Chapter 3 - Love

Several days had passed since the incident involving Ani-Mobius's Sally, and everything was starting to return to a regular routine. Unfortunately, that included certain other routines that were best left gone...

"NOT AGAIN!!" Tails said, as he once again found himself climbing out of Masaki lake. Sure enough, he had gotten himself drenched as a way of waking up, and two of the women to blame, namely Ryoko and Ayeka, were busy fighting again. After drying himself off, Tails managed to find his shoes and gloves and headed towards Washu's lab to do some work, and to escape the commotion. It was then that he noticed an anomaly...

"Strange, usually Sonic's up by now," Tails thought to himself as he looked around for his friend. "I wonder where...?" It was then he saw Sonic walking out of the bathroom, but the look on Sonic's face made it seem that he hadn't slept a wink. Tails decided to find out what was wrong, and ran up to the blue hedgehog.

"Sonic," Tails said, "are you...?" It was then that he got a real good look at Sonic's face...for it looked like he was crying not too long ago. "Sonic, what's wrong?"

"It's...nothing, Tails..." Sonic said, trying to avoid the conversation.

"It's SOMETHING, Sonic," Tails said. "Come on...you can tell me!"

Sonic looked at Tails, and then bowed his head. "I had that nightmare again...the one where I saw Mom die..."

"Oh no..." Tails said, and looked with worry at his friend.

"I can't get that out of my head, Tails," Sonic said. "Even after the Arcadian Sonic's family adopted me, I still can't let go..."

"Sonic, I understand..." Tails said, and laid a paw on Sonic's shoulder. "Maybe, you can talk to the other Sonic, see if he can help..."

"I hope so, Tails..." Sonic said. Almost on cue, the two of them heard Sasami greeting someone at the front door of the Masaki residence. In fact, it was a group that included all the members of the Heroes Council: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Link, Zelda, Megaman, Protoman, Bass, Arcadia's Sonic, Arcadia's Tails, Arcadia's Knuckles, Vegeta, Serena, Tai, Agumon, Spider-Man, and Anthony. Sasami had decided to invite the group to a "Hero's Brunch" to celebrate the new alliance between Arcadia and Ani-Mobius.

"Thanks for inviting us, Sasami," Link said as the group entered the eating area. "But, won't Tenchi be a little angry at what you did?"

"He knows," Sasami said. "He actually thought it was a great idea..."

"CHAIR AT TWELVE O'CLOCK!" Bass yelled, as he pushed Serena out of the way and punched a piece of furniture that was flying towards the group. The rest of them looked towards the source and found Ayeka and Ryoko still arguing.

"Now you see why I don't like coming here in the mornings," Vegeta said.

"Yeah, your world's Sonic warned us about that," Zelda remarked.

It was then that Arcadia Sonic laid eyes on his Ani-Earth adopted brother, and saw that he looked somewhat bummed. "Bro? Are you alright?"

SegaSonic looked up towards his other self, and Arcadia Sonic could see the sadness in his eyes. "I...just had a nightmare," SegaSonic said, "about Mom, my first one. Couldn't sleep much after that..."

"Man..." Arcadia Sonic said, and then asked SegaTails to leave the two of them alone to talk. He then sat down and looked into his adopted brother's eyes. "Bro...Sonikku..." Arcadia Sonic said, mentioning SegaSonic's real name, "is there something I can do? Maybe we can talk to Mom..."

"I don't know, Maurice," Sonikku said, now mentioning Arcadia Sonic's real name. (A/N: And because it's WAY too tedious to type Arcadia Sonic and SegaSonic all the time!) "I just wish I could finally let go. I mean...I nearly killed Eggman because of what happened to her..."

Maurice realized what Sonikku was saying and came up with an idea. "Maybe...if we could find something of hers...it might ease the pain. Where did you live?"

Sonikku looked up and said, "South Island. I'll take you there...Washu can set up a portal to there."

Maurice nodded, and the two Sonics headed towards Washu's lab. What they didn't know, was they were being watched by the eyes of Anthony, who had sensed Sonikku's sadness earlier.

"Poor guy..." Anthony thought to himself. "Earlier I was wishing the Sega version was correct, and it's not any better..."

