There really is nothing I can say to even begin to compensate for the ridiculously long wait. I'm not even sure of how it happened. I just drifted away from the story and slowly lost inspiration. Now that I've started college the workload is immense and it really threw me off but I know these things don't excuse it so enough of that.
FINALLY, I've updated. But I couldn't have done it without the amazing Skyelara being my beta. She was always willing to go over it and she gave me such good advice. Thank you, Skyelara. This chapter is dedicated to you. :)
Thank you so so so much to everyone who has ever read, reviewed or favourited this story. It means so much to me and I feel awful for leaving you all hanging. Time for the final shout-out :') Skyelara, SmileRen, Karanma Maeryl, PinkblurAmy, Super-Shadow1248, hot pink123, hollie the hedgehog, Scourge's number one stalker, XxXxchilidogluvXxXx, SonamyLovah, Danielle Fenton, BlueyO, Moon over Rainbow, IOwnSonicX, brittney THE hedgehog99, Fennec the Fox, RaptureEntince, Zari Thorn96, xxBrownSugarxx, Starfrost of ThornClan, 4everLucky18, Miss Topaz, MegaTJ, Pura blaze, Asakura-chan, Clove the girl with knives 59, BlueTheHedgehog1, Nicoleathome, Milo's crazy123, cece, The Empty Lord (I'm really sorry) and the guest reviewers, thank you all for your lovely reviews.
Your kind words have made me smile time and time again. You didn't deserve the wait and I'm truly sorry for that.
At least I've learned a valuable lesson: plan your stories.
I can't thank you enough for not giving up on me. I means the world. :')
And once again, I apologise for the wait. (I can tell I'm going to get several lectures... O_o)
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the finale of Me, Myself and Andy. :)
Chapter 20 – Amy Rose
The ceiling wavered through Amy's lidded gaze as she blinked rapidly in effort to wake herself up. Her vision seemed to split in two, drifting aimlessly, before finally slotting back into place. She squinted, slowly becoming aware of a distant throbbing in her head. As the nerves in her body slowly came back to life, she sat up and observed her surroundings, surprised to find herself on a bed. The familiar cream-coloured walls and the scent of the sheets below her seeped into her mind, reminding her of where she was. Tails's Workshop.
She closed her eyes, willing her memories to engulf her. She remembered fighting Eraditron, keeping it away from Sonic. She remembered struggling, clinging onto the robot for all she was worth. Then Sonic had appeared. He'd been… healed somehow? And then… The rest was black. She must have passed out, which meant that someone must have brought her here.
The thought had barely left her mind before she forced herself out of bed, staggering from the sudden movement and the accompanying dizziness. She grabbed her sunglasses, clumsily settling them on her nose, and made her way into the main workshop. She found Tails sitting at his desk, tinkering with a small gadget. His ears perked up, alert, at the sound of her entering the room and he swivelled to face her, a comforting smile on his face.
"You're awake," he said. "That was quick. I thought you'd be out for a while longer."
Amy cleared her throat, relieved to find the remaining traces of light-headedness fading away. "Did… did you bring me here?" she asked. But before he could answer, a stream of questions spilled from her lips. "What happened to Sonic? Is he okay? Did he beat that robot?"
"Of course he did," he replied, chuckling slightly at her panic. "And he's fine. After the Chaos Emeralds healed him, he had no problem."
"The Chaos Emeralds did that? But I thought they'd lost their power."
"So did I, but somehow they regained it just when Sonic needed it most. Although," he said thoughtfully, "they've never done that when there were less than seven before. I didn't think it was possible."
Amy looked down for a moment. "Chaos is the power enriched by the heart," she murmured. Could it be…? A tiny smile pulled at her lips. "Is he here?" she asked.
Tails shook his head. "He left as soon as he'd brought you back here," he said.
Amy's attention snapped back onto Tails, her heart lifting. "Sonic brought me here?"
"Yeah, after he beat Eggman's robot."
She felt her hope - guarded as it was - begin to grow. "I need to talk to him!" she said. "Did he tell you where he was going?"
"No, sorry," Tails said. "But it's worth checking Never Lake. He's been going there a lot lately."
