A/N: Surprise, surprise! Months later, the epilogue appears as an extra chapter...kinda. I always intended to include one, I just was so sick of the story back then and also ran out of ideas. However, BANG, magic! Thanks for reading again!
P.S. Sorry if the last part has inaccurate information. I did look online, but I winged some of it.
A white gloved hand caressed the red gleaming surface of the Master Emerald, the owner of the appendage sighing softly before removing it.
"Me? Protect this thing? That was your job Knuckles…" a certain black hedgehog voiced as if the echidna so happened to be right in front of him.
As soon as Shadow and Rose arrived back to their reality, their home, the Chaos Emeralds floating mid-air practically yanked their missing sibling from the black hedgehog's grasp, the see-through shrine then vibrating violently. Nothing happened for several seconds, the only sound being the reverberating wind that whipped and licked the glass-like structure. The silence was then broken by an Earth shaking quake that could surely be felt miles away, followed by a discharge of pure Chaos energy, bathing the entire Church. The wild surge of energy exploded upwards, right through the multiple ceilings, kissing the sky, liberating it from the never ending crimson paint that had coated it for nearly one whole day. Both the hedgehogs looked on with astonishment as everything seemed to roll back in time, all that once was returning back to its rightful place, including the very wedding chapel they stood within.
When everything was complete, the Emeralds shimmered joyously at having their brother returned to them and hovered out the entrance of the Church, arranging themselves high in the now clear blue sky in a circular formation, then scattering dazzlingly across the heavens, vanishing from view, lying in wait for the next time they were needed.
Shortly after Rose all but hurled herself happily into her husband's arms, reeling him into a shower of kisses, giggles escaping her lips with the show of affections she delivered. Shadow couldn't help but laugh freely also, which was certainly a rare case since he really didn't like showing his emotional side much.
Then came the time to head on back to the workshop, to greet their probably worried sick friends and well that was quite a memorable interaction to say the least.
Upon pushing the door open, both hedgehogs were met with a shocking sight, their jaw dropping when their eyes landed on Miles and Cream, the latter straddling the other's waist while the fox himself stayed firmly pressed against the couch, comfortably seated. Luckily, the rabbit was still dressed but the same couldn't be said for the fox, then again they do live in a world where no one seemed to care that male animals roam about stark naked.
"Ahem." Rose coughed, Shadow raising a brow when they saw that both the rabbit and fox stiffening comically, the rabbit craning her neck while her boyfriend peered to the side sheepishly.
"Shit Shadow and Rose are back."
Wait for it…wait for it.
"Ohmygosh Shadow and Rose ARE back!" Cream cried out, turning into a blur as she threw herself into the black hedgehog's arms causing him to chuckle.
"I guess I am. Did you miss me?"
Cream smiled, her golden-brown rounded eyes beaming as bright as the brightest of Suns as Shadow patted her back gently.
Rose just smiled at the heartwarming scene, her jaded orbs then landing on the two-tailed fox, who faced her with a smidge of a grin, wearing an apologetic expression as the memories of their last interacting played over and over again with his mind.
Miles thanked God that that hadn't been the last time they'd see each other. He wouldn't have been able to live with himself knowing that a disagreement was the last thing he'd remember Rose by.
"So what happened? You have to tell us!" Cream demanded, peeling herself off Shadow before he became annoyed with her clingy ways.
Rose replied wearily while giving the rabbit a hug they both eagerly wanted. "We will but muchhhh later, after we're well rested because it was an emotional roller-coaster and I'm beyond tired."
Shadow seemed to agree, having the right idea by plopping himself on one of the couches, sighing with relief.
That's when Miles finally decided to jump to his feet and make his way towards the pink hedgehog, awkwardly rubbing the back of his furry head. "Sooo yeahh I'm sorry and stuff."
Rose laughed incredulity. "Really? That's all you got?" she said, her hands on her hips.
Miles latched his hands together, fidgeting uncharacteristically. "Rose, you know I'm not good with apologies-"
She snorted nastily. "Well you better learn, starting now."
Cream and Shadow watched on with interest as Miles sighed, dragging his hand down his face in frustration. "Finnneee! I'm sorry for being an asshole to you and-" He paused, fearing that the name he was going to say was gonna cause him to vomit. "Sonic…"
"Annnddd…" She urged.
"And you were right about the other bastard-"
"I mean the other Sonic being all righteous and whatnot."
"Keep going…" Rose encouraged, her right hand playing with her fingers with fake indifference.
"What the fuck Amy-"
"S'not like you don't swear all the time-"
"You're drifting off topic fox-boy." Rose said amusingly, using the nick-name a certain deceased bat gave him.
"Okay! I'm sorry for punching the shit out of Sonic! There, are you freaking happy?!" the fox sneered out, loathing the predicament he put himself in.
Rose sighed. "I guess…" She threw her hands up in the air in defeat, knowing that that was as close to an apology she was gonna get.
"So is the good Sonic still, ya know, alive?" Cream asked as she returned to the couch, Rose following her example.
"Yeah…he is…"She said with a dreamy sigh.
Shadow frowned, not knowing what to make of that.
The rabbit jumped in the air thankfully. "That's so great! I wish I could see him again!" She chirped, her eyes shining with admiration. Rose was gonna say 'me too' but when she saw Shadow's scowl, him feeling threated by the heroic blue hedgehog's oddly charming ways, she kept her mouth sealed shut.
I better stop before Shadow starts hating him too… she thought, giving her husband a nervous smile.
Then the most important question was voiced by non-other than Miles himself. "And what about the other one?" he asked, holding in his breath.
