be sorta like chapters, alright? It's my style, sorry.
~Review! It helps me write better and it also gives me the drive to continue this project. Suggestions, ideas, reservations, and etc are ALL welcomed.
Last but not least, Enjoy!
A Forgotten Promise
ACT 1: Tempest
"The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."
~Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
SCENE ONE: SHADOW
It was one of those rainy June days, during one of those summers when Mother Nature doesn't seem to understand that it really should be sunny. The sky had turned gray hours before, and with nightfall came the first storm of the season. Rain fell in clattering sheets, blowing everywhere. The plants and trees soaked the rain up, content to be watered before the true heat set in. The only sounds were the pounding of the rain and the cars rushing through it. In Station Square, most individuals hurried home, eager to be with their loved ones. They rushed past a young girl who sat on the curb, head in her hands. She shivered, ignoring the world just as easily as it ignored her. The girl hadn't moved for hours, her hair and clothing plastered to her frail form. She was nothing but a pink and red smudge in a gray murky world, simply part of the background in a bustling city. When a red and black shape flashed by her, she didn't move, nor did she when the young man came back.
"Amy?" he shouted above the clamor, appalled to see his younger sister in such a state.
She stared past him, lost in her own world. Worried, he took her shoulders and shook her. He tried her name again, shouting inches from her face without reaction. Without hesitation, he wrapped her into his trench coat and took off through the rain. The close proximity of his home and his swiftness shortened the journey to minutes as he hurtled up stairs to his third-story apartment door. He fumbled with his keys for a moment, but then burst through the door. He was anxious to get his sister out of the raging elements and rushed into the house without removing his muddy shoes. The door slammed behind him, but he hardly heard it. The young man set his sister down on his couch with no regard to it's condition or that of the carpet. The girl didn't react, simply sat up. The young man rushed out of his living room and down a hall, returning moments later with a pile of towels, extra clothes, and a heavy blanket. He dumped them next to the couch and then turned his heater up. He snapped his fingers and a light came to life.
Finally, he turned back to the girl. He said her name again with no reaction. She stared off into the distance, un-hearing and unseeing. Her hair was disheveled, skin pale, lips blue. She shivered, hands coming up to cover her ears. Tears streamed down her cheeks, gentle sobbing being the only sound she could make. The young man sat back on his heels, sighing. Something had happened to her, something bad enough to make her a catatonic mess.
The only question: What had happened?
SCENE TWO: AMY
It felt like she was falling.
Falling, falling, falling. Down an endless hole.
Panic shot through her chest.
There was an explanation for this; somewhere a reason why she would not give into the pain.
But that reason was beginning to elude her.
Why did she have to fight?
Why did she have to suffer?
What had he ever done to deserve this sacrifice from her?
Why can't I just die?
There was no answer, only harsh laughter.
SCENE THREE: AMY
The girl opened her eyes, feeling a curious warmth on her face. The sun was shining beyond curtains, slipping through the small gap in the cloth. She was sprawled in a bed, blankets heaped on top of her. It was uncomfortably warm; prompting her to slowly sit up. She winced at the many aching joints that cried out in protest to any movement, looking around the room. She blinked sleepily, rubbing one eye carefully. It was a small room, one that she was sure did not belong to her. There was a small black dresser to the far wall, and a tall bookcase filled with countless trinkets. There was a nightstand next to her bed, several pictures positioned around a small lamp. There were people she didn't quite recognize, a white haired woman and man with red-streaked black hair. In one picture, the man was with a younger girl, a smiling pink haired kid in a graduation gown. They looked similar, like siblings, but she couldn't figure out who they were. She guessed that she was in his home.
The girl slipped out of the bed, shivering in the absence of warmth. Her small limbs were encased in heavy black pajamas, but oddly enough, there was a cold that was set inside her very bones. She rubbed her arms for a moment, keeping them close to her chest for warmth. The door to the bedroom was wide open, leading into an empty hall. The floor was polished wood, squeaky clean. She padded on small delicate bare feet past closed doors and into a bigger room. The front part was slightly sunken, a couch and chair, a TV and coffee table. Beyond it was a kitchen, separated by a counter, several stools pushed beneath it. From the den part she heard snoring, emanating from a small blanket covered couch. It rose and fell gently with each snore, no other movement obvious to her eye. She creeped closer, unsure of how to react. She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. Her hands flew to her throat as she tried again to force any word possible from her mouth. Her throat hurt to begin with, but this surprised her. The girl felt horribly confused, taking a step closer to the couch with the intention of shaking the boy awake. She tripped over a pile of wet towels she hadn't noticed and fell forward, arms wildly out-stretched. She hit the couch and a man shot out of the blanket, a gun to her head before she could blink twice. The girl stared in surprise; this was the red-streaked black haired man from the pictures in the bedroom. But he didn't seem mean or brooding like in the pictures, only surprised. There was a moment of silence, his ruby red eyes searching her own. He unloaded his gun and set it on the table, then gently helped her sit. He moved from the couch, covering the girl in the blanket instead.
"Are you alright?" he asked her, moving to stand in front of her.
She felt panic bubble up in her chest once more and opened her mouth to tell him that she wasn't anything near alright, that she was beyond confused, that she had no idea who she was or where she was, or anything. But nothing came out. She tried again in vain, but ended up coughing. The man's eyes seemed to soften and he put a hand to her forehead. He looked so scary, but his touch was gentle.
"You must have lost your voice last night," he said, his voice low, "And it feels like you may have a fever."