There it was again, that tingling warmth in Amy's heart that spread throughout her body. "H-he has?" she said, her voice barely leaving her throat.
"Yep," he replied. "Almost every time he's been somewhere, it's Never Lake. I don't think he even notices it. I'm not sure why, though. Maybe there's a secret stash of chilli dogs there?" he joked.
Amy bit her lip. Could it really be true that Sonic the Hedgehog, the carefree hero who never gave a second to the past, had been going to Never Lake? It was almost unfathomable. The thought of him spending time in one place was strange in itself but to think that he'd spent that time where they'd met…. For Amy, Never Lake was the most sacred place in the world; the moment that she met Sonic was the moment that she truly started to live her life. It meant everything to her.
It was only then that she began to wonder, did it mean that much to him? What if he too felt that beautiful nostalgia wash over him every time he went there?
Cursing her over-emotional mind, she felt her eyes begin to water. "T-Tails, I've got to go," she said, rushing to the door. "I've got to find him."
"Oh, okay," he said, sending her an encouraging smile as she left. "Good luck!"
Amy barely remembered to close the door after herself as she ran out of the workshop. She didn't need to think about where she was going; the directions were engraved into her heart. As her footsteps pounded into the ground below her, her mind ran through all of the things that she could say. She had no idea of how she was going to tell him the truth. At this point, she wasn't even sure if he'd listen to her. What if he was still so angry that he didn't want to talk? Even if he did listen, she wouldn't know how to even begin justifying how stupid she'd been.
How crazy was she to think that pretending to be a boy would make Sonic like her? It anything, it would only make him fear her. She just hadn't thought of that. She'd assumed that he'd see how much closer they were and that everything would fall into place, like a fairytale. Amy frowned, forcing herself to ignore the strain from her muscles as she ran. She wouldn't wait for destiny to write her own fairytale anymore. She needed to take her life into her own hands and fix the mess she'd made.
Maybe she had been stupid and crazy, but it didn't stop Amy from looking back on her time with Sonic and wishing that she could relive every second. Her heart drummed into her chest as she remembered exploring Mobius with him and learning things about him that she'd never known before. She remembered the way he made her laugh, time and time again. She remembered him running with her, wrestling with her, confiding in her. Each second in his company, shining more brightly than the next, drifted through her mind in a glowing storm of memories.
They fuelled her, urging her to run faster as she charged through the trees. She let them fill her mind and allowed only her instincts to guide her. Already she was nearing the glade that had started it all. Overcome with emotion, she stumbled into the clearing, forcing herself to stop as her eyes found him instantly. He was sitting on the grass with his arms resting on his knees as he stared into the distance, though she could tell that he wasn't playing attention to the scenery. She held a hand over her chest, willing it to stop heaving with every breath that forced through her lungs.
She focused on him, stepping forward softly, almost afraid of him hearing her. As if he'd sensed her, his ear twitched and he turned to face her, stopping her in her tracks. He stood up, surprised. For a moment they simply stood staring at each other, neither of them saying a word. The silence was killing her but Amy was scared to break it. She stayed there, with several metres between them, knowing that she should close the distance but refusing to move. She steeled herself. "Hi," she said quietly.
"Hey," he replied, his expression unchanging.
Her mind went blank. Everything that she'd considered saying on the way there had vanished. "Tails told me you might be here," she said. "He said you've been coming here… often."
"Yeah," he said. "Yeah, I guess I have."
The silence began to rear its ugly head again. Amy fidgeted, feeling the awkward atmosphere looming over her. To her surprise, Sonic broke it.
"I, err… I wanted to say thank you," he told her. "For yesterday. You… you really saved me. If it wasn't for you I'd probably be mince meat."
Amy let a smile settle on her lips. "You're welcome," she said, finally walking towards him. "There was no way I was letting him crush you while-"
"But," he said, interrupting her, "that doesn't change what happened. It doesn't fix what you did."
She stopped, feeling guilty again as her smile faded. Sonic was obviously still sour after her 'betrayal'. They were closer now, to the point where she could say something without having to project her voice across the field. She had the opportunity to make things right but she was terrified of making everything worse.