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Very little was left of the house that was once Sonikku's home. Wrecked furniture, charred walls, and broken glass were seen everywhere. Sonikku was having a harder time than before...and was fighting hard to keep the tears back. Maurice saw this and said, "Just let it go, bro..." Sonikku then sat down on the ground and let out a large batch of tears, and Maurice knelt down to give his adopted brother a shoulder to cry on. After a while, Sonikku finally calmed down.

"Feel any better?" Maurice asked. After Sonikku nodded, Maurice then said, "Come on, let's see what we can salvage..."

The two Sonics walked around, looking for anything that was left of Sonikku's family. Eventually, Maurice found what looked like an old photo album, still in somewhat good condition. He grabbed it and brought it to where Sonikku was looking around. "Bro, look what I found!"

Sonikku saw the album, and the two sat down to leaf through it. "Man...I don't believe this survived the attack!" Sonikku said.

As they opened the album, the first thing that caught Maurice's eye was a photo of Sonikku's mom. "Whoa...she DOES look a lot like Mom," Maurice said.

"Yeah...I know," Sonikku said. "It was one of the reasons your mom reminded me of her so much..."

"Hey, she's your mom too now," Maurice said, and the two continued to leaf through the album. Suddenly, the two of them paused when they saw a family photo, showing Sonikku as a younger child, his mother, his father...and two other children!

"Wha...?" Sonikku said. "Who...who are those two?!?"

Maurice carefully took the photo out of the album and checked the other side, seeing if something was written on the back. Something was scrawled on the back, saying "Our family, 1987."

"Bro," Maurice said, "I think those two are your siblings."

"But, that's impossible!" Sonikku said. "I don't have any siblings!"

"Looks like you do, bro," Maurice said, and then found a couple of other photos with the other two kids. "Here's one that says 'Sonikku, Sandra, and Mark'. Looks like you have a brother and a sister like I do."

Sonikku was still finding this hard to believe. "But...where are they? Are they still alive somewhere?"

"I don't know," Maurice said, and then got an idea. "But I know how we can find out!"

"How?" Sonikku said.

"Anthony..."

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Anthony looked around at the wreckage of the home and wondered how anything could've survived the attack, much less a photo album. He was also afraid of what type of images would appear if he used his Past Sight power.

"Sonikku," Anthony said, deciding to use the two Sonics' real names to tell them apart, "I don't know how I'll be able to find these two other hedgehogs. With Tails and Amy on Mobius, I had some type of time frame to work with..."

"Just find out whatever you can," Sonikku said. "I'm not expecting a miracle."

"Alright..." Anthony said. "I just hope I can find anything."

Anthony then focused on the home, trying to pick up whatever images he could. He decided to focus on a few minutes before whatever attack occurred at the home, and was surprised by what he saw...

"What...the...HELL?" Anthony said.

*IMAGE STARTS*

"Hello?" Belle Hedgehog said, talking into the phone. She, her husband, Jackson, and her son, Sonikku, were busy celebrating the defeat of Robotnik, which Sonikku was a great part of. "Who? AUNT ROSE?!? But...I thought you and the kids died in that fire!!! What? The kids survived?!? Oh thank God...how'd you find us? You saw the report on Sonic and looked us up? I can't wait to see you again...where are you? Westside Island...Emerald Hill Zone? We'll be right there!!!"

Suddenly, the scene took a more graphic turn as various explosions could be heard outside, and Sonic ran in, telling his parents of Robotnik's attack...

*IMAGE ENDS*

"Oh my God..." Anthony said once he stopped seeing the image.

"Anth, what is it?" Maurice said.

"Guys...just before the attack on Sonikku's parents, they received a phone call from an 'Aunt Rose'," Anthony said. "Apparently, pictures of Sonikku after his first defeat of Robotnik were recognized by her, and she called to try to reunite everyone. Apparently, she thought Sonikku and the two parents had died from a fire a while back...and vice versa regarding her and the two siblings."

"Whoa..." Sonikku said, "that must've been what my mom was trying to talk about before she died. Did you get anything else?"

"Yes, a location of where they might be," Anthony said. "Westside Island, in the Emerald Hill Zone."