He stood up and disappeared into the kitchen, muttering something out taking a girl named Amy to the hospital. The name didn't seem familiar. He returned a moment later, with a thermometer and a glass of water. He handed the later to her she took it shyly. Upon taking a sip, she realized how dry her throat was and downed the entire thing. The man smiled in amusement and then popped the thermometer beneath her tongue. She stared at him, confused, but allowed him to take it back out a moment later.
He checked it, one hand feeling her forehead, "You're a couple degrees higher than normal, but you don't seem to have a fever. You should take it easy today."
Just then, her stomach growled, announcing her hunger to the world. She felt her face heat up, but wondered why she felt embarrassed. After all, it only meant she was hungry...what was there to be ashamed of in that?
"Hungry?" the young man asked, raising a bemused eyebrow.
The girl nodded eagerly, leaping of the couch. For a moment her head spun violently, and she fell back against the young man. He lowered her to the couch and told her to wait there and that he'd bring her something. She listened faithfully, asking herself why she felt so comfortable with such a stranger. A curious smell wafted from the kitchen, something that set her stomach growling again. She carefully slid from the couch and stood, holding the back of it in case her head decided to start spinning again. The girl creeped into the kitchen, finding the boy taping his foot impatiently in front of the microwave. As soon as the thing beeped, he quickly produced two steaming bowls from the machine. He turned and caught sight of her, sighing in exasperation. She followed him to the counter, where he set the bowls down. The young man clambered upon one of the stools and she did likewise. There were noodles in the bowls, odd sticks lain out next to them. The young man picked them up and used them to expertly slurp the noodles. The girl watched him for a moment and then picked her own up. She tried to imitate his movements, the sticks feeling oddly comfortable in her hand. But she couldn't seem to get it quite right and was unable to eat.
"You do know how to use chop sticks, don't you, Amy?" he asked, confused.
She shook her head almost shamefully. The girl wished she remembered, but she couldn't.
"Do you remember what you were doing outside last night?" he asked her, panic swirling into his eyes.
She shook her head, confused. What was he getting at with these questions?
"Do you remember where you are now?"
She shook her head.
"Do you remember me?" he asked, finally.
She thought for a moment, staring at him, begging her mind to tell her why he was so familiar. But there was no answer and she finally shook her head. There was a plunk as the man dripped his chop sticks. He stared at her, panicked. Finally, he retrieved his cell from the counter and told her not to leave the room. He disappeared into the hallway, talking in a voice too low for her to hear. The girl focused her attentions on her food, tilting the bowl to slurp something up. Instead she spilled some on her lap and got no food in return. Why couldn't she figure out how to eat noodles, for God's sake? Finally, after what seemed far too long, the man returned. He looked nervous, panicked, devastated, everything like that and more. He was quiet for a moment and then spoke.
"So you don't remember me, right?" he asked, "You don't know anything about who I am?"
She nodded slowly. He cut to the chase this time, "Do you remember anything at all?"
She shook her head. Nothing. No memories of anybody. Blank as snow, whatever that was...
"My name is Shadow," he said after a long sigh, "We are related in a rather odd way. I'll give you the long list later, but I am more or less your older brother."
She nodded, this seemed slightly familiar.
"And you are Amy Rose, 19 years old and a current resident of Station Square." he said.
The name didn't sound right, but the city...
Yes, that was home for the girl.
All the other stuff?
She'd just have to take his word for it.
SCENE FOUR: SHADOW
"Relate to me the symptoms once more, will you, uh...Mr..."
"Yes, Mr. Hedgehog." The doctor corrected himself.
He was a tall, thin man with round wire glasses and a clipboard in his lap.
Shadow couldn't decide whether he trusted this man, but the people from the emergency room had told him that this man would know what he was talking about.
Could you even trust a guy who barely looked you in the eye?
"When I found her last night, she was practically catatonic," Shadow said, "She fell asleep and when she woke up, she didn't remember me. She doesn't seem to remember anything.
Shadow sighed, running a hand through his hair. The doctor gave him a sympathetic look on the shoulder, but then glanced at the girl who stood near the window. She didn't seem very interested in their conversation, twirling the hem of her pink summer dress.
"You two are involved with Sonic Hedgehog, aren't you?" the doctor said, eyes on his clipboard.
"Is it within the realm of possibility that she may have been attacked by a shared enemy?"
Shadow paused, "Yes, it is possible. But if someone wanted to make a point, Amy would be dead. Whomever tried to hurt her didn't do a very decent job."
The doctor looked back to the girl. She looked like she wanted to be outside, fingering a strap of her dress absentmindedly.
"Amy, would you please come here for a moment?" the doctor asked.
The girl turned, blinking.
"She appears to answer to her name, at the very least." the man said mildly.
The doctor stood, asking his patient to sit on the examining table.
"My name is Dr. Green. Is it alright if I can take a look at your bruises?" he asked, eyes flickering to her's for a brief moment.
She glanced at her brother, but nodded.
The doctor had her crane her neck back and he examined the bruises around her neck. They were vivid purple against her pale skin. The doctor then sifted through her hair and found a large bump. He examined the other bruises, but didn't say much.
Finally, he sat back and turned to Shadow.
"Is she in any abusive relationships that you know of?" The doctor asked mildly.
Shadow shook his head, "None that I know of."
The girl slid of the examination table and went to her brother. She asked him something in a different language. Shadow stiffened and looked at the doctor. The older man had a curious look on his face.
"Amy, do you understand Korean?" he asked her.
"Japanese." she corrected him, voice soft.
Her voice was rough, making the girl wince. She coughed, holding her throat.
"I'm sorry," she apologized, her voice still low, "My throat hurts. Shadow promised to buy me some tea, but we haven't had time yet."