"Sonic," she began, trying to sound more confident than she felt. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry for giving you all this trouble but trust me, I'm not dating… Amy. It's not like that at all."
Sonic's brow furrowed and he sighed tiredly. "Andy, I don't wanna talk about this. It's okay, I get it. You're with Amy. No problem. Just leave me out of it." He turned away, and started walking towards the edge of the clearing. "Nice knowing you, Andy," he said.
Amy was still for a moment, stunned, before she ran in front of him. "Wait!" she cried. "Just listen to me."
"Just drop it, will ya?" he growled.
"No!" she said firmly, blocking his path. "Not until you listen. I'm not with Amy, I swear to you."
Sonic lost all traces of weariness as he turned on her, glaring. "So that's why you had her keys, huh?" he demanded. "That's why you were outside her house in the middle of the night? You were lying to us the whole time!"
"Just give me a chance to explain!"
"What reasons could you possibly have for any of that? I don't want to hear it."
"Why can't you just trust me?" she asked, her voice rising in frustration.
He paused for a second. "I did, Andy," he said slowly. "I did."
Amy bit her lip, hating how hurt he looked as he said that. "Sonic, please…," she said, her voice faltering. "Please listen. Me and Amy… are not dating. At all."
Amy sighed, defeated. This was it. She was done playing around, and Sonic deserved to know the truth. "I'm not with Amy," she said, "because…" She bowed her head, taking off her sunglasses and the baseball cap and throwing them to the ground, before forcing her slanted quills down into their original shape. She looked up, and using her normal voice she said, "I am Amy."
Everything in Sonic's demeanour changed. His jaw dropped and his eyes widened as he stepped back in shock. He was frozen on the spot, staring at her. The only part of him that moved was his eyes, as they flickered over her, making sure she was real, before returning to her face.
Amy wet her lips nervously, waiting for him to say something. She'd never seen him look so taken aback. He'd been gaping at her for what felt like hours. She offered him a tiny smile, though his expression was filling her with guilt. It was as if he didn't trust his own eyes. He blinked hard, and then finally he looked down, as if it had all dawned on him. He shook his head, his eyes still wide in disbelief.
"Wow," he murmured, running a hand through his quills. He looked back up at her, and Amy felt her stomach begin to somersault. Then he turned away.
"Sonic?" she said.
He didn't move. She walked over to him, gingerly stepping beside him.
"Sonic?" she tried again.
"So you did lie," he said quietly.
Amy swallowed thickly, unsure of whether or not she should speak.
"You lied to all of us. We thought…. We thought you were gone. But you were there the whole time," he said, almost musingly. He stared into the horizon, as if trying to make sense of it.
Amy's ears lowered. "I'm sorry," she said, her voice barely surpassing a whisper. She watched his shoulders rise and fall as he breathed deeply.
"All that time… Nearly three weeks," he murmured. "I just can't believe…" He shook his head again. Then he chuckled, startling her, though he didn't look at all amused. "I guess that explains why we couldn't find you," he said.
"Sonic," she said anxiously. "I… I never..." She clenched her fists, frustrated with herself. "I-I didn't mean to make-"
"What the heck were you thinking, Amy?" he demanded, suddenly meeting her gaze so strongly that she almost wished he hadn't.
She leaned back from him, feeling like a child being scolded by their parent. "I-I'm sorry," she stammered.
"We thought you'd just run off," he said, his wounded gaze burning with ardent green flames. "No one knew where you were. We didn't even know when you were coming back."
"I know and I'm sorry-"
"But you were there the whole time."
"I know it was-"
Sonic huffed, clearly getting agitated. "I just don't get why you'd you do something like that!" he exclaimed.
"Because I wanted you to spend time with me!" she shouted.
The world around them fell into silence. Amy felt herself shaking lightly as tears begin to cloud her vision.
Sonic stepped back, his frustration dissolving instantly as he regarded her with wide eyes. "What?"
"I… I wanted you to s-stop running from me," she said, hating the fact that the tears were now rolling down her cheeks.
