Sonic the Hedgehog woke up.
He was confused.
"Where am I?" he asked, and was a little disturbed to find a fuzzy thing on his arm. He backed away from it quickly, still not knowing where he was. Then he took a closer look at the fuzzball and realized:
"Oh yeah! Tails took me to his house!" He suddenly became excited and started bouncing on the bed. "Tails! Tails! Hey!"
"Hm?" mumbled Tails, still curled up next to Sonic's arm. "AAH!" he yelled. "There's a stranger in my bed! Stranger danger! Stranger danger!"
"Whoa whoa whoa!" said Sonic. "Hold it, it's me, it's Sonic!"
"I dunno anyone named Sonic!" yelped Tails. "Oh. Wait a minute. Yes I do!" He stood up happily and jumped on Sonic, giving him a big hug. "Hi Sonic! Hi hi there!"
Sonic laughed and hugged Tails back. "Hi hi yourself!" he said. He had never been so happy before.
"I'm hungry," said Tails, jumping off of the bed. "I wanna see what mommy has for me!"
Sonic jumped off behind him and would have followed him downstairs except that he saw a smear of blood on his arm. It surprised him.
"I'm bleeding?" he said.
"Oh no!" said Tails, running back and standing on tiptoe to take a look. "Did I hurt you?"
"How could you possibly have hurt me?" asked Sonic, starting to remember just why there were cuts all over his arms.
"I'm teething," said Tails, and he showed Sonic his sharp little teeth.
"That took you a long time," said Sonic, trying not to think about the day before.
"I'm kitsune," said the little boy as if that explained everything.
"So?" said Sonic.
"They live a long time," explained Tails. "So if I'm slow at stuff that's why."
"I wish I had an excuse like that," said Sonic as they went downstairs.
"Did I do a good job?" asked Tails, who had to take a lot of extra steps to keep up with Sonic.
"Doing what?"
"Fixin' ya," he answered.
"What do you mean?"
"From your accident," said Tails, stopping and turning around in front of Sonic. "I'm not very good at it yet, but that's okay, 'cause I'm not s'posed to be able to do it anyways."
Sonic looked at the wrists he had been avoiding looking at.
Each one had a couple of jagged scars, and that was all.
"How-how did that happen?" Sonic asked, amazed. "They...they should still be bleeding, shouldn't they?"
"I healed ya," said Tails happily, twirling in a circle. "I'm only s'posed to be able to heal myself, but I can't do that at ALL."
"Wow...thank you," said Sonic.
"Well, I gots a book that said that if ya bleed too much ya die, and I know you already bled lots, so I tole myself I gotta fixya up right away," said Tails, and all of a sudden he started to cry a little.
"What's the matter?" asked Sonic, alarmed.
"I...I was scared," sniffed Tails. "I din't want ya to die. You're my bestest friend ever!"
"Well...I'm okay now, right?" said Sonic, bending down to his level. "You're not scared anymore, right?"
"What if I didn't do it right?" asked Tails, rubbing at his eyes with his fists. "What if I wake up and you have no more blood left in you? Then you'll be all gone and...and..." He was trying really hard not to cry, but Sonic could see that it wasn't going to work. He gave Tails a hug.
"Hey, it's okay," said Sonic, trying to think of what would make him feel better. "I'm not gonna die. You saved me, buddy! And you did a good job too!"
"I did?" said Tails, sniffing a little.
"Yeah," said Sonic, letting go. "You really did. I bet a doctor couldn'tve done any better."
"Yay!" said Tails, and he was instantly okay again, save for a sniff every now and again, but he couldn't help that. "Hey Sonic," he said, looking up at Sonic with his big blue eyes, "ya wanna stay at my house, with me?"
"Um..." said Sonic. He didn't want to go back to his house, but he knew that you weren't supposed to start living in other people's houses on the spot.
"Oh, maybe I should tell mommy first," said Tails, and he ran the rest of the way to the kitchen. "Mommy mommy!" said Tails, jumping up and down on his mother's leg, "Sonic's gonna live here, okay?"
"Forever?" asked his mother, bending down and picking up her little boy.
"Longer than that!" said Tails, snuggling in her arms.
"I don't know, Miles, forever is very long," said his mother. Sonic was left to stand there dumbly. He didn't remember if he had met this woman or not.
"Hello dear," said the woman, giving Sonic her other hand, "my name is Rosemary. Are you feeling all right?"
He almost forgot what the hand was for. "Uh...yeah, yeah, I'm fine," he said, shaking her hand awkwardly. He didn't usually use his right hand unless absolutely necessary.
"Would you mind if I took you to the doctor?" she asked, putting Tails on the table and giving him a bowl of applesauce. He started to eat it with his fingers.
