Disclaimer: Sonic the Hedgehog does not belong to me

(This is dedicated to Sally Acorn, whom I've noticed has as much haters as she does fans. So, I decided to do this little piece. Don't like it, keep it to yourself because I hate it when characters are flamed.)

Comfort from a friend

Well, it was a beautiful day on Mobius. The sun was shining in the sky, the birds were whistling in the air, and a gentle breeze was blowing. Yes, sir it was a mighty fine day to be taking a rock.

Now I had popped up in Mobius to hang out with my pals the Freedom Fighters. They welcomed me with open arms and let me stay in New Mobotropolis. It sure was nice of them to do that, considering that I probably didn't deserve such kind hospitality from my Mobian friends.

Well, anyway, I was strolling through the park in the early morning. Most of the folks were still asleep so I was alone. Or so I thought. As I started taking a walk through the park, I came upon the Lake of Rings. It looked like a nice spot to sit down, soak my feet in the cool water, and read a book. As I started approaching the Lake, I noticed that someone else was up and about, sitting near the lake. I couldn't tell who it was at first but as I got closer, I saw it was none other than Sally Acorn, princess of Mobius and one of the main love interests to my pal, Sonic. I was about to call out to her when I noticed that she looked rather depressed.

Uh-oh. I thought to myself. What's Sonic done now?

Deciding not to shout out to her, I simply kept quiet as I moved closer to the lake. Once I was right behind Sally, I cleared my throat softly. Sally slightly jumped but relaxed once she turned around and saw me.

"Good morning, Sally," I said with a smile on my face, hoping to lighten the mood.

"Oh," Sally said quietly. "Hi, Cameron." She gave a small smile but I could tell that her heart just wasn't in it.

"You okay, Sally?" I asked her in concern.

Sally, apparently unaware that her depression was showing, quickly tried to hide it. "Of course, Cameron. Why wouldn't I be?"

Normally this is the time I would back off and leave that person be. But Sally was a close friend and if something was bugging her, I wanted to help.

"Sally," I said to her. "You're one of my best friends. You know that, right?"

Sally nodded her head as she looked at her reflection in the lake.

"If anything's bugging you, you can tell me." I told her.

Sally sighed as she put a finger in the lake and gently swished the water with it. "It's nothing serious, Cameron. It's just…them."

Well there went my theory that Sonic had gone and done something. But it didn't take rocket science for me to know who it was that Sally was talking about.

"The haters again?" I asked, saddened for her but also upset that the haters were giving her such a hard time.

Sally sighed again. "Why do they hate me so much, Cameron? Just what was it I did that makes them hate so badly?"

Sighing myself, I sat down next to Sally. "Everyone's got haters, Sally. I don't know a single person who doesn't have a hater. In my world, the presidents had haters, music groups have haters, I probably have some haters myself."

"Really?" Sally asked, looking at me now.

I shrugged. "Sure. Heck, I know somebody who hates me."

"Who?" Sally asked, surprised and confused. "What happened?"

"Well, almost a year ago, I came upon this Fanfiction story on a website. I read the story, didn't like it, and then I started giving the writer a really hard time about it."

"Cameron!" Sally gasped at me. "How could you?"

"I let my emotions get the better of me," I admitted. "Then I started acting stupid about it. Course now that writer hates me and probably will hate me until the end of time itself."

Sally shook her head in disapproval. "Cameron, you have done a lot of stupid things in the past but that has got to be one of the stupidest things you've ever done."

"No need to tell me, twice," I said to her. "I regret it to this very day." I laid done on the ground. "Anyway, Sally. I think it's all one big misunderstanding."

"What is?" Sally asked me.

"Why people hate you," I replied. "Let's see now. What are some of the reasons people hate you? Name them."

"Well," Sally said, tapping her chin. "There's the ones who say I'm a…"

"Okay, no need to continue," I said, not wanting to Sally call herself that word. "Now that reason is a little…unusual to say the least. They mostly call you that because the only thing you wear is a vest and boots. Other than that, you're naked in humans' eyes."

Sally looked at the ground.

"But let's be honest," I said to her. "Have you ever offered your body to people?"

Sally looked at me with horror. "No!"

"Have you ever used seduction?"

"No!" Sally answered again.

"Have you ever dressed in provocative clothing?"

"No!" came the third answer.

"Then you are not…one of those…things," I muttered out. "Besides, all Julie-Su wears is a shirt but nobody gets onto her about not wearing pants. I think that haters merely use your appearance so they can at least have something to hate about you. And some may actually have good intentions because it, from a human perspective, it is rather inappropriate. If a human did something like that, there'd definitely be issues. But since you are an animal, it's a little bit different."

"I…think I see where you're getting at," Sally said to me. "Then there are people who call me a Mary-Sue. I'm not an echidna!"

I chuckled at that. "No, no, Sally. A Mary-Sue is pretty much the "perfect girl". A Mary-Sue usually refers to a female character who is perfect in every way or only has minor flaws compared to everyone else. They are skilled in just about everything, can do things with barely any effort, and always, always manage to come out of bad situations unscathed. There's also Mary-Sues known for being drop dead gorgeous but hey, beauty is in the mind of the beholder."

