Sonic the Hedgehog
By Lucky_Ladybug

Notes: Nackie, Sonic, and Sally are Sega's, and Nic's is Archie Comics'. Story idea and the Red Radishes are mine!! This story is for Heather, who wanted me to try my hand at writing a Nic h/c fic ^_^

Nicolette opened the door to the old warehouse and went in. She was chasing a Mafia don on the run, and she was determined that he wouldn't get away.

Suddenly she gasped as half a dozen Red Radishes dropped down in her path. "Hey, chicky baby," the lead one taunted, "a nice girl like you shouldn't be down here with the riffraff!"

"Too bad for you I ain't a nice girl," Nic snapped.

"We know who you are," a second one chimed in. "You're out to catch Fiorello."

"That's right, so step aside." Nic attempted to push a particularly ragged-looking Radish out of her way.

The skunk grabbed her arm. "Not so fast, chicky baby," he hissed. "You ain't going no place!"

"What's it to a pack of flea-bitten rats like yourselves?" Nic was getting angry. Red Radishes were never concerned with the welfare of anyone but themselves, unless . . .

"That's right, chicky baby," the first one sneered, seeing the light of realization go on in Nic's eyes. "We're working for Fiorello . . . and he told us to take care of insolent, bothersome bounty hunters like you!"

Instantly all six thugs attacked. Nic screamed as she tried to fight them all off and duck their blows and kicks, but it was no use.

For days afterward, people told of the bone-chilling screams heard that dark night.
Sonic the Hedgehog glared as he turned to face Nack the Weasel. "You!" he growled. "What else can go wrong with my day?"

Nack's eyes narrowed. "You ain't exactly who I was hopin' to see, either, but I came to warn you."

"Warn me of what? Your new stun gun?" Sonic crossed his arms. "I'm ready for your next ambush, Weasel Boy."

"Dadgummit, Little Boy Blue, I ain't gonna ambush you." Nack suddenly noticed something behind Sonic and growled, "But that thing is!"

Sonic whirled, just in time to find himself staring down the strangest contraption he'd ever seen. And it was pointing a laser gun right at him.

"I knew it! You set me up!" he burst out.

"No, I didn't, but doggone it, don't stand there like a statue!" Nack pushed Sonic out of the way just as the odd robot-thing opened fire.

Sonic laid low in the bushes where he'd landed until the thing was either satisfied that he was dead or else had given up and left.

"Man, that was close," Sonic gasped, climbing out of the brush. "I'd be dead meat if it wasn't for. . . ." He stopped. "Weasel Boy saved my life," he realized, then realized something else. "Where *is* Weasel Boy?" His eyes went wide as a piece of lavender fur floated down from the sky.

"Nack!" he called, searching among the debris left by the 'bot in its rage. Brushing aside a fallen tree branch and several peonie bushes, he found the weasel's body at the bottom.

"Nack?" Sonic touched the bounty hunter's shoulder uncertainly. "Hey, answer me!"

He lifted the lifeless body out from amid the wreckage. "Say something! Anything! Get up and chase me!" But in his heart he knew Nack would likely never chase him—or anyone—again.

"C'mon, man, what am I gonna tell Sally?" Sonic shook his head sadly. "You died a hero, Weasel Boy. I misjudged you. Sally knew all along."
Sonic, dreading to tell Sally that Nack was dead, tarried in the woods for hours, watching the sun sink behind the mountains and twilight start to set in.

And then suddenly, miraculously, Nack groaned.

Sonic stared at him. "Nack?" he ventured softly.

Nack pulled his hat down over his eyes, shielding them from any last rays of sun.

"Wow, man, that was some save," Sonic commented. "Are you . . . hurt badly?"

Nack shook his head weakly. "I'll be alright. Just give me some time. Say about fifteen years," he added wryly.

"Maybe I should get Dr. Quack," Sonic suggested.

"No," Nack protested, "no medico's. The laser beam just grazed me. Really, I'm okay."

"You could've fooled me," Sonic declared.

"Didn't know you even cared," Nack said, gingerly rubbing his shoulder. "If I had died, that would've been a thorn removed from your side."

"I'd be dead now if you hadn't been here," Sonic said, embarrassed.

Nack laughed softly but made no further reply. He lay still for a while as he gathered his strength, then tried to stand up.

"Whoa there, Weasel Boy," Sonic said, concerned. "Don't be so hasty. You just survived a mundo big attack!"

"I've gotta get going," Nack replied. "I havta be somewhere."