"It's alright." the startled doctor said.
Shadow said something back to the girl. She replied, smiling. Her brother turned to the doctor.
"I asked her if she wanted lunch." he explained.
The doctor nodded. He scribbled something on his clipboard.
"It is certain that she was attacked, but I think Amy will recover physically," he said, "From the questions I've asked her, it seems as though she has an odd case of amnesia. It is neither retrograde amnesia or the other forms this condition comes in. It doesn't quite make sense, although she appears to be healthy and fairly sane. More research will have to be done. I must ask that you bring her to me at least once a week in order to record her progress. I'm afraid that is the most we can do with her condition."
The doctor went on to tell Shadow what he might expect from Amy and how to deal with it.
"Will she ever remember who she is?" Shadow asked, finally.
The young man looked tired. Beyond tired.
The doctor paused, shaking his head, "Her case is so unique, I cannot say for sure. To be honest, I have no idea. She may, but she may not. Only time will tell."
Shadow's head dropped in his hands.
The girl looked confused, "What's wrong?"
He looked up at her, "Nothing, mouse."
The girl giggled, "I'm not a mouse!"
SCENE FIVE: AMY
"This is the mall, Amy," Shadow said, leading the girl beneath an arched doorway and into a huge silvery cavern, "Do you remember it?"
Light filtered in through the skylight, throwing patches of sunshine everywhere. People hurried from store to store, bags in their arms, purses, children in strollers. Teenagers hung around, talking on their phones or zoned out to their iPods. The place was filled with more things than the girl could comprehend, so many new smells and sights and sounds. She was astonished that she couldn't remember such a place. She looked to her brother and shook her head. He seemed to find that amusing.
"This used to be your favorite place, Amy," he grinned, "I can't tell you how many times you've tried to drag me here."
He headed for the food court, Amy in tow. Shadow's comment was forgotten when she caught sight of row upon row of shiny silver tables. He practically had to pull her along; she was like a child in a toy store. The old Amy would be chatting up a storm, but this girl was quiet. Gone was the stubborn, annoying, loud, rambunctious younger sister. She'd been replaced by a shockingly quiet, wide eyed, helpless girl. With her voice gone, she was like a mouse, even with the large black jacket he'd given her to wear. She'd forgotten her own jacket and it was getting cold again. Somehow, the girl had found an odd black baseball cap, one of those failed attempts at a gift from one of his friends. It dipped over her eyes, far too big, although it was amusing to watch her continually push it again and again, getting more and more flustered each time. Shadow, of course, simply adjusted it's straps and set it on her head backwards, but the look she gave him startled him. She looked like he'd just handed the world to her, her eyes wide and shinning. Shadow managed to smile, patting her head, and inwardly realizing that she'd changed a whole lot more than he thought. Shadow led her to an empty table and sat her down.
"Hungry?" he asked her.
Amy nodded; relived that he hadn't forgotten her lack of breakfast. He'd been in too much of a hurry to get to the hospital to feed her properly. Shadow had promised food afterward, but they'd gone to the mall instead. For what, she didn't know, but she was still content to be with him.
"I'll get some pizza," Shadow told her, "Just stay here."
She watched his retreating figure nervously. Without him she felt exposed and in danger. The people around her didn't look friendly anymore, or even interesting.
Why couldn't he just come back faster?
Amy watched as his tall shape slipped into a line. Several women turned their heads to stare at him, one sighing longingly. The girl wondered why, but the thought didn't occupy her for very long. She stuck one hand in the pocket of Shadow's jacket and pulled out an odd key-chain. It was a smiling bunny rabbit, waving at her. It looked new and most certainly it was not Shadow's. One the back her name was engraved. Was he holding on to it for her, or was it a gift he hadn't given her yet? She slipped her pinky through the thin metal loop and twirled it around. Given that she was more uncoordinated than a raccoon in ice-skates, it was tricky and took her mind off of Shadow for the time being. Amy spun it as fast as she could, until it spun off her pinky and onto the floor a good several feet away. It clattered on the tiles several feet away, almost unnoticeable in the bustling food court. The girl sighed and then slid out of her chair. She shuffled toward where she had seen it fall, but several people passed in front of the spot and she lost the exact location. Still, she scoured the floor and tables and chairs. After several minutes of fruitless searching, she realized that she wasn't going to find it. She imagined telling Shadow that she'd lost his key-chain and tears began welling up in her eyes. She chocked back a sob, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand.
"Are you looking for this, miss?" a voice asked behind her.
She whirled around in surprise. There was a large giant of a man in front of her, but all other details quickly became less important when she realized that her key-chain was in his meaty hand. She nodded eagerly, a smile spreading across her face.
"This is yours?" he asked, dangling it in front of her.
She nodded again, holding her hand out. But he didn't give it back to her. Instead, he grinned.
"I'll give it to you, but I think I might need a little something in return," he said, leaning in closer, "How about a kiss, honey?"
He didn't smell right or anywhere near good for that matter. She backed away in panic, only to find herself against an empty table. Amy frantically searched for Shadow's shape, but there was nobody in this particular section. Where had he gone? The man leaned in closer, running a hand through her pink hair. There was no room to shy away; why wasn't anybody coming to help her?
"Why the black?" he asked her, "You'd be so much prettier-"
Amy could only stare as he leaned in closer, her breath caught in her chest.
No, no, what to do, what to do-
"Get your hands off her, creep."
The man whirled around, blocking her view.
"Excuse me?" he asked, "I think you two might be mistaken, this is-"
"Don't make him say it twice," a more familiar voice growled, "You'll be sorry."
