A/N: Today, we have another story we'd like to dedicate to one of our favorite authors, who has not only beta read and reviewed our stories, but provides this site with exceptional, high-quality stories.
Sword: Silverdawn2010! Come on down! You're the next contestant-
Pen: *bops her* Just get on with this so I can go home.
Sword: Ow. All characters belong to SEGA and this story was inspired by "If it Means a Lot to You" by A Day to Remember. The bold parts are also owned by them. And thanks to Chocovi for beta reading this!
And now, we present-
If It Means a Lot to You, Wait for Me
Sonic could scarcely believe it.
If anyone had told the cerulean hedgehog a few months ago that he would be on a G.U.N. ship, along with Tails, Rouge, and Shadow, heading for the now not-so-hidden base of Dr. Eggman, he would have laughed, rubbed his nose cockily, and told that person that they were out of their mind. Yet, there he was, leaning back as best he could in one of the metal seats in the plane, and waiting for this supposed "final showdown" with his arch-nemesis with the privately-run military backing him and his friends.
Up in front, one of the pilots was relaying information about the status reports from the other ships to the kleptomaniac bat and Sonic's black-furred counterpart. To his side, his little brother was marveling at the state-of-the-art technology inside the ship. Although the blue hedgehog was sure Tails could out-build them any day.
With nothing to do, he had taken to staring out the window next to his seat. Below he could see the various battleships and speedy boats that he had opted out on, keeping pace with the helicopters. But just looking at the deep blue beneath him was causing his stomach to do flips, so he turned away and faced the ceiling. Counting the bolts in it, he thought back to the day before, when they had been making their final preparations.
They had been given a week of warning from G.U.N., after Eggman's base had been discovered. According to them, the reason they were attacking so soon was that if they waited any longer, they risked the doctor discovering his vulnerability and relocating his base of operations. So they needed to hit hard and fast, which Sonic had boasted was his middle name.
Unfortunately, from the layout of the base that the military sent to Tails- who then showed it to the others-, the mission would be much more dangerous than many of the others they had faced before. Eggman was prepared to the point of it being scary. Insurmountable looking walls, turrets with pinpoint precision, torpedoes that would fly through the water in the blink of an eye, and bombers waiting to blow any ship to kingdom come. And that was just the outside. Heaven only knew what waited for them inside, since G.U.N.'s spies could only gather intel on the outer parts without being spotted.
Needless to say, out of their group, only Sonic and Tails would be joining Shadow, Rouge, and G.U.N. Their select talents would both be needed while Knuckles was ever dedicated to his prize emerald and Cream was much too young to go. And Amy-
Amy had insisted on going too. But this time, Sonic had been firm and stood his ground. He had told her straight out how dangerous it was, yet she persisted anyway like always. And while he had admired this trait and secretly loved the fact that she wanted to be near to him, he did not want her getting hurt and he told her as much. After much bickering and shouting, she had left in a huff, easing the blue hedgehog's mind that she would be safe. For that was why he always ran and tried to prevent her from following him. He cared for her and her safety.
However, as their time of departure drew near, he knew that he could not leave on this sour note. On the slight chance that something should happen, he did not want the last words between them to be like this. So, after helping Tails with packing some of the equipment that the fox was bringing along for the attack, he told his younger brother that he needed to get some air and go for a quick run.
Dashing away before Tails could pry further into where he was going, Sonic rushed to the city. It was already night, but he followed the bright city lights to his destination…which just happened to be a pink house, near the edge of town, resting in the suburbs.
And now that he was here, standing at the doorstep to this house, his feet grew cement and were rooted in the spot. What was he supposed to say? "Hey darling. I hope you're good tonight"?
To tell the truth, he had never known what to say or do around her. Whenever he was around Amy, she sent him onto this existential high that he was afraid he would never come down from. And what would freak him out even more than that would be his unwillingness to come down. He actually liked it and, as he had come to know the pink hedgehog better, he had come to like her more. He was less afraid of her nowadays, choosing to spend more time with her since Eggman's activity had died down. All which had led to her chasing him less to capture him in a choke hold and acting, dare he believe, normal and all due to giving her what she wanted- his time.
He still avoided her at times, due to his persistent nemesis and fear for her well-being, but for the most part, he had accepted that the rotund scientist would come after her no matter what and it was too late to change that. Besides, that had, for the most part, been an excuse since the beginning. He had actually been unsure what that high was around her and had been worried to spend time with her. But, just like Eggman using her as bait, he had come to accept that too. And, in retrospect, he nearly slapped himself for how many years he could have enjoyed it just by giving her a chance instead of running away all the time.