"Sally would enjoy seeing you, I'm sure." This remark was fringed with a hint of jealousy, as Sonic still wondered if Sally didn't perhaps have somewhat of a crush on the bounty hunter.

"Tell her I said 'howdy,'" Nack returned, steadying himself by leaning on a nearby tree. He took a step forward and nearly fainted.

"You're in no traveling condition," Sonic objected.

"I just gotta walk it off," Nack said, forcing himself to think about something other than the pain. He limped off into the woods, and that was the last Sonic saw of him for a while.
Nack stumbled to the docks, looking around for a familiar female weasel. Nic had told him to meet her in front of the old E.W. warehouse, but his sister was nowhere to be seen.

"She must be in there," Nack decided, going up to the door. Pushing it open, he blinked rapidly as his eyes adjusted to the darkness. "Deserted," he thought aloud. "What a dump!"

He moved forward, pushing aside some crates that were in his way . . . and gasping. "Nic!" he exclaimed, dropping to his knees beside his sister.

Nic had been beaten badly; Nack could see the dark bruises and scrapes across her face, arms, and tail. She was bleeding from a cut in her forehead, and Nack quickly grabbed Nic's bandanna—it being the first thing he could find—to stop it, or at least, slow it down.

"Man, Nic, what happened to you?" Nack tried to curb the worry in his tone, his own injuries completely forgotten now. His sister lay limp in his arms, blood running down her face. "Come on, Nic, you're scarin' me!" Nack declared. He shuddered. Eerie, he thought, that while he was being shocked by a laser beam, Nic was being pounded nigh to death.

"Who would do this?" Nack burst out. "Who would hurt my sister like this?"

And then he knew that there were lots of people who would—enemies Nic had made during her career.

"Don't die on me, Nic," Nack pleaded. "You're the only family I've got anymore!" Well, there *was* Rocky and Lucretia, but they didn't count. He paused. "I know you think that I don't care about you, but the truth is . . ." A tear escaped from Nack's eye. ". . . The truth is, I always thought *you* didn't care about *me.* Dadgummit, Nic, we're just a couple of fools. You're my sister, and I love you, Nic! You hear me? I love you!"

Nack felt Nic shudder in his arms, but she didn't awaken. "Can you travel, Nic?" he whispered. "I've gotta get you out of here!" Examining his sister again, Nack determined that he should be able to get her back to the hotel room where he was staying without hurting her worse.

"Hang on, Nic," Nack said as he stood, holding his sister firmly in his arms.

As he carried her through the dark, lonely wharfs of San Francisco's dock area, Nack softly sang the old songs that their Scottish-born mother always sang to them when they were little—"Amazing Grace" and "Loch Lomund."

"I know I ain't that good a singer," Nack said, pausing when he heard Nic moan, whether in pain or from Nack's singing he wasn't sure. "Maybe just think of Mama singing instead of me." Nack's voice cracked. "But . . . don't go joinin' her yet, Nic. I need you!"

Nic, who had been quite stiff for some time, relaxed in Nack's arms, and Nack could hear her breathing easier.

"You're gonna be alright, Nic," Nack declared. "I'll make sure of that."
Nack gently laid Nic on the bed in his hotel room. "Good thing the desk clerk was at dinner," he said wryly. "I hate answerin' questions."

He disappeared into the hall to retrieve the first aid kit and returned shortly.

"I wonder why you wanted me to meet you in front of that warehouse?" he mused, properly bathing Nic's wounds and washing the blood from her face.

Suddenly Nic stirred, her long-lashed eyelids fluttering open, revealing her deep blue eyes. "Nack?" she rasped. "What's happening? How did you get here?"

"Shh . . . it's alright, Nic," Nack said softly.

"The Red Radishes . . . they attacked . . ."

"We'll get 'em, Nic. Don't worry," Nack reassured her, boiling over with anger at the thought of those gangsters beating his sister.

Nic relaxed, closing her eyes briefly. Suddenly they opened again. "How did you find me?" she asked.

"I got your message to meet me in front of the warehouse," Nack replied. "When you didn't show, I went inside."

Nic gave him an odd look. "I didn't send you no message to meet me there."

"What the . . .?! C'mon, Nic, I have it right here!" Nack took out the note and showed it to her.

"I didn't write this," Nic declared. "Why would I want you to meet me there?"

"That's what I wondered," Nack exclaimed, totally baffled.

Nic took the note and looked at it closer. "This almost looks like Mama's handwriting," she remarked.

Nack grabbed it back. "You know, you're right, Nic."

The weasel siblings stared at each other. "Do you suppose . . ."