He was still staring at her, bewildered. She breathed an unsteady sigh, trying to compose herself despite the tiny streams that ran from her eyes.
"Remember th-the last day that I was… me? When I saw you and Knuckles in the park?" she said.
He paused, then nodded slowly as he began to look less surprised.
"Well, when I tried to talk to you, you just ran away. You always run from me. And… and Knuckles said that it could be because I was a girl and that girls make you nervous.
"He said that if I was a boy you'd be more comfortable around me, so it got me thinking. I thought that if I pretended to be a boy… maybe we could be closer." She swallowed, resisting the urge to wipe her eyes. "And I know, it w-was a crazy idea and I didn't think it through, but I just wanted so badly for you to be happy around me."
Sonic's expression remained unfathomable, but Amy could tell that he was listening intently, waiting to hear everything that she had to say. She steeled herself to carry on. Sonic needed to know the truth if he was ever going to forgive her.
"I never thought that anyone would worry," she said. "I honestly didn't mean for you to go looking for me. I-I didn't think you would. And I was trying to lie as little as possible but when you found my purse and I kept letting things slip out, I… It just got s-so complicated! And then R-Rouge got involved, and I…" An abrupt sob forced back her speech, and she inwardly cursed herself for being such a wreck. "It was wrong of me to lie to you for so long but th-the longer I left it, the harder it was to stop! And I was so scared that when I told you truth, everything would go back to normal and you'd run away from me again. And I know it was stupid and I-I should never have done it in the first place and I h-hate myself for hurting you, but…" She took a deep breath. "I wouldn't take back the time we spent together for anything in the world."
A flicker of something indecipherable danced across Sonic's eyes and Amy paused, unsure of what it meant.
Hesitantly, she said, "Even though I was pretending to be someone else, it was still me that got to spend all that time with you. We bonded faster than I knew was possible and I learnt things about you that, as Amy, I could never have known. But as Andy, I could. It was like meeting you all over again and I…" Her words were suddenly caught in her throat, as if her mind had dragged them back, afraid of how honest they were. She kept her mouth shut, refusing to let them pass.
As she'd expected, silence fell over them once again. She fidgeted, waiting for Sonic to speak. She'd had her say; now it was his turn. But his eyes continued to drift from her gaze to the ground and back again, while not a word left his lips. "Say something," she whispered, as if speaking too loudly might scare him away.
He sighed, looking at her. "You did all of that…," he said, "you pretended to be someone else, you lied to all of us for three weeks… just to get closer to me?"
Amy nodded, wiping her eyes. Somehow she didn't think he was going to forgive her very easily.
"That's crazy, Amy," he said.
"I know," she murmured, feeling worse as he stared into her eyes. At least he didn't look so angry anymore.
"But you know what's worse?"
She said nothing, dread creeping into her mind.
The corners of his mouth suddenly perked upwards. "You listened to Knuckles," he said.
Amy's dismay was instantly forgotten as she stared at him, taken by surprise.
"Out of all the people to take advice from… you listened to Knuckles?" The tiny smile on his lips stretched into a smirk as the spark began to return to his eyes. "He doesn't think, he just says stuff. You know that, Amy. Why would you listen to him?"
Amy was too shocked for words. She wasn't sure how to respond to his sudden teasing, though it comforted her slightly.
"Second of all, of course I'd look for you," he said. "Why wouldn't I?"
"I-I left a note saying where I was," she said quietly.
Sonic let out a gentle laugh. "Right. Amy Rose left home to clear her head?"
"What's wrong with that?" she demanded.
"If it was from Shadow, I'd believe it," he said. "But from you?" He shook his head. "I didn't believe it for one second."
Amy couldn't help feeling touched that he knew her well enough not to believe her excuse. No one else had raised suspicion. They'd just accepted it. But despite everything, Sonic had gone to look for her. Maybe the whole plan had been a stupid idea to begin with; it was becoming clear that Sonic knew her more than she realised.
"I'm sorry, Sonic," she whispered, feeling her eyes well up again. "I know I made a mistake and I should've ended it sooner, but... you seemed to like being with me when I was a boy and I didn't want that to end," she admitted.