But he shook his head and focused on the situation at hand. So, hovering his hand over her door, letting it stay poised for several seconds longer than needed, he rapped his knuckles against the door. Several agonizingly long seconds later, the knob turned and the entire door swung open to reveal the pink hedgehog. She was still dressed in her trademark outfit, sans the headband and boots, which led him to believe she had been getting ready for bed. Indeed, she did look rather perplexed to see him standing at her doorstep this late, especially the day before he was supposed to leave.
They stared at one another for at least a minute, neither knowing what to say or do to break the stifling silence that hung between them. They both knew what Sonic was there for. Or at least he thought Amy did. If she did though, she showed no acknowledgement of it. Instead, she broke the ice, stepping aside and waving her hand behind her. "Did you want to come in?"
Did he? Now he was not so sure. For all he knew, she would probably used to the behind-closed-doors setting to leave a few decent welts on his noggin with her hammer. Or was it something else? Was he afraid he might not want to leave at all? Or give into her? His knees turned to rubber and he was not sure if he could even move. Everything about her from her cute smile to her bubbly personality did this to him.
Steeling and willing himself to be strong, he walked over the threshold and into the house, taking in the nice decor and only turning around to face Amy when she shut the door. He followed her over to the sofa in the middle of the living room. In front of it, he could see a book, marked somewhere in the middle pages, and a lamp on. Now that he realized that he had interrupted her reading, he cocked his head to the side, curious as to what the book's title was. But whenever she glanced back, he righted his noggin and took a seat next to her.
It was only after several seconds of uncomfortable staring that Sonic realized that he should begin. After all, he had been the one to come over unannounced for reasons she did not know. So, clearing his throat, he opened his mouth and said,
"Ya know…we're leaving tomorrow."
Not that he needed to remind her, but she did not say anything, but merely nodded. "And I didn't wanna leave on a bad note."
"Then let me come with you," she pestered once again. "I don't want you to leave me behind like you always do. I want to help you."
He almost let himself be persuaded, but a quick rattle of his brain brought him back to his staunch, firm decision. "No. I can't let ya come. And I know ya don't feel right when I'm leaving, but I don't want ya ta get hurt. Normally, yeah I would want it, with you coming along cause I like it." He hurried on before she could read any deeper into that while he was around. "But no I don't need it this time. This time, I want to make sure you're safe. That's why I agreed to even help G.U.N."
By some sort of miracle, or maybe for once he had the better argument, she consented. Hanging her head in defeat, she nodded and muttered a quiet "fine". But to him, that was probably even worse than before when she had been fired up and quarrelsome. So, ever so carefully as if he were afraid he would be pricked by invisible thorns on her, Sonic wrapped his arm around her shoulders, prompting her to immediately bury her head into his side.
She was not crying, since he felt no warm tears on his fur, but she still stayed there, whether to inhale his scent or feel his body heat intermingling with hers, he did not know. In fact, he was surprising himself by even allowing her to get this close. Then again, he had been out of sorts ever since he started to give her the time of day. It was like he had opened a gate that would never shut now. And though it frightened him and made him want to dash away from this unknown, at the same time, he was enjoying it. It was, in itself, a brand new kind of adventure. And if there was one thing he enjoyed, it was an adventure into new territory.
After a period of waiting that had him nearly wanting to jump up and run around the room a couple of times, Sonic nudged her. "Hey, wanna know somethin'?" She lifted her head and looked up at him, her curious eyes erasing any of the sadness. "Once ol' Eggy is gone, no one will have ta be afraid of him. You and me could go somewhere."
"Like a date?" she prodded hopefully, her voice reaching a somewhat higher pitch than normal that melted his heart.
He scratched his ear. Even though that was what he had meant, he did not have the courage to say it. "Yeah, something like that," he mumbled.
This time she gently laid her head in the crook of his neck, letting her cheek be caressed by the bristles of tough fur. He heard her give a sigh and then request something. "Tell me something."
"What do ya mean?"
She stared up into his eyes, her softer, darker orbs meeting his rich, apple green ones. "Something sweet to get me by until you get back."
Back in the helicopter, he rubbed his nose, concealing the blush with his finger as he dwelled on the private memory. This morning, when he had left, when she had asked how long it might take, he had told her that it may be anywhere from a day to weeks according to G.U.N. "'Cause I can't come back home till they're singing for joy," he muttered to himself, remembering his vague sign that he gave her to look for. "'Til everyone is singing."
