AN: ...Yeah. You can thank Meagan Snow for motivating me to actually write the next chapter. I apologize. I'm not the best with self-imposed deadlines. Here it is! No Fakers: Chapter Three!

He tried to dash immediately, but of course he couldn't do that. His meager strides attempted to get him out of harm's way, but unfortunately he was caught by the bear-hugging creature he knew he'd never escape. Amy Rose. Of course. He made to grab Amy's arms and shake her off, as always— Wait a minute.

The pink hedgehog embraced him tightly, her firm grip not loosening in the slightest. "Oh Sonic, I've been looking everywhere for you! Do you know how long it can take to track you down sometimes? I mean, sheesh, you could tell me every once in a while where you're going to be…"

Lost in her babbling, Amy was apparently blind. Sonic closed his eyes halfway, not too impressed with her. Was she really that obsessed with him? Sighing, he cleared his throat and said very clearly, "Amy."

Amy blinked, her face scrunching in confusion before she turned her head up to meet his face. "Ah! Shadow!" she screeched, letting him go like a sack of hot coal. She took a few steps backward, her hand to her mouth. "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh… I'm so sorry, Shadow! I can't believe I did it again!"

Chapter Three: Why You Can't Help But Follow

Sonic raised an eyebrow in amusement. He'd never seen Amy look so embarrassed. "You've actually done that more than once?" he scoffed, trying to stifle his laughter. Oh, wow. That was rich. Amy was colour blind, or at the very least, really dumb. The hilarity.

"Uh, yeah," Amy said sheepishly, crossing her legs. "Remember? When I first met you…?"

Sonic had no idea that Shadow and Amy even spoke to each other, ever, but he rolled with it. "Oh. Yeah."

There was an awkward silence, which incidentally was something Sonic didn't usually experience when talking to Amy. She was usually prattling on about a date or something. But here she was, instead looking incredibly stupid. Which she was.

Come on. She mistook Shadow for him? He almost started laughing again.

"Um, you're pretty cheerful today, Shadow," Amy noted, her eyes widening. "Why's that? Oh! Is it your birthday?"

Pfft. The mental image of Shadow in a party hat was almost too much to bear. "Ah, no. No it's not. Um, look, Amy, I'm kind of busy right now—"

"Oh! Are you on a mission for G.U.N.? What is it? Can I help? I mean, I feel really bad for my mistake just now, and I'd like to make it up to you, if you'd let me!" So it wasn't just Sonic's privacy Amy regularly invaded. Well, despite that, it was actually kind of nice talking to Amy as someone else. He could breathe, for one.

He was about to respond when he saw Tails flying up from behind her. "Tails!" he said quickly, wondering if Tails would support the mini masquerade he was currently having. It would certainly be nice if he did; the less time he spent with Amy stuck to him the better. (Okay, maybe he was exaggerating a little – no. No he wasn't. This was great.)

Tails noticed Amy and raised his eyebrows. "Oh, hi Amy. What are you doing here?"

Amy giggled. "Oh, uh, nothing! I just ran into Shadow here and decided to say hi!" Sonic rolled his eyes.

Sensing what was going on, Tails nodded. "I see. I was just helping Shadow test run his shoes. Um… how'd they work, Shadow?"

Sonic grinned. "They're perfect, thanks."

Amy stood there for a second before laughing again, nervously. "Well, um, I'd better get going. Nice seeing you, Tails, Shadow!"

"You too," said Tails, and they watched her leave in a hurry, scurrying around the corner off to do whatever. Tails turned around immediately, glaring.

"Sonic! I don't like lying, and you shouldn't either!"

Sonic threw his arms in the air. "Sorry, Tails, but I don't exactly want everyone to know what happened. Think of what would happen if Eggman got word of this!"

Tails crossed his arms, frowning. "But Amy is a friend. She'd never tell Eggman."

"Amy is also leaving me alone," Sonic said, "which, actually, is refreshing. Besides, it's not like she can do anything to help me if she knew the truth."

"Amy wouldn't lie to you," Tails said.

"Really? Because she just lied back there," Sonic said, gesturing with his thumb. "She did not run into me to say hi. She ran into me because she thought I was Sonic. Which I am. I mean… you know what I mean."

Tails blinked, genuinely shocked. "What? She thought you were… well, you?"

"I know, crazy, right?" Sonic scoffed. He stretched his arms. "Get this: apparently it wasn't the first time, either."

Tails shook his head. "I don't know how she would think that. But anyway," Tails glanced at Shadow's shoes, "those work okay, then?"

Sonic nodded, giving a thumbs up. "As sweet as Sweet Mountain, buddy. I could use a little more practice, but I think I've got the hang of them."

"That's great!" said Tails. "It's a good thing you're a fast learner."

"The fastest," Sonic bragged, grinning. "Though it's really not that hard. It's just a different style."

"Hm," Tails said, putting his hand to his chin. "Well, you have always been pretty adaptable when you need to be, haven't you? When do you want me to make you a pair of your own?"

"Later," Sonic answered, looking around. "Amy interrupted my running time. I want to cruise around for a little longer."

"Okay, that's fine," Tails said, smiling. He fiddled with the video camera he was still holding and took off a part, handing it to Sonic.

"What's this?" Sonic asked, looking at the part in his hand. It was circular, with a screen, and looked a little familiar.

Tails grinned. "An emerald radar! I already told you that I think we need some chaos emeralds to fix this. This radar should make tracking them down easier."

Sonic tossed the radar in the air and caught it, much to Tails's dismay. "Great. Why didn't you give me this when I needed to find an emerald for the Tornado?"