"Are you trying to start a fight?" the large man said, "Cuz, I will take you both down."
"Your arrogance will be your downfall."
"We'll see about that, won't we-"
The man suddenly whip-lashed to the side, from a blow faster than he could see. Even then, all there was to see was a mysterious red shoe. The man doubled over and another kick sent him flying. Amy covered her head and shrieked as he fell, narrowly avoiding his bulk. Her key-chain fell out of his hand with a clink, rolling off into the distance. The girl looked up in surprise. Standing not four feet away was Shadow, holding a plastic green tray with their food. She ran to him to him and threw her arms around him, or rather what she could reach of him. Her brother seemed surprised for a moment, stiffening as he tried to balance the tray, but a moment later he managed to put his other arm around her.
"It's alright, mouse," he told her, "You're safe now."
She continued hugging him for another long moment until he cleared his throat. Blushing, she stepped back. It was at that moment that she the person standing next to him. He had be older than her, even though he was clearly younger than Shadow. Maybe somewhere around twenty? At any rate, he was nothing like Shadow. His hair was a spiky bright cobalt blue, eyes green with a lively twinkle in them. He shirt was wrinkled and he looked nervous as hell, but Amy instantly liked him. She couldn't find a reason, but she wanted to be his friend already.
"Hi, Amy." The man said with a half-hearted wave, "How're ya?"
She blushed, a smile spreading across her face. She opened her mouth, but was cut off by an explosive coughing fit. She cringed at the raw pain in her throat, knowing it would be a good while before she wanted to try talking again. She glanced at Shadow, who sighed.
"Amy lost her voice," He said, clear and to the point, as usual, "I need to talk to you. It's important."
"Uh, sure," the man said, looking more like a sheepish teen with every passing moment, "Not a problem."
Shadow handed Amy the tray and told her to go eat and that he'd join her in a few minutes. She nodded, giving the other man a wide smile before walking away. She edged past the huge guy that was still sprawled on the floor, groaning. Briefly, she wondered why nobody seemed to care about him, but that train of thought quickly derailed. She herself didn't quite care; the guy had deserved it. She made it back to the table, slipping Shadow's jacket off and promptly tearing into her pizza. Amy couldn't remember the last time she'd eaten and felt as though she could die at that moment and go to heaven.
Meanwhile, Shadow was talking to the other man. She wondered what his name was and whether she had known him before. The conversation seemed to turn darker, the man's face contorting in disbelief. Shadow remained unmoved, face like stone. She wished she could hear what they were saying or at least why Shadow looked so scary when he was talking to the other man. More than anything else, she wished she could understand what was happening in the crazy world she had woken up to.
"She what?" the young man shouted, yanking the girl from her thoughts.
Shadow nodded solemnly, and the other boy stared, mouth dropped. Amy blinked. In the next second, the blue haired man had gone from being a good number of tables away to being right next to her. Amy jumped; how could he move that fast?
He grabbed her shoulders and shook her, "Do you remember me?"
She stared, eyes wide.
In the next moment, Shadow was in the next chair. He didn't look very happy.
"Sonic, if you know what's good for your health, you will remove your hands from my sister's shoulders." he threatened.
Sonic glanced at him , paled, and obeyed. He took a deep breath and sat down.
"Amy," he tried again, "Do you remember me?"
The girl blinked, opening her mouth. She paused, seeming to think better of what she'd been about to say. Instead, she promptly shook her head and took a bite of her pizza. The man, Sonic, seemed familiar, but there were no memories coming to her. Instead this felt like dejavu, like she had seen him before, but just couldn't remember where. Sonic slumped in his chair, head banging down on the table. He groaned, holding his head. Amy shot her brother a concerned look, but all he did was smirk.
"Shadow!" a voice shouted, "You have got to be kidding me!"
A woman ran up to them, nearly out of breath. With her purse, she smacked Shadow over the head.
"The hat should be burnt! She's a girl, not a gangster!"
The woman was beautiful, miles more than the girl herself. Her eyes burned with a sapphire colored fire, luxurious snow white locks spilling over one shoulder. She was pale, dressed in dark, wide-legged business pants and a short-sleeve button up shirt.
"She wanted the hat! What on earth was I supposed to say to that, Rouge?" Shadow shot back, a grin on his face.
Amy blinked. Rouge was beautiful. Way more so than anybody in the room, even herself. And the look in Shadow's eyes said that he thought the same thing too. Even when he looked annoyed.
The woman rolled her eyes, turning to the younger girl.
"How could you wear that?" she asked, a smile on her lips.
She seemed to be joking, but Amy felt confused. The girl glanced at Shadow, panicking. Realization dawned in his eyes.
"Right. Amy, this is Rouge. That would Sonic." he said, pointing.
Rouge hugged her tightly, kissing her cheek.
"We're good friends, Amy!" she said, "Don't forget it!"
Amy scooted closer to her brother, reaching for his hand. Rouge stared for a moment and then sat next to her.
"I know you don't remember me, hon," she said softly, "But let's be friends, okay? I'm won't to hurt you, but I can't say the same for your good for nothing brother-"
Amy had zoned out. The words echoed in her mind. She'd head them from somewhere else, not from Rouge, but recently.
If she was sure of anything, this was it.
SCENE SIX: AMY
"Leave me alone!" I shouted, voice hoarse.
My skin felt feverishly hot, my entire body soaked from head to toe. I was in a dark alley, in the pouring rain, clutching a beat up yellow and pink mallet. I clutched the weapon tightly, but it was so slippery that I could hardly hold it. .