Sonic turned to find his little brother looking at him with a raised eyebrow. Up ahead, Rouge and Shadow were still busy with the pilot and keeping in contact with the other forces. And off in the distance, he could see a large, floating island made entirely of metal and machine approaching fast. From far off, it appeared small, but if the blue hero knew Eggman, it was that appearances could be deceiving.
He turned to Tails and shook his head. "It's nothing. We're almost there." That distracted the fox enough for all memory of the question to be forgotten, as he peered out the front window for a better view of the upcoming fortress. Up ahead, their other two members faced them, with Shadow allowing Rouge to briefly remind them of their roles when they were in range. Sonic listened half-heartedly, already knowing what to do as he thought about Amy one last time.
"Thank you again for coming over to help me, Amy," Vanilla said, turning to the young hedgehog while she finished putting away some of Cream's toys. The younger rabbit had just settled down for an afternoon nap, which gave the matron some time to herself.
"You're welcome Ms. Vanilla," the girl replied, showcasing her widest display of pearly white teeth as she helped. "I'm happy to help you around the house." And in truth she was. She did often interact with the two, either to babysit Cream so her mother could have some alone time or to help Vanilla around the house. Though she had an ulterior motive for today's act of generosity as well- which she believe Vanilla had already caught on to, but had not said a word about, leaving Amy to dwell on what had occurred last night.
Even though they had fought over Sonic's reluctance to allow her to join the team, Amy still worried about his safety. They had not spoken since the fight and she was not the kind of girl to crawl back to him, begging on hands and knees. He knew that, as did she. And despite his reasoning due to him caring about her- which secretly thrilled her-, she was still angry with him and his stubbornness.
So, the day of their departure had finally come and waned into night with no sign of Sonic. Not that Amy expected him to see him, but it would have been nice. So, before running through her night time routine and then heading to bed, she decided to read a little to pass the time. Nary two pages in she heard a knock at her door and, setting the book aside, stood up and walked over to it, wondering who it could be.
One squinting eye at her peephole revealed the blue hedgehog she had been dwelling upon. He looked rather unsure about himself and his presence there. His hand was raised as if deciding whether to give up or knock again. She quickly yanked open the door before he could choose the former.
While for the past several days, she had denied needing to see him, her knees suddenly felt a bit weak and she had to admit that she wanted to forgive and greet him with a "Hey sweetie," due to how adorably vulnerable he looked, standing there at her doorway and not knowing what to do. His eyes darted elsewhere for a few seconds before coming back to her. She allowed him a bit of time to make the first move and apologize, but when he did not, she took the lead, hoping it might lead to something of the sort.
"Did you want to come in?" she offered, standing back and widening the door to create as inviting an atmosphere as possible. She saw his bout of indecision as he weighed it in his mind. Eventually, much to her pleasure, he accepted and crossed the boundary into her house as she shut the door, cutting off the night air's access from her warmer living room.
So on her couch, several minutes later after one more protest and a promise of a supposed date from the hero, she found herself comforted by his arms wrapped around her. And she had requested that he tell her something, which she was still waiting for. Amy got her wish, for he leaned down to her waiting ear, tickling it with his warm breath, and whispered one sentence for her and her only.
And, with that, she was satisfied. If what he said was true, then it made her love him all the more and, even though she hated to see him leave and wanted to be near him, she would relent and let him go this one time. She looked up into Sonic's eyes and asked, "Really?" He nodded, making her heart soar before she nodded as well.
"All right. Just promise me you'll never leave me behind like this again. No matter how dangerous it is."
"Promise," he swore, holding up a flat hand. His ear perked up when he heard the soft chime of eleven bells come from a room over. "I should probably get back to the workshop. We have ta leave early tomorrow."
He moved to stand up, but Amy held him there and asked him to please stay. When he questioned why, all she could think of to answer with was, "Well I need you here tonight." She looked up at him, showing that was what she honestly wanted. "And I know that you don't want to be leaving me. So why don't you spend the night here and you can leave in the morning."
He yielded to her request and stayed the night. The rest of the evening was spent discussing other topics rather than the impending doom bearing down from tomorrow. It was only mentioned one other time when she tried once more to come along in a lackluster attempt. Of course he had rejected her again, leaving her to say, "Yeah you want it, but you want me to be safe. I know, but I can't help it. I just feel complete when you're by my side."
And soon, they were fast asleep on her sofa. The lights stayed on, since no one had bothered to shut them off, and neither woke until the first glimpse of the sunrise invaded through slits in the blinds.