"Amy…" He stepped forward, putting his hands on her shoulders. He locked his gaze onto hers. "You don't have to be a boy for me to like you," he said sincerely.
"But I kept thinking you liked Andy so much more than… Amy," she said, saddened by the thought.
"But the reason I liked Andy so much," he said, smiling at her, "is because he reminded me of Amy. Because he was Amy."
She began to smile back through her tears. "Really?" she breathed.
"Well, you were the same person, weren't ya?" he said. "No wonder I liked him."
Amy was sure she could feel her heart soaring at that statement but she kept it anchored. "But… you were never like that with the real me."
Sonic hesitated. He opened his mouth to speak, his eyes briefly dropping the barriers of his mind, before he closed it again. He looked down, letting his hands slip from her shoulders. Amy felt an unbearable wave of frustration crash through her, dragging with it the idea that Sonic was still as closed off from her as he was before.
They'd come so far…
"Please don't, Sonic," she pleaded, feeling those cursed tears returning. "Don't hide yourself from me."
He met her eyes again, though he didn't say a word.
She clamped her eyes shut, wishing that she could escape from the mess she'd made. "This is what I was scared of," she whispered. "We got so close over the past three weeks, but now it's going to be like nothing happened, isn't it?" She jumped as she felt his hands move back onto her shoulders, more tightly than before.
He wasn't offering her with a teasing smile or even a kind one; he was simply looking into her eyes. "No," he said firmly. "No, it's not gonna be like that. Amy, I-I'm sorry I ran from you. It wasn't right. I'm sorry."
Amy was speechless. She'd half-expected him to brush off the conversation completely and yet here he was apologising, when she was the one who'd caused so much trouble. "Th-Thank you," she said. "But it's… okay. I know now that I was making you uncomfortable when I was talking about romance all the time. I should've learned to stop that."
For a moment Sonic looked sad, and almost angry at himself. He frowned. Amy was sure there was something that he wasn't saying. He grunted, his eyes snapping into resolve.
"I didn't run from you just because of that," he blurted. "I ran because… Because I didn't… I didn't know how to deal with…." He tensed, and Amy saw the agitation of someone who was breaking through their walls for the first time. Not because they had to, but because they wanted to, and that in itself was part of the problem. As she stared into his eyes, felt the grip of his fingers on her shoulders, it was beginning to dawn on her that maybe Sonic the Hedgehog felt scared sometimes too.
He huffed again, determination solidifying the waves of anxiety in his gaze. "I ran because I can't control the way I feel when… when I'm with you," he finished softly.
Butterflies erupted in Amy's stomach. She tried to process what he'd said but she wasn't sure that she could trust her mind in translating what he meant by it. Naturally, her initial thoughts were that he really cared for her, as she'd already started to think during her time as Andy. And it could have been in her imagination, but his cheeks appeared to be taking on a hint of red. "Do you mean, you…?" she trailed off.
Sonic's smile was beginning to appear sheepish, which looked strange and foreign on his face. "Yeah," he said.
Finally, things were beginning to slot into place. Amy was wondering how on earth she was supposed to have known that he felt the same way, while at the same time, scolding herself for it being so obvious. She'd never felt so confused yet so sure about anything before in her life. She thought back to the two of them going on their searches, and Sonic's determination to find her. She thought of him reading the note, of the gathering at the beach and how, at the time, she couldn't understand why he'd looked so unhappy.
She remembered how surprised she'd been when he was standing outside her house on the night that he heard her in the kitchen. She remembered his face when they were at Never Lake and he'd confessed to feeling like everything was his fault. She thought of the hurt in his eyes when he thought she'd betrayed him. All of the signs had been there, but she'd never seen them. She was thrilled, yet frustrated that it had taken so much to reach this moment. Her mind was a tornado of feelings, each one rebounding off another and whipping around her before she had a chance to register it.
Overwhelmed by the storm of emotions in her head, she threw her arms around the only stability left: Sonic. She clung onto him, her arms around his neck, sobbing as if her tears were draining her inner turmoil. She wasn't surprised when he returned the embrace, as she would have been before all of this had started. His arms felt strong and safe, wrapped around her, holding her as if she would disappear. There were so many things that she wanted to say but it came out condensed into two little words. "Me too."