"We've got to go there!" Sonikku said, gathering up some photos and putting them in his left glove. "I'll get Tails and have him fly us there!"

"I've got a better idea, Sonikku," Anthony said, touching Soniku's forehead. "Concentrate on an image of the Emerald Hill Zone..."

"What are you doing, Anth?" Maurice asked.

Anthony concentrated for a while, and then nodded as if he had received some information. "Excellent..." he said, and then turned towards Maurice. "Maurice, I'm going to take Sonikku to Emerald Hill myself. Go back and tell the others what I'm doing."

"But...how are you and Sonikku going to Westside?" Maurice asked. He got his answer when the two of them disappeared right in front of him. "Oh...forgot..."

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Anthony and Sonikku materialized near a city somewhere in the Emerald Hill Zone. Or at least...in the ruins of a city...

"Must've been destroyed during Buttnik's second attack," Anthony said, looking around and spying something peeking out of the rubble. Anthony picked it up, and noticed it was a portion of a picture in a broken frame. Anthony noticed two hedgehog faces in the photo. "Looks like your siblings were here..."

"Oh no..." Sonikku said. "Don't tell me they're..."

"Hang on, Sonic," Anthony said, using his nickname now that there was only one present. "Let me check the area..." Anthony then used his Past Sight again and saw an image of the fight. He noticed the two hedgehogs in the photograph trying to protect an elder hedgehog, but the elder hedgehog took a mortal wound from a laser blast. He then saw the two hedgehog running into a wooded area nearby.

"Looks like they survived, and ran into the woods," Anthony said. "Aunt Rose didn't make it though...come on, we've got to follow this image!"

Sonikku followed Anthony as Anthony ran through the wooded area, following the psionic signal he was picking up from the Past Sight. They followed the signal for what seemed to be hours, and then Anthony nearly collapsed at one point.

"Anth, what's wrong?" Sonikku asked.

"Psionic depletion," Anthony said. "I should've brought some amino water with me. Hang on...I have one chance." Anthony then activated his Descendancy Powers, causing the Armor of the Gamemaster to cover him, and stood up as if he was reenergized. "That did it...come on."

The two continued to run through the woods as Anthony followed the psionic signal. Though Anthony still kept running at a good clip, Sonikku saw that Anthony was struggling to maintain his concentration. After another few hours, Anthony collapsed.

"Anth!!!" Sonikku said, and tried to help Anthony up.

"No..." Anthony said, weakly. "Not now...I'm so close..." Suddenly, Anthony Armor disappeared and reverted to the red plate...a clear sign that the Descendancy Powers were depleted.

"Anth...what happened?" Sonikku said, worried about Anthony's condition.

"Sorry, Sonic..." Anthony said, sounding as if he was struggling to remain conscious. "I have to...rest..." After saying that, Anthony collapsed further, still alive, but unconscious.

"Oh man..." Sonikku said, worried about Anthony's condition. He then yelled, "HELP!!! I NEED HELP OVER HERE!!!"

Almost as if they knew they were there, two hooded figures appeared out a patch of the woods and walked up to the two of them. "Who...who are you?" Sonikku said.

"Friends," one of the figures said, with an obviously female voice. She then turned towards the other figure. "Let's get him into the house. We can treat him there."

"Alright," the other figure, speaking with a male voice said, and then turned towards Sonikku. "What happened to him?"

"He just needs to rest," Sonikku said. "I'll explain when we get him to your house."

The three of them then picked up Anthony and walked towards another portion of the woods, where Sonikku saw what looked like a hut similar to those that were in Knothole on Ani-Mobius.

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After placing Anthony on one of the beds, Sonikku was offered a chair by the female figure and sat down. The two figures remained hooded, as if they didn't want their identities known, and the female spoke to Sonikku. "We don't get too many people out here," she said, "especially not after Robotnik attacked this island."

"Yeah, well, I'm here looking for someone," Sonikku said. "Two someones, in fact. Separated from me during one of Buttnik's attacks."

"Oh?" the male figure asked.

"Yeah...in fact, maybe you two can help," Sonikku said, pulling out the stack of photos from his glove and pulling out the pictures of his siblings to show them. "Have either of you seen two hedgehogs that look like these two?"