A man stepped from the shadows, taller and stronger than me. Most of his face was hidden in the darkness, but I could see his sick grin as clear as daylight.
"Don't worry, love. I won't hurt you," he grinned, "I just want to be friends."
He blocked my way from the alley, a blade glinting in one hand. I tried to back away, but there was nowhere to go.
I was pretty sure it was me.
SCENE SEVEN: AMY
It was the only sound.
No words, only screaming.
There were hands on her shoulders, shaking her roughly.
"Amy, wake up!" a voice was shouting.
She lashed out, her hands slapping at a solid shape in front of her. There was a brief sting of pain of her cheek. She gasped, opening her eyes and shooting up. She was in Shadow's living room, on his couch. Her face hurt, tears streaming down already wet cheeks. Shadow was on his knees, his hands on her shoulders. He looked worried; a thousand years older than she remembered.
"I'm sorry I slapped you," he said, "But you were screaming, are you alright?"
She stared at him, mouth open.
She lifted her hands, finding the band-aids on her palms. There were scrapes beneath them, from the night.
The night it had happened.
But she couldn't remember what. Only rain on her skin and screaming.
Horrible, heart-wrenching screaming.
"I-" she began, "I don't know."
"Was it a memory?" he asked.
She nodded, "I think so."
She clung to him as tightly as she could, sobbing. Shadow put his arms around, hugging her until she could barely breath.
"It's okay, Amy," he tried to reassure her, "I won't let anybody hurt you."
She managed to catch her breath, but rested her head on his shoulder. He sat her up straight, wiping the tears away with his sleeve.
"Come on, Mouse," he told her, "You have to be strong."
She sniffed, nodding slowly. But she still clung to him.
There was a knock at the door.
And then another.
Shadow tried to stand, but Amy refused to let go. Despite agreeing to the whole 'being strong' thing, she was too scared to be alone.
"Amy," he managed to say evenly, "I have to get the door."
She gave him a pleading look, begging him to stay. Shadow gave an exasperated sigh and stood up. He slung her over his back and started walking. She giggled, throwing her arms around his neck. They made their way to the door.
Rouge and Sonic waited outside. He was tapping his feet impatiently, while Rouge twisted a strand of hair between her fingers. Shadow set Amy down gently. She took his hand tightly, rubbing an eye with one hand.
"Took long enough." Sonic muttered, eyes to the ground.
He handed Shadow several bags, without glancing at Amy. She stared at him, eyes wide with curiosity.
"Hey Shadow," Rouge said, patting his shoulder and giving Amy a quick peck on the cheek, "How're you feeling, hon?"
Amy shrugged, but didn't say anything. The older woman turned to Shadow and started saying something to him. The two walked down the hallway together. Amy began to follow them when Sonic cleared his throat. The girl turned, realizing the door was still open. Her smiled brightened as she reached out for his hand to invite him in. His face turned red and he moved away.
"I have to get going," He explained awkwardly, "Ya know, Eggman and everything...'"
Her features twisted into a confused expression. Sonic opened his mouth to ask her if she was crazy, but caught himself at the last moment.
"Ah, yeah, you don't remember, do you?" he said, "I'll explain it another time, k?"
She nodded, still confused.
"Well, uh, I'll see you later." Sonic said, holding a hand up in wave.
She nodded again, smiling this time.
"And, uh, well... this is yours. See ya later." he shoved something in her hands and then turned to run.
Amy blinked; one moment he was there and the next he was gone. There was a gust of wind and then the street was quiet. She opened her palm and gasped. Sonic had picked up her key-chain! It was shinier; had he cleaned it?
She smiled, watching the sun begin to fall. A breeze played with strands of her hair.
Sonic was like the wind. Sometimes he was there and then he was gone...But still always there, somehow. She didn't need memories to tell her something that she knew to be as true as the sun rising or the wind blowing. She just knew.
"Arigato, Sonic." she whispered, and then slipped into the house once more.
SCENE EIGHT: SONIC
I raced away from Shadow's house, face aflame. It wasn't the warm weather; that was obvious enough.
Only Amy had the power to do something like that to me, even when she was...a shell of a person.
Sure, the idea of Amy forgetting everything was appealing in the sense that now she couldn't murder me, like she'd promised last night, but...now she was gone.
And I'd never gotten the chance to apologize or even give Amy a chance to accept a promise to make everything up to her. Not that she would have believed me anyway...As much as I would have liked to run back to Amy and confess everything to her...I had to stop myself.
She was literally a shell of a person. No words. Nothing. No memories. No visible personality.
Well, that wasn't true. I hadn't even been with her for more than five minutes before she'd gone banshee on Shadow, screaming something nobody could understand, and then passing out stone-cold. I hadn't been around long enough to even figure out if there was anything left of Amy in there worth salvaging. She could very well have been the same, save quieter, but somehow that seemed unlikely. Anyway...I couldn't decide what to do anymore.
About Amy, I mean.
I couldn't tell her. No way. I couldn't do that to her again. She'd kill me if she understood, and even if she didn't our friendship would be ruined before she could even remember what my name was. And it wasn't like I could ask Tails for advice. He'd kill me, then make me tell her. And then Shadow would kill me. And then the guilt would kill me big time; and believe me, I was already getting a freaking ulcer.
And then a brilliant idea hit me: I didn't have to tell Amy.
I didn't have to tell anyone. And if Amy never remembered, well, nobody ever had to know.
And to satisfy my conscious, I'd make sure that I did everything right this time around. She'd always wanted me to give her a chance, so I figured that for her sake, I'd try. There was no way I'd ever fall in love with Amy, god forbid, but at the very least we could be friends.