Sonic's grip tightened in response, but not uncomfortably. Amy sniffled, smiling through her tears. It was almost funny; all this time she'd been trying to earn his affections when she already had them.
"I can't believe you did all that just to try and make us closer," he said, and Amy felt his chest rise vibrating lightly as he spoke.
She closed her eyes, relaxed by his scent. "It was worth it," she whispered. She wasn't sure if he heard her.
There was a pause before he said, "Everyone worried about you, you know."
She pulled back to look at him, feeling guilt crawling back to her. "Even you?"
Sonic almost laughed. He pointed to the bottom of his eyes. "Why don't you ask these guys?"
Amy looked closer, noticing for the first time the dark circles under his eyes. She stared at him, feeling worse than ever. She couldn't imagine Sonic losing sleep over her. "Oh, Sonic," she whispered, tearing up again.
"It's okay, Amy," he chuckled. "Don't cry." He reached his hand up to her cheek, somewhat bashfully, and wiped away a tear with his thumb. "But can you do me a favour?"
She nodded, studying his tender smile.
"Promise me you won't ever do that again."
"I thought you liked Andy," she said with a breathless giggle.
"I did," he said, taking her hands in his and squeezing them gently. "But I like him a lot more as a girl."
She squeezed his hands in return, allowing a smile to settle on her lips. "I promise."
She moved back into the embrace, wrapping her arms around his neck and resting her head on his shoulder. "I preferred being a girl anyway," she murmured.
"Well that makes things easier," he joked. "I don't know how I'd explain to our friends that I'm dating a boy."
Amy found herself giggling again. She was content for the moment, letting her mind wander until it came to rest on something that refused to leave. "That reminds me," she said. "Our first day of training in Silver Valley, when we were wrestling…" She felt him stiffen. Well, that settled one thing; it hadn't been in her imagination.
"I… I don't know what you're talking about," he said.
Amy looked him in the eye, feeling her lips stretch into a teasing grin. "Yes, you do," she said. "You were going to–"
"I wasn't gonna do anything," he protested, though his cheeks were beginning to look red again.
"I knew it!" She couldn't help laughing at the look of embarrassment on his face. "You were going to kiss a boy!"
"I was not. You're a girl."
"But you didn't know that."
Sonic stayed silent for a moment, and Amy knew he was beaten.
"D-don't take it the wrong way," he said, definitely turning red at this point. "I'm not on that side of the fence."
Amy was trying to contain her grin but Sonic blushing was the cutest thing she'd ever seen.
"It's just when your sunglasses fell off... I recognised your eyes and… and I don't know what came over me. I guess part of me knew it was you."
"You can't fool the heart," Amy said, her smile losing all traces of mockery.
"Guess not," Sonic agreed, gently stroking her cheek with his finger. "You can't run from it either."
They chuckled softly at the irony of their words. Sonic pulled her closer to him, holding her lovingly.
"So…" he said with a hint of mischief. "Now that I know it was you, can we try that kiss again? And I'm sure you are a girl this time."
A giggle of genuine happiness bubbled from Amy's lips. "I'd like that," she whispered, and everything that had ever caused her heartache was suddenly melted away with a single kiss.
Sonic the Hedgehog was finally hers. He was there with her, holding her, kissing her, loving her, and all without her pretending to be someone else. At last, she understood. She was Amy Rose, and there was no one else that she'd rather have been.
I really hope you liked that. The ending had me bugged for ages so I hope it's all right. I was trying so hard to sum up all the themes while not boring everyone to death. Hopefully I've managed...
It's been such a long journey, I can't believe it's over. I haven't stopped writing on FF but I will be less active, as I'm sure you can already tell. :/ Check my profile for updates. :)
Again, thank you all. And thank you Skyelara. ^_^ (If you haven't read her stories, I'd seriously recommend them.)
Thank you a thousand times for your feedback. And I wish you all a (delayed) Happy New Year! :')