The two figures looked at the photos, and then gasped. The female then said, "We...actually have seen these two..."

"Really?" Sonikku said, excited. "Where?!?"

The two then looked at Sonikku and removed the hoods from their cloaks, revealing a male hedgehog with brown quills and a female hedgehog with purple quills. Sonikku gasped as he noticed them, and the male hedgehog continued, "Where did you get these photographs?"

Sonikku then showed them the family photograph. "That's a picture of myself as a baby, along with my parents...and my brother and sister." He then looked at the two of them and asked, "Are your names Sandra and Mark?"

After the two of them nodded, he continued. "My name is Sonikku Takeshi Hedgehog," he said, "and...I'm your brother."

Sandra and Mark just stood and stared at him for a while, and then all three hedgehogs...all three siblings...grabbed each other in a group hug, crying tears of joy.

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"I can't believe so much has happened...and we didn't know of each other being alive..."

Sonikku, Sandra, and Mark had caught up on all that had happened since they were separated, including the defeat of Robotnik and of Ani-Earth's invitation as a world of Arcadia. Sandra's words seemed to mirror the feelings of all three siblings. "Yeah," Sonikku said in response, "it's just too bad Mom isn't around to see us reunited again."

"At least we are together now," Mark said. "How did you find us?"

Sonikku pointed to Anthony, who was still unconscious on the bed. "That guy found this area. He's Anthony Bault, Gamemaster of Arcadia."

"THE Gamemaster?!?" Sandra said, surprised. "Ohmigosh...will he be alright?!?"

"He'll be fine," Sonikku said, "though he'll be out for a while. The last time he expended his psionics like this, he was out for fifteen hours."

"Then it will be morning before he wakes up, no doubt," Mark said.

"We'd better set up somewhere for you to sleep as well, Sonic," Sandra said. "I think we have some spare bedrolls..."

"Guys, I'll be fine," Sonikku said. "I should probably head back and..."

"Sonic, please..." Sandra said, holding onto Sonic's paws and looking at him with almost a pleading look. "It's been years since we had been together as a family..."

Sonikku understood what Sandra was asking and said, "Yeah, it has...alright, I'll stay. We've still got a lot of catching up to do..."

"Yes, indeed..." Mark said, and the three hedgehogs sat down at a dining table to talk. "So...tell us about what you've been up to lately..."

As the three hedgehogs talked, Anthony continued to sleep on the bed he was placed on. Unseen by the hedgehogs, Anthony also smiled slightly as he sensed their happiness in his sleep.

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The next morning, Anthony finally woke up, feeling as if his head was used for Blitzball practice. He looked around and found himself in unfamiliar surroundings, wondering where he ended up. He also smelled a pleasant smell of eggs and hash browns being cooked. As he sat up in his bed, Sonikku came in the room and noticed him awake.

"Anth, you're finally up!" Sonikku said. "You alright now?"

"Yeah, I'm fine..." Anthony said, "just tell Tidus not to use my head to practice the Jecht Shot, would ya?" After Sonikku laughed for a bit, Anthony asked, "Sonic, where are we?"

"My brother and sister's house," Sonikku said. "They found us when you became unconscious."

"So they found us instead of us finding them," Anthony said.

"Hey! You still found this area, man," Sonikku said, and then looked like he was on the verge of crying again. "I...can't thank you enough for this, Anth..."

"Then don't try," Anthony said. "It was my duty to help...and my pleasure."

"Alright..." Sonikku said, wiping away a couple of stray tears that managed to escape. "Come on...you've got to meet my bro and sis!"

Anthony was led into the dining area, where large plates of scrambled eggs, toast, and hash browns were waiting. Sandra looked up just as the two entered the room. "Gamemaster! You've finally awaken!" she said, and then walked over. "I'm Sandra Hedgehog."

"A pleasure, Sandra," Anthony said, shaking her paw, "and please, call me Anthony."

"That's something I forgot to tell you guys," Sonikku said. "The man HATES being called by his title by his friends."

"So we see," Mark said, walking into the room. "I'm Mark, Anthony."

"You're Mark Anthony?!?" Anthony said, ad-libbing a joke. "You don't look like a human Latin singer from Earth."