After all, I had made a promise to her.
Even if it didn't mean much anymore, even if she didn't remember, there was no way I'd break it now. I'd vowed to make it up to her—even if it killed me.
Some time later that afternoon, I'd finally remembered what I was supposed to be doing and made my way to the office building of SSN, otherwise known as Station Square News. It wasn't hard to find, considering that it happened to be one of the largest sky scrapers in the entire city. The place was practically crawling with people...and everybody had suits...
Great. Sure, I was The Sonic, but I didn't know how convincing I could be in yesterday's jeans and a t-shirt from the bottom of the laundry pile.
Oh well. Not like I really cared. I was the king of cool, right?
I guess they must have been expecting me because the receptionist didn't even ask for my name, simply pointed and told me that the receptionist on the tenth floor would help me find the exact room.
Was I that easy to spot?
Anyhow, I turned to the elevator, crawling with even more people in suits...and I'll admit that I've never been one for small places. There was no way I was getting in that over-sized sardine-can, especially with that many people. Not on my life.
I took the stairs.
About two minutes later, I stopped in front of the receptionist's desk. She stood and guided me through a large area filled with cubicles and rushing people.
Jeez, this entire place felt like one huge bee hive. Tails had a company like this somewhere, but that had been filled with nerds typing away at computers or assembling things in another building. I guessed that things were different in the news business...
The receptionist finally stopped outside a large glass door. Inside was a fairly good sized office. There was a table to one side, stacked with papers, the actual desk which looked fairly old and expensive, a couch, and blah blah blah...Most of the walls were just glass and I considered how easy it would be for some guy like Eggman to break in and kidnap someone. Or how easy it would be to fall out a window like that...
Anyhow, there were two people inside. An older man, whom I assumed had to be the guy I was looking for, a certain Marcus Langely. He was the guy in charge of Station Square News, and just about one of the richest guys in the world. There was also a woman...or more correctly, a young woman. She couldn't have been more than a couple years older than Amy, which put her at about my age. It was hard not to gape at her; she was, by far, one of the most...dangerous women I'd even seen.
Yeah, word choice is important here. I'd never been one for correct use of the English language, but this woman...she was the kind that made honest men cheat on their wives, made friends betray best friends, brothers compete against brothers, etc. She was the kind who was stunning and knew it. Rouge very well could have been a competitor, but not even she would come out on top. This girl was...well...gorgeous. Long legged, tanned, long haired, high cheek-boned, so obviously part foreign. And while she wore a business suit, I wasn't sure the skirt was supposed to be so short, or the heels that high. But before I could continue gaping like the idiot I was, the receptionist knocked on the door. The young woman jumped from her perch on the couch and motioned for me to come inside.
"Uh, thanks." I told the receptionist and then stepped inside.
The young woman rushed to me, saying in a rather velvety voice, "Hello, Mr. Hedgehog, I'm Isis Langely and it's a pleasure to meet you."
"Uh, hi." I managed to say, holding a hand up weakly.
She took my hands and kissed me on both cheeks, topaz eyes glittering. Dazed, I followed her deeper into the room, watching the older man stand.
He shook my hand, warmly, "I am Marcus Langely. You must be Mr. Hedgehog?"
"Ah, yeah. That's me," I managed to grin, scratching the back of my neck, "I heard you had a proposal for me?"
"Yes, yes, of course," he said, "But first, would you like something to drink? Coffee, perhaps, or whisky? Or-"
"Coffee, please...I don't drink alcohol."
Not after the mess of last night I didn't.
"Of course," he said, then turning to his daughter, "Isis, would you do your father a favor and get this young man something to drink?"
"Of course, papa." she smiled in a rather un-innocent sort of way and then slipped out the door.
I turned my attention back to Langely.
"Uh, thank you, Mr. Langely." I managed, remembering Tails' insistence that I remember at least some of my manners.
According to him, having a friend this well off could be useful in the future. Man, the kid was barely 16, but already managed to act at least ten years older. He'd been doing that since he was nine and it wasn't getting any less annoying.
"Call me, Marcus, son," he told me, "I insist upon it, really."
"Marcus," I nodded, "Uh, Thanks."
At this point I was grasping for straws. What on earth are you supposed to say next?
"Sit down, Mr. Hedgehog. I imagine you are curious to know why I asked you to come."
I managed to nod.
He did the same and then promptly got to the point of why I was there, "I have a proposal for you."
Really? No kidding.
"What sort of proposal?" I asked.
"As you know, Station Square News often has a difficult time documenting your various exploits, Mr. Hedgehog. And I strongly believe that if the public were to be able to view exactly how hard you work, it would help them understand how imperative it is that we remain grateful for your efforts in protecting Station Square and aid you in all ways possible."
Or just maybe it would help you get more viewers? I wondered which was more likely. But this guy sounded like he'd been practicing this speech, so I kindly didn't point out the bull in his proposal.
"So, what would ya have in mind then?" I asked, "These things happen pretty fast. Tangling with Eggman is bad enough, but with a camera crew to protect? It sounds pretty dangerous."
Marcus leaned forward, hand positioned into an odd looking triangle.
"I understand that, which is why I've been considering this for a very long time," he said, "Would it be possible to involve your associates? A certain Mr. Prower and Mr. Echidna? Our crew can tell specifically what sort of footage they need, but the most you would have to do is get them into and out of 's base during an attack and the very least would be giving them an opportunity to film a street battle. There are other details we can cover later, but there will be a large compensation for your efforts."