Shadow smirked, deciding to answer. "Gone. For good this time." Hopefully he added as an afterthought, since the twisted hedgehog had an awful knack of escaping the direst of situations.
"Thank god…" Miles said, giving a true smile, Cream joining him.
A few moments of welcomed silence pass before Shadow spoke.
"So Prower, don't suppose you'd tell us why you thought it would be a good idea to suck each other's faces in the living room." He said, wearing a smirk, clearly enjoying how both Miles and Cream turned into a rambling mess, trying to come up with a reason for their inappropriate behavior. Rose giggled as the fox all but ran to his work station, yelling something about finishing a project he started in the morning.
Cream's eyes narrowed, shaking one fist at the retreating fox. "Coward! How dare you ditch me like this!" She hollered as she stomped off to her boyfriend.
"Good one Shadow! That was awesome! I didn't know you had it in you!" She laughed, scooting closer to him, curling on his side.
"Neither did I." He replied.
Returning to the present, Shadow sighed, obviously distressed over the whole situation with the Master Emerald. He didn't know the first thing of being a Guardian and well to be honest he really didn't care. The red echidna's counterpart had entrusted him to be the new Guardian despite his lack of knowledge of the jewel, despite the fact that he could have just kept the thing himself. However he wondered if the choice he made was more because two of the same kind of jewels can't co-exist in the same place at the same time rather than actually trusting him with the task of guarding it. The hedgehog cursed inwardly, having half a mind to just travel back to where the echidna was with the jewel in hand and just shove it straight up his-
"Maybe I can help you with what troubles you."
Shadow jumped up in defense, now facing the intruder and much to his surprise he was met with an unfamiliar peach colored echidna, who was dressed with tribal wear, her icy blue eyes observing him wisely.
"Who are you?" He asked, his muscles slackening. He couldn't put his finger on it, but for some reason he felt like he knew her.
"I'm Tikal. I-"
"Why do I feel like I know you?" He asked.
Tikal looked away, her line of sight now on the Master Emerald. "It's probably do to the fact that you have been in direct contact with the Master Emerald before and since I was once sealed within it, my Chaos energy is very similar to that of the Emerald's.
The mysterious echidna's eyes returned to the hedgehog, smiling warmly, her elegant features brightening. "As I was saying, I'm Tikal. My spirit was sealed within the Master Emerald in order to protect Chaos but…" Her smile faltered. "But now with Chaos gone, the Emerald is weaken, so the spelled that banded me inside the jewel broke, thus releasing me."
Shadow's eyes narrowed with suspicion.
Tikal sighed, as she walked to the jewel, placing her hand on its surface before sending a small jolt of Chaos energy, making it pulse radiantly.
Shadow tensed yet again. "Hey?! What did you just do?!"
"Calm yourself. I just gave it some of my own energy to help it heal faster because whatever it went through recently caused its infinite energy to deplete. Malicious energy negates the Emerald's special ability to remain infinite in power. If the negative energy continues to expand once absorbed, the Emerald would eventually die, leaving it nothing more than an empty shell of its former self. Only pure positive energy could remain infinite within the Emerald."
Shadow's eyes widened. "So what you're saying is that whatever evil gets ahold of it wouldn't be able to last forever in the long run."
Tikal nodded. "Precisely."
Well then…it's nice to know that Sonic wouldn't have been able to succeed in his insane quest after all.
"So why did you choose to appear now?"
Tikal sat on the steps near the red jewel. "Let me explain…Chaos is the true guardian of the Master Emerald, however he guards the jewel while inside. About 4,000 years ago, my father, Pachacamac, tried to steal both the Chaos Emeralds and the Master Emerald to use it for war, to gain the power to defeat our enemies, to protect our tribe. However, it was a foolish idea to fight the other clans using the jewel's power since all that would do is create more and more destruction. I begged father to go another route, a more peaceful approach but he stubbornly refused to do so, saying that it would never put a stop to war, that it would just show that they were weak. He believed using the Emeralds' power to install fear was the best course of action."
"But it truly wasn't and I, out of pure panic, rushed to Chaos to warn him of my father's wicked plans to steal the jewels, telling him to take his children, the Chao, and leave. That I would take care of my father and protect the Emeralds. However he refused, saying that he couldn't leave the alter unguarded for even a second. So I left to make another attempt to try to talk my father out of his plans but he still didn't want to listen. In the end my father along with the aid of most of our clan led a reckless attack on the shrine, ultimately leading to not only his death, but our whole entire clan, only I remained as the sole survivor."
"So Chaos basically murdered your clan because your father pissed him off." Shadow said, clearly interested with the tale being told.
Tikal jerked her head back cutely, not understanding what 'pissed' meant, but given the context, she was able to put together its meaning. "Y-yes. Chaos became enraged and used negative chaos energy to achieve his last form. Even after killing everyone in my clan, he continued his rampage so I took drastic measures and used a mantra my grandmother taught me-"
Shadow snapped his fingers, interrupting Tikal. "Oh, the chant that Knuckles says all the time to activate the Master Emerald's power."
Tikal nodded. "Yes, however the only way to use that mantra against Chaos was to sacrifice my spirit and use it as a means to seal Chaos within the Master Emerald. But now that Chaos and the one you call Knuckles is gone, do to the wicked hedgehog, my spirit was freed."
Shadow smirked, causing Tikal to look at him strangely.
"So… does that mean you can be the new guardian of the jewel?"
100 is my wish!
Ya'll like Miles better now...right? RIGHT?! I sure hope NOT!
(Posted: 8-22-2014, Thursday Morning)