Mark gave Anthony and confused look, and Anthony just said, "I'm kidding, Mark, I knew what you said."

Sandra giggled a little at the exchange, and then said, "Sonic told us how you helped find us. I can't begin to tell you how grateful we are..."

"Hey, like I told Sonic, it was my pleasure," Anthony said.

"Did he tell you yet?" Mark asked.

"Tell me what?" Anthony asked, looking at Sonikku.

"We've decided to move to Mobara on Mobius and live there with his adopted family," Sandra said. "He's already spoken to them about us, and they were more than willing to welcome us into the family as well."

"Really?" Anthony said. "Huh...I wonder how Queen Aleena is going to deal with TWO sets of three siblings? And WHY am I hearing the Brady Bunch theme in my head?"

Sonikku giggled slightly at that remark, and then said, "Well, we'll find out soon enough. Several of the Arcadians are coming by to help with the move. I told them where we were located."

"Alright," Anthony said, and then eyed the food. "Well, while we're waiting, what say we partake of this breakfast and celebrate?"

"I'm with that!" Mark said, and all four of them sat down to eat.

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The move went swiftly, and Mark and Sandra were welcomed into the royal family of Mobara with open arms as they met their new siblings, Sonia and Manic. The two of them were even surprised at how much Queen Aleena looked like their original mother. After they moved in, Sandra and Mark decided to aid with the rebuild effort in Mobara, and Sonikku had even decided to stay for a few days in Mobius to help them.

As for Anthony, he returned to his own home in Mobotropolis, and finally laid down to relax after the recent hectic events. However, his relaxation didn't last long, as he heard a knock on his front door.

"Geez...can't a guy get a break?" Anthony thought to himself as he opened the front door. He was shocked to see both Sonics, as well as the Digidestined and their Digimon, standing there. "Um...hi guys. What's going on?"

"Well...we know how you hate accolades and such," Maurice said. "However, since you don't yet have a medal from Ani-Earth, the Digidestined came up with something for what you did for Sonikku."

"Guys...I appreciate it, but it's not necessary," Anthony said.

"Yeah, but I think you'll like this," Sonikku said, and pinned a diamond shaped piece of metal with nine hooks on Anthony's shirt.

"What the...?" Anthony said, looking at object. "What kinda medal is this?"

"One that isn't finished yet," Davis said, "because there's something that goes with it." He then nodded towards the other Digidestined, and nine of them revealed nine small tags that looked like the original crest tags they had used against the Dark Masters and Apocolomon. They went up one by one and each said a small speech while placing a tag on the medal.

"This is the Crest of Courage," Tai said, placing his tag, "in honor of the bravery you have shown to Arcadia."

"This is the Crest of Friendship," Matt said, "in honor of the loyalty you have shown to your fellow Arcadians through all your adventures."

"This is the Crest of Knowledge," Izzy said, "in honor of the vast information you have used to help Arcadia."

"This is the Crest of Sincerity," Mimi said, "in honor of your unwillingness to accept honors you feel you do not deserve."

"This is the Crest of Reliability," Joe said, "in honor of your unwillingness to back down from any challenge that threatened Arcadia."

"This is the Crest of Love," Sora said, "in honor of the compassion you have shown to others, especially Amy Rose." Anthony blushed slightly at that one.

"This is the Crest of Kindness," Ken said, "in honor of the kindness you have shown others in their times of need."

"This is the Crest of Hope," TK said, "in honor of the hope you helped inspire, even when things seem to go against Arcadia."

"And this is the Crest of Light," Kari said, "and this crest fits you best of all, Anthony. For you have acted as a light in some of Arcadia's darkest hours, and we hope you continue to be one."

As soon as all nine tags were placed, Anthony looked down at the completed medal. "Guys...I...don't know what to say..."

"Then don't say anything," Yolei said. "Think of this as our thanks to you for service to Ani-Earth."

"Alright then," Anthony said, and then gave the Digidestined a strange look. "Um...these tags aren't going to turn me into some Ultra-Digidestined, are they?"

As a laugh echoed throughout the group, Anthony felt prouder than he had ever felt before...

For he was now, officially, a true hero of all Arcadia...

THE END

Comments? Suggestions? Flames? E-mail me at baultaw@usfamily.net.