After he had left, she had paced up and down her whole house, scuffling up the carpet and ran the risk of wearing a hole in it and her boots. Tidying up around her house had not alleviated the dread, nor had the television. Most of the channels had interrupted their broadcasting in favor of news anchors covering the story of G.U.N.'s attack. Though it made sense, since it might mean the end of Eggman's attempts at ruling the world, it just caused poor Amy to worry more.
At first, she had told herself that there was nothing to get worked up about. This was Sonic after all and he always won. But then ideas began to creep in that he might be chewing off more than he could swallow. They usually attacked Eggman's base after he had attacked, leading to lowered defenses for the doctor. This was different and those fears had given way to anger and frustration at her hero's refusal of letting her join. She should be there protecting him as he did her. Eventually, she would sigh with a heavy heart and just hope and pray that he would come back soon.
This cycle continued on and on until it quite nearly drove Amy up the wall, hence why she had been so accepting of the idea of popping over to Vanilla's and Cream's house unexpected, but no less welcome. It led to the situation she was in now, which was distracting her at least a little.
From the front of the house, a soft bell announced the arrival of someone new. Vanilla left to answer it while Amy finished up. Once the toys were put away, she followed the other to find that Vector had come over to see Cream's mother. Even though the pink hedgehog knew why he chose to visit the rabbit quite often, he shut his large mouth and changed whatever subject the two had been on before Amy came.
"Where are Espio and Charmy?" Vanilla questioned, while the pink hedgehog guessed that they were probably back at the agency.
"The agency," Vector answered, confirming the suspicion. "Charmy's been playing video games nonstop and Espio is watching the news about G.U.N.'s attack."
The tall rabbit shook her head, trying to prevent the crocodile from bringing up anything to do with Sonic. But it was too late. That single sentence had caught Amy's attention, prompting her to ask, "How are they doing?"
"Er," Vector eyed Vanilla and then Amy before studying his shoes. "Before I left, he said they were just starting and doing well."
That sealed it for her. She raced into the living room and flipped on the modest television, scanning quickly through the channels until the screen landed on one that showed a news anchor as close to the battle zone as anyone dared to be. He could barely be heard over the explosions and bullets in the background, which is why the channel had opted to use subtitles to accompany him, but Amy did not care. She just hoped to catch sight of anyone she knew.
She remembered what Sonic had told her when she asked how long it would take. "I hope I see you," she whispered at the set, hoping he could somehow hear her despite the impossibility of it. "But I know you can't come home 'til they're singing. 'Til everyone is singing," she repeated verbatim what he had told her.
The other two, having been forgotten by her already, decided to occupy the kitchen instead, leaving Amy to watch the religiously watch the television. And for the longest time, there was nothing. Some explosions sounded off in the background to the chorus of faint gunfire, but whether that was Sonic's doing or demise, she did not know. It went on like that well into the night, long after Vector had left and Vanilla had gone to bed, telling her good night with a worried expression.
She had only let her eyes be relieved by the soft glow of the television for natural needs and even then had been as quick as possible to hurry back. During this marathon, there had been a few instances where she could swear she had seen him, but it was brief and much too blurry to be sure.
All she could be certain of was the constant barrage from G.U.N.'s battleships and that amphibious transports were shuttling troops into the main island that the base sat on. A ways away were aircraft carriers launching bombers that dropped their payloads into the heart of the hideout, destroying any ground defenses and only being shot down by Eggman's own planes- who in turn were blown out of the sky by G.U.N.'s planes. And even further back were floating vessels that acted as temporary field headquarters and resupply bases for the attackers. It was clear that they were in this for the long haul if necessary. It was their own little world of war, with nonstop fighting that would not be ended by any earthly means, save for one side's defeat.
"I wish you would let me know you're okay," she mumbled, searching the set once again after she had thought to have caught sight of him. Or perhaps it was weariness setting into her eyes. "I need it. But you know you can't give me what I need right now." She yawned, fighting to stay awake, but all the while succumbing to the sandman's spell. "And even though you mean so much to me, it looks like I can't wait through everything all night. Stay safe," she whispered at the bright television as her eyes drooped shut. "Sonic."
"Is this really happening?" Sonic wondered aloud. It was early in the morning still, with the sun due to start proclaiming its arrival soon. And there he stood on top of a wreck of mechanical bodies, all punched with holes in them courtesy of him. To his side was Tails, who was wiping away grease from his gloves and fiddling with a small device he had constructed.