"What sort of compensation?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.
Being a Hero, I wasn't in any need of money, especially with Tails being the C.E.O of his own company while he was still in high school. But a part of me wondered exactly how much this man was willing to pay us to risk the lives of what would probably be his best camera man and reporter. Marcus Langely took a checkbook from his desk and wrote a number with a lot of zeros.
"That, of course, would be the individual fee for each of you." he told me.
I stared, mouth dropped, "We'll do it."
SCENE NINE: SONIC
"You agreed without asking me?" Knuckles shouted.
Tails sat at the kitchen table, head in his hands.
"Hell yeah, course I did!" I shot back, "Would you have refused it? This is most ridiculous deal we're ever going to get and you want to turn it down?"
Knuckles paused, "I wasn't going to turn it down, but I'm pissed that you-"
"I get it, I get it," I put my hands up in surrender, "Knuckles, do you want to be a part of the easiest gig ever imagined and make an insane amount of money off of it?"
He glared at me, "You're an POPCORN!, Sonic, you know that?"
I grinned, "Look who's talking, mule-head."
"Alright, you two," Tails growled, giving his best I'm-not-your-mom,-but-I-will-kick-your-butt-anyway glare, "That's enough. I'm sick of you two bickering like little children."
"Yes, mom." Knuckles and I grinned in unison.
The 16 year old scowled, "Have fun making dinner tonight, Sonic."
That was low. Way low, Tails. He never stopped holding my inability to cook over my head. It wasn't my fault that every single thing I'd ever tried to make ended up looking like charcoal!
"Sure," I grinned, turning to knuckles, "Wanna get something to eat? How about Archie's?"
Knuckles scoffed, "Let's go to Darnella. In a week we'll have enough to go there everyday."
I gave him a thumbs up. Tails glared at both of us; if looks could kill...
"Later Tails." I called.
He shouted after me, throwing a pair of shoes. I dogged it, narrowly missing it.
"Oh, so you want us to bring something back? No prob Tails!" I shouted, taking off and laughing hysterically into the night.
SCENE TEN: AMY
[A/N: Poem = Jabberwocky. My favoritest-est-est poem ever!]
"All mimsy were the borogroves, and the momraths outgrabe..."
The girl hummed, dusting a shelf. She sang an odd poem that she'd found at the tip of her tongue. "Mmmm...Beware the jabberwock, my...son? The jaws that bite-"
The door slammed. Someone was home. Amy listened for footsteps that sounded familiar, her poem forgotten.
"Still alive, Amy?" Shadow called.
She sighed in relief.
No boogieman. Those were just dreams.
She straightened, running from the room. She crashed into her brother, nearly falling. He caught her, setting her gently down again and handing her the feather-duster.
"Why are you in my r-"
"Shadow! I remembered something!" She interrupted him, hopping excitedly.
His eyes lit up, "What did you remember?"
She recited the poem for him, still hopping.
"Ah, that's nice Amy," he said, not quiet as thrilled, "Anything else?"
"Ummm," she tapped her chin, thinking hard, "Your favorite color is...white?"
He smiled, "No, mouse. That's Rouge's favorite color."
She frowned. "What's your favorite color?"
"I'll never tell," he patted her head and walked away, "Come help me with lunch."
She followed him into the living room, still holding the feather-duster. Rouge was lounging on the couch, shoes and jacket on the floor.
"Hi, Rouge." Amy waved, smiling.
"Afternoon," Rouge half-waved from the couch.
"I remembered your favorite color!" Amy exclaimed, "But I thought it was Shadow's at first..."
Rouge laughed, standing, "That's lovely, Amy."
She hugged the smaller girl, and then kissed Shadow's cheek. Amazingly enough, he blushed.
"What's for lunch?" she asked, "I'm starving."
He disappeared into the kitchen and there was a rustling of bags. "I'm going to make-"
There was a sudden crash as something exploded into the room. The far wall was ripped away and a robot slowly rose into view. It was a behemoth of a robot, a beast of metal greater than Amy had ever seen.
Shadow swore, Rouge gasped.
Amy stared, time slowing down.
The robot seemed to bigger than Shadow's entire apartment complex. There was a strange grinning circle between it's eyes, the paint still drying. In the entire week she'd been awake, nobody had ever mentioned gigantic robots that could tear apart homes. The feather duster slipped from her hands and clattered on the ground.
Time suddenly sped up again.
Somebody shouted and they Rouge and Shadow both attacked the thing like they'd been doing it all their life.
Oddly enough, she found herself wanting to help. It was as though she had done this before, too.
She took a step forward, suddenly finding a huge red and yellow mallet in her hands. It was heavy, but she was caught up in the moment and lifted it like it weighed nothing more than a feather duster. Amy found herself grinning in anticipation as she-
"Amy, get out of here!" Shadow shouted suddenly.
The mallet in her hands dropped, suddenly heavier than she could bear. She stared, unable to comprehend Shadow's words, or why the familiar, reassuring weapon had failed her. But there was no time to think. The robot's huge arm suddenly came into view and it batted her brother away like he was nothing more than a rag-doll. There was a sickening crash and Amy suddenly realized that she couldn't find Rouge anywhere. And then the monster robot was reaching out for her, it's huge metallic fingers opening. A fog of terror descended over her and she froze up. The monster was capable of tearing Shadow's house down, hurting the people she loved. It could crush her between it's clumsy finger.
She knew it would.
But Rouge was suddenly there, launching a devastating spin kick. And then Shadow was pushing her out the door and she was shrieking Rouge's name. They couldn't just leave her!