"I thought you could find just one on your own without getting into trouble," Tails replied, smirking. "Guess I was wrong."

Sonic chuckled and ruffled the fox's hair. "Snarky. I like it. Thanks!"

"No problem. I'll see you later, then?"

"You bet!"

"Okay. Bye, Sonic!"

After another hour or so of running around the city, taking in the view, and smashing crates, Sonic heard a faint buzz. It sounded like television static or something similar, except he wasn't near a TV, and it followed him everywhere he went. Unless Shadow really was an android after all, Sonic had no idea what could possibly be making the noise. How annoying. He was having such a good time, too. He scratched his head, frowning.

…Hold up.

Sonic pulled his hand back, narrowing his eyes. His wrist, huh? Shadow did have a lot of accessorizing going on with his gloves. Sonic tapped the golden ring, but the static didn't change. Well, then, maybe the red part?

The noise stopped, only to be replaced by someone's angry half-yells. "Agent Shadow! You have a mission!"

Sonic raised an eyebrow. "Oh, really?"

"This is no time for joking around," the voice said. "You are to report to Central City G.U.N. Base immediately for debriefing."

Sonic smirked. "And if I don't?"

"You're fired."

Sonic frowned. Government agents weren't very fun. He tapped his foot. He really didn't feel like doing Shadow's job for him, but it'd be a jerk move to get someone fired like that. But what did he care if he was a jerk to Shadow? He was always a jerk to Shadow. Oh, what can a hedgehog do…?

"Agent Shadow," the voice said.

"Yeah, yeah, don't worry, I'll be there," Sonic said, scratching his ear. Lame. He had no idea what sort of work G.U.N. missions entailed, since Shadow had never been very clear about his motives whenever they happened to run into each other. Didn't G.U.N. hate him, anyway? He thought that after the whole Eclipse Cannon mishap that the government wouldn't be too keen on the Ultimate Lifeform, but then again, there was that whole alien thing…

People seemed to want to forget about that.

The transmission cut out, and Sonic found his frown deepening. For Shadow, being a G.U.N. agent was just a regular job, but for Sonic, it was unpaid and unwanted community service. He was all for helping people out, but not based on the military's standards. G.U.N. sucked. Who would want to work for an army that couldn't tell black from blue?

He sighed, but nonetheless sped off to the military headquarters. Hey, at least he knew where it was. He'd been through the city way too many times not to know that.

"This would have been easier if you'd just told me the mission over the phone," Sonic said flatly as he waltzed into the plain, concrete office room of the G.U.N. base. Talk about drab. Aside from the G.U.N. logo plastered on every steel furnishing in existence, there was next to no colour in the sorry place. He knew governments had to be formal and all, but who said that formal had to be so gray?

"Mission objectives are confidential. Only in the event of an emergency is an agent ever to be debriefed through communication lines," said the official sitting at his boring desk.

Man, this guy sounded as stiff as a wooden board. "Uh huh. What do I have to do? Catch a baddie? Arrest a thief?"

The man's expression didn't change, but Sonic could tell he'd pushed his patience. "We need you to gather the chaos emeralds and bring them here for safekeeping."

Sonic laughed. He knew it was a mistake, but he couldn't help it. "Are you serious? What do you want them for?"

The officer narrowed his eyes. "The chaos emeralds have been the cause of several international crises over the last few years. We have come to the decision that locking them away is the best solution to prevent any future attacks on the United Federation, as well as the rest of the world."

"And your security system is going to make sure of that?" Sonic asked, a grin forming. "You know, I think some of the emeralds were in your possession during a world crisis or two, and the world nearly ended anyway."

"Do not think that because you are you, your comments today will be ignored," said the G.U.N. officer, changing the topic. "If you continue to speak in such a brazen manner, your position will be revoked."

"All right, fine," Sonic said. "I'll get all the chaos emeralds. I was going to do that anyway." Wow, how did Shadow deal with Bossy McPushypants? See, this was why being the fastest thing alive was great. Sonic didn't have anyone telling him what to do.

"Bring them to the base one by one as you collect them," said the officer. "We will handle locking them inside our security systems."

"Right…" said Sonic. Mm. That spelled trouble already, putting them all in the same place like that. If they wanted to keep the emeralds safe, away from villains like the doctor or whatever, the best place would be a special zone, wouldn't it? As far as he knew, only Sonic and his close friends managed to get through those trippy places properly. He didn't even know if Shadow knew about them.

"Do you have any emeralds in your possession now?" asked the G.U.N. officer. Sonic frowned.

"No," he said, allowing the bitterness to seep into his voice.

"Very well. We expect this mission to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible."

They wanted quick and efficient? Asking someone like Sonic to do those things was like asking a normal person to breathe. "Okay. Can I go now?"

The officer nodded. Sonic left as quickly as he could, skating out of the office as if it was on fire. The sooner he got out of Steel City, the better.

He supposed he was pretty lucky, all things considered. G.U.N. couldn't bother him while he was doing his regular business because they wanted the chaos emeralds as much as he did. Plus, it wasn't like they'd be able to verify if he took them to Tails's place first. He grinned. Aw yeah, take that, Guardian Units of Nations. Whatever that meant.

As he rounded a corner, Sonic heard another mystery noise, but it wasn't coming from the hidden government communicator. He blinked for a second before pulling out the circular device Tails gave him.

The emerald radar was beeping.

I don't know much about how the military works, and the Sonic games don't exactly explain, either. Hopefully my understanding of the military in Fullmetal Alchemist makes for something believable. :P