"I...I don't really like doctors," said Sonic, a little shyly, remembering what the doctor had said to him so long ago, words which haunted him to this very day:
"Your son is retarded."
At the time, he hadn't known the significance of the words, but now he knew what power they had.
"Have you been ill recently?" asked Rosemary, wiping off Tails's fingers and giving him a spoon. He licked at a little and then went back to using his fingers.
"Um...no," said Sonic.
"Well," said Rosemary, "I'm just trying to make sure you're okay, my dear. You look like you just got over something that took its toll on you."
Sonic realized what she was talking about. "Oh! I always look like this."
"That can't be healthy," said Rosemary. "And how are your arms?" "All better!" announced Tails, and his mother gave him the spoon again. He looked at it and threw it across the room. "I don't wanna use it!" he said.
"Miles," said his mother warningly. Tails got up, retrieved the spoon, and went back to his applesauce. For the first few moments he was angry about having to use the spoon, but he quickly got over it.
"Well...I guess I could go," said Sonic, unconsciously hugging himself.
"If it makes you too uncomfortable we'll leave," said Rosemary. "Are you hungry at all?"
"No," said Sonic. In truth he wasn't. He was feeling a little dizzy, and he felt tired even though he had just gotten out of bed.
After Tails had finished his applesauce Rosemary took them into town to see the doctor. Tails insisted on walking with Sonic, even though Rosemary and Sonic could both tell that having to walk so fast took its toll on him. Unfortunately, they couldn't really slow down, because they didn't have all day.
"Y'know what?" said Sonic, and he stopped and snatched up Tails. Tails squealed as Sonic put him on his shoulders.
"There ya go," said Sonic. "Now ya don't have to walk."
"Yay!" Tails giggled, hugging Sonic's neck.
"Hey, I need to breathe here!" Sonic said, and Tails let go a little, still laughing.
They arrived early enough that they were able to walk right in. Sonic put Tails down and Tails grabbed Sonic's hand. "Don' worry," he whispered very loudly. "I'll save you from him if he's mean!"
Sonic couldn't help but laugh. "You do that!" he said.
When the doctor arrived Rosemary asked, "What do you think I should do? He looks kind of-" She paused, not quite knowing which word to say.
"Well, amputation is really the only option," said the doctor, pushing his glasses up higher and looking seriously at Rosemary. "You really can't leave him like that."
"He wants to cut my hands off!" whispered Sonic to Tails. Tails clutched Sonic's hand with both of his own.
"Hey mister! It's all fixed, you don' need to amputate!" he cried.
"Of course I do, little one," said the doctor. "You don't want to walk around like that forever, do you?"
All of a sudden it hit Sonic who the doctor was talking about.
"You wanna amputate HIM?" he asked.
"Well of course," said the doctor.
"Whaddaya mean of course? What on Mobius are ya gonna cut off?" Sonic demanded.
"His other tail," said the doctor, as if it were obvious.
Tails's eyes grew very large. "He's gonna cut me up?" he shrieked.
"No way!" said Sonic. "That ain't happenin'!"
"Maybe you boys should leave the room for a moment, and let me speak to the doctor," said Rosemary.
"Maybe we should," said Sonic, giving the doctor a dirty look. "I hate doctors," he said.
Sonic sat down on the curb outside the office with Tails in his lap. Tails started to cry.
"The doctor wants to cut me up!" he said, burrowing his little wet face in Sonic's chest.
"Don't worry," said Sonic, "I won't let him."
"You won't?" said Tails hopefully.
"No way no way," said Sonic. "There's nothing wrong with them."
Tails fell silent after this, which Sonic didn't like, because the dizziness was getting worse, and he was getting a headache on top of that. If he was talkikng to Tails he was distracted from this. But Tails would not talk anymore.

After a while Rosemary came back. "He said you probably have celiac disease, Sonic," said Rosemary, as they started home. Sonic had Tails in his arms. Tails was still upset, sniffling every once in a while. Sonic understood how he felt. When even the doctor said there was something wrong with you, you didn't feel too good about yourself.
Rosemary explained what celiac disease was to Sonic. The dizziness and the headache made it hard to concentrate, but he was pretty sure that all it meant was he couldn't eat certain things or he would make himself very sick in the future. Well, what was he supposed to do? If it was gonna make him sick he wasn't gonna do it! By the time they were almost home his arms were tired, so he tried to hand Tails off to his mother. Tails started yelling in protest.
"No, Sonic!" he said, "No, I wanna stay with you!"
"My arms hurt," Sonic mumbled, as Rosemary managed to take Tails from him, and all of a sudden the dizziness got so bad he couldn't tell up from down and his headache got so bad he was pretty sure he no longer had a brain, and then with a bright flash of red he shut down.