"Oh," Sally said.

"Now I think I know why people accuse you of being a Mary-Sue," I said to her. "It's probably because you don't really do anything on your own. We mostly see you telling the others what to do while you're on the sidelines."

"But I've fought before!" Sally objected.

"Yes, but not as much as the others do," I reminded her. "You're usually giving orders or doing something else in the background while a different character, namely Sonic, is bashing the bad guy. Since you're usually working with other people, especially ones with obvious flaws such as Sonic's cockiness and Knuckles' short temper, we see more of their flaws than we do yours. This causes people to see you as a Mary-Sue due to the apparent lack of flaws. If you were to do things on your own more often, people would see how hard it is for you too."

Sally tapped her chin. "I can see what you're saying." Her face fell. "Then there are the haters who get onto me about my breakup with Sonic."

I cringed. "Well, I'm a SonSal fan myself, but I have become more open minded to you and Sonic seeing other people. However, if the two of you were meant to break up, it could have been handled a lot better. In my opinion though, you and Sonic are both to blame instead of one over the other. But deep down, I blame whoever was the writer responsible for the way he wrote you and Sonic breaking up."

Sally rubbed her arm. "Then there are those who hate me because of me being with Sonic."

Ah, the pairing fans now. "Now that's a tougher one," I said to her. "Pairings are a big thing to us fans. So naturally it's a heated debate of who should be with who and why. I'm sure several of those haters are SonAmy fans. To those that do hate you, it's because they see you as getting in the way of Sonic being with Amy. Personally I think Amy's just meant to chase Sonic but never catch him. It's like part of her character, you know. Course, I know it's not just SonAmy fans who might hate you due to pairings. There are probably those who want Sonic to be partnered up with someone else and see you as getting in the way. All I can say to that is that it's the writer's choice and I know Ian will make the right choices. Doesn't necessarily mean he'll pair you with Sonic but he'll know what to do and who you should be with. "

Sally looked at the ground. Cameron might be on to something there.

"But I've noticed several fanfictions where you're portrayed as this stuck up queen bee-like character who treats others like trash," I went on. "That's overkill! You don't treat people like that here, so why should people make stories like that? If they're going to, they should at least announce that characters will be out of character instead of acting like you're actually portrayed that way."

Sally looked at her feet. Yes, she had found out about those fanfictions and seeing herself portrayed so cruelly…it really hurt her.

"So in the end I just think that most people hate you because they're looking at things the wrong way," I told her. "A lot of misunderstanding on their part. While some do it out of malice or cruel intent for reasons I could not possibly understand, I do know not all of them are like that. And hey, Ian's been doing a good job writing you so far."

Sally giggled a little at this. "Yes, that's true. But…I'm not really fond of what he has in store for me right now."

Now it was my turn to laugh. "Ah, chin up, Sally. Ian's surprised us before and I'm sure he's still got plenty of tricks up his sleeve."

Sally nodded with a slight smile on her face. Then she looked at her feet. "Do you think they'll ever stop hating me, Cameron?"

I sighed as I looked at my feet now. "I don't know Sally. I really don't know. But I do know one thing. Unless someone cares enough to help people understand…people will always hate someone or something."

Sally sadly looked at the ground. Smiling, I held out my hand. Sally looked at my hand in confusion before slowly placing her hand in mine.

"I care enough," I said to her. "And I can help people understand. Come on, Sally. We've got work to do!"

(So now you know. And in case some of you didn't understand, I'll explain it. I personally believe that the majority of haters hate Sally due to misunderstandings or assumptions. Or they hate her for all the wrong reasons. I am aware that some people hate Sally just to be cruel but those people are few in numbers.

The reason why some call Sally a Mary-Sue is probably because we don't really see her show her flaws as much as the others. Even though she can be a scene stealer, it's usually another character who shows the flaws while she's on the sideline. She'll help out but doesn't really take part in the action. I'm willing to bet that if Sally were to do things on her own more often, people would see more flaws from her and the Mary-Sue theory would go away.

Now the nakedness thing is a little bit of this and that. Yes, she wears only a vest and boots, but come on. She's not like Rouge, who I don't dare imagine what would happen if she dressed like that. But Sally is not a slut. She doesn't offer her body to people, she doesn't try to seduce men, and she does not act in a provocative manner. On a side note, while Rouge can be flirty and seductive, she does have morals and would never let things go too far. So Rouge is not a slut either.

And I also know that not every hater is a SonAmy fan. But I have met several SonAmy fans who were Sally haters. Just to let SonAmy fans know that I'm not trying to bash them or stereotype them or anything like that. Besides, if Sally and Sonic get partnered with other people, it's okay by me. As long as they each find someone who makes them happy, I'm happy for them.

The only ones I can't really find an excuse for are the ones who are cruel to Sally for no reason than just to be cruel. Why they do this, I don't know. But my advice? Get help. No, seriously. It's really disturbing how carried away you people get when you hate someone like that.)