The little fox pointed it in the direction they were facing, which was a joyful view to behold. Eggman's former base was completely thrashed with punctures, torn apart by G.U.N.'s troops, who rounded up the last remaining robots and hauled off several machines. Sporadic gunfire could be heard from the last resistors, but the battle was, for the most part, over.
And in the middle of it all stood Eggman himself, his glasses removed and revealing his beady, hate-filled eyes. He cursed and rued the day he ever met Sonic and vowed to have his revenge. Of course this would have been more convincing if he were not being led away in handcuffs to one of the ships.
"You think he'll be back?" Tails questioned as the doctor was forcefully pushed onto the waiting transport, which then began its undocking procedure.
"Most likely," Sonic replied, shrugging his shoulders. "It won't be as much fun around here without ol' Eggy and his robots ta kick around. But I swear I'll never be this happy again."
Tails gave a knowing grin and returned the device to the inner part of his glove. "Because you have someone waiting for you huh?" He caught sight of his older brother's flush before the hedgehog turned and became quite interested in watching G.U.N. ransack the base. The fox chuckled and continued. "You need a ride? I can call in the Tornado so we don't have to wait around for them to finish."
"Sounds good," the blue hero said, still not meeting Tails' scrutinizing eyes head-on. He just kept staring off into space, visualizing his return home to his friends…and Amy.
It was late in the morning when the duo arrived at Amy's house. Of course when they discovered that she was not in, Sonic could not help but feel a slight rise in anxiety. He did not know where she could be. Thankfully, Tails was the one to come up with the suggestion that they ask Vanilla and Cream as they might know. Or that she may have gone over to visit them.
And, much to the hedgehog's relief, when they inquired the matron rabbit on the girl's whereabouts, she pointed them into her living room. Tails held back to stand beside Vanilla and Cream, who had just woken up and trotted downstairs to greet them. This allowed Sonic to quietly and, surprisingly, slowly tiptoe into the living room and peer over the sofa, observing Amy while she dozed. He smiled widely at her rather adorable posture, curled up and clutching one of the furniture's massive arms while he knees drew up into her gently rising and falling chest.
He would have been content to just watch her for several more minutes. But either he was too loud as he leaned his arms on the sofa's back to prop himself up or Amy could sense his presence. And given the nature of this girl, he was willing to bet that the latter could very well be true. Her eyes popped open and she flipped over to meet his lighter eyes with her darker shade. On the television were victory celebrations and people dancing and singing in the crowded streets, all overjoyed at the news of Eggman's defeat.
"Hey," Sonic chuckled.
She was on him immediately, nearly flying over the couch to wrap her arms around his neck. Amy pulled back after a few seconds to study him and convince her eyes that this was not a dream. "You're back already?" she asked skeptically, still in disbelief.
He nodded. "Yeah. Eggy went down quicker than we thought he would." Indicating the television with his head, he watched her confirm his story by jubilation of the city. He moved to copy her previous actions, allowing his hands to come together at the small of her back and hold her close.
From the entrance to the room, both their ears pricked up when they heard a small voice ask, "So are they still just friends?"
The two hedgehogs grinned sheepishly at one another before Amy answered Cream, who squeaked in surprise. "I don't think so."
"And don't you dare say we can just be friends," the blue hedgehog added, before he focused on the girl in front of him. "I'm not some boy that you can sway easily, but you did it. And with Eggman gone, that means we can do this."
As he leaned in to let his lips mold into hers, she remembered what he had said before he left only twenty-four hours ago. Now everyone's singing and it was all she could do to contain her joy at finally locking lips with her love. Tails and Cream stuck their heads further into the room, trying not to make a sound. But both nodded at one another with a face that clearly said, We knew it'd happen eventually. It's about time."
They pulled apart for one brief moment to catch their breath, neither of them used to a lengthy kiss yet. Sonic took the opportunity to say one more thing. "Ya remember what I told ya last night?"
" 'If you can wait till I get home from defeating Eggman permanently, then I swear to you that we can make this last '," she repeated from memory.
Confirming her answer with a smile, he replied with, "Exactly. And I mean every word." And they once more embraced each other and explored one another's mouth as their younger audience watch on in approval.
A/N: Eh, the ending seems like it may have wavered like most of our other stories. A decent start, but it tapers off near the end.
Sword: But we hoped you, and Silverdawn2010, liked it!
Let us know what you think. And, true to Silverdawn2010's own style, we tried to incorporate some religious allegory and metaphors in this. Have fun spotting them.