"She'll be fine," he shouted in her ear, "Just get as far away from here as you can, understand! DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"
She couldn't say anything, tears welling up in her eyes. But then she was running down the stairs, and then across the square. She half turned, unable to see the battle. But she could hear it. There was an explosion. And shouting and chaos.
The robot suddenly rose over the edge of the houses.
Amy's heart clenched it terror. It was following her. The monster was following her.
Why did it want her?
Where were Rouge and Shadow?
She turned and continued running. There was Sonic, conveniently ahead of her. He was setting a girl down, a gorgeous pretty girl...who had been in his arms...?
Which didn't make sense...
Behind them was another girl, holding a large bulky camera. A car screeched to a stop in front of them, two men climbing out. One was a bit older than Sonic, the other several years younger than herself. The two were as different as oil and water, bickering loudly about something she couldn't understand. But she heard her name and realized that she recognized them. They were both taller than her (which wasn't very hard), the elder darkly tanned. His eyes were an intense shade of violet, his expression grave. Strangest, though, was how red his dread-locks were and how pointed his gloved knuckles were. He was sturdier than the younger one, who was barely more than a boy. His hair was a golden blonde, his eyes a lovely shade of baby blue. He looked like he had just come from school, a very normal looking back-pack slung over one shoulder. Somehow, she knew these two weren't normal. But she couldn't remember how she knew.
Why couldn't she remember?
No time to think of that, she told herself sternly.
She could barely keep from collapsing in a heap of tears as it was. She had to get help.
Sonic would know what to do.
She shouted his name, crossing the street toward them, "You've got to help Rouge and Shadow!"
Sonic turned, surprised, "Amy, wh-"
She crashed into him, throwing her arms around him, "You have to help them! That thing is going to kill them!"
Her voice was high-pitched, eyes wide in panic. For a moment Sonic was convinced that she was going to collapse. He threw his arms around her, steadying her.
"It's okay, Amy," he told her, "Help is here."
She stared at him, "But how can you help?"
And why was she so convinced that he could help her? Who in their right mind would fight something like that? Who could?
Sonic finally caught sight of the robot, and instead of silence, he laughed.
"Hey, guys," he said, "Looks like this one's a little on the big side. You know what I always say, Tails?"
"The bigger they are, the harder they fall." The blond boy grinned.
The two girls behind them were busy. One was filming, the prettier one talking quickly.
"Sonic, why aren't you scared?" Amy asked, slipping from his embrace, "Why is it after me?"
He gripped her shoulders, staring at her levelly, "Hey, don't freak out on me."
She stared at him, "But why is it after me?"
He shrugged, "Eggman is always after you. He's after everybody I know...but no worries, Ames! We'll stop that hunk a junk!"
With that, he turned to his companions, "Ready to roll, Tails?"
"Obviously." the boy muttered, pressing a button on his watch and turning to the red haired guy, "Ready Knuckles."
Knuckles aimed and threw a small dark colored device. It hit the robot and exploded, sending the monster reeling backward.
"Alright, let's roll guys!" Sonic shouted, and the three of them took off.
All of them moved incredibly quickly, but they were like tiny ants against a bear. And there was nothing she could do, but watch the monster creep closer. Sonic was so quick, and the red-haired one was so strong. Rouge was relentless, Shadow was even quicker than Sonic, and the blond one was clever. But Amy didn't think anybody could stop it.
She was doomed.
But then there was an explosion. And another one. Hysterical laughter and shouts to get serious. But the robot fell. And it didn't get up. She could have wept in relief. She watched Shadow emerge from the smoke, holding Rouge's hand. The woman was swearing about something, angry that she'd twisted her ankle. But the two of them were alive, and Amy was happy enough. More than happy, even.
"Shadow!" she shouted, crossing the street and throwing herself into his arm.
"It's alright, mouse." he told her, holding her tightly.
She found a million questions at the tip of her tongue, but he put a finger to her lips.
"It's alright, Amy," he told her, "Calm down. We'll talk about this later."
But she couldn't stop crying. The idea that something like that had come for her was almost to much to bear. Her pulse raced, her breathing quickening. In the back of her mind, she somehow knew she was having a panic attack and found that odd. Amy knew she'd never been one for panic attacks, but here she was, hyper-ventilating. Like a pathetic little girl who'd never seen an egg-bot or a badnick before. Whatever those were...anyway…
Shadow seemed to panic when she wouldn't stop sobbing in his arms. Even Rouge was alarmed.
Sonic came up from behind them, "Is she alright?"
Shadow shook his head, glaring at him. Sonic put his hands up in the universal sign for surrender.
Rouge put a hand on his arm, "Maybe we should just take the poor girl home..."
Sonic ran a hand through his hair, "Uh, Shadow. I hate to break it to you, but your house...is pretty much gone. You'll be lucky to salvage anything from that mess."
Shadow groaned, "Just my luck."
He shot a glare so dark at Sonic that the young man backed away.
"Don't shoot the messenger, Shadow." he said, putting his hands back up in defense.
With that he turned and ran back toward his friends, who were busy gutting the robot, Knuckles for the hell of it, and Tails for raw supplies.
"Don't worry," Rouge said, laying one hand across the sobbing girl's back, "You can stay with me. We're already-"
Shadow shot her a look, glancing down at his sister in panic.
Rouge blushed, "Right. Well, just come stay at my place for a bit. It's the least I can do."
Shadow lifted his sister into his arms, trying to soothe her the best he could. Needless to say, it was rather odd to see him rubbing his sister's back and talking softly to her.
Sonic found it downright freaky. Who would have known Shadow even had a heart?