September 23rd, Midnight

Sonic normally was not the type of guy to formulate plans ahead of time; rather, he was a think on his feet kind of guy. Needless to say, even he was surprised with himself for coming up with this idea weeks ago. He had it all prepared and ran through it in his head once more before knocking on her window with his knuckle.

Too bad things never seemed to go as planned.

Instead of getting the joyous greeting he had expected he was instead welcomed with a giant hammer. To the face.

"Chaos, Amy!"

"Sonic? Oh my goodness, Sonic! I am so sorry!" Amy dropped her hammer to the floor of her bedroom while smacking her hands upon her rosy cheeks. "I'm sorry, really, I am."

He swore under his breath, clutching his nose. "What the heck were you thinking? I almost fell out of this tree."

She peaked through her outstretched fingers. "I thought…," she trailed off soundlessly and swallowed the rest of her sentence. She shook her head, like she had decided to keep it a secret. "It was nothing. You just startled me, is all."

Sonic laughed. "I startled you? I think I was the one that was startled." He took his hands away from his nose gingerly to check for blood. Not a spot stained his pure white gloves. He showed her for good measure. "Ah, see? No harm done."

"Good," she said and then she smacked him in the arm.

"Ow! What was that for?"

"For scaring me! What the heck were you thinking? It's midnight, Sonic. Most people would be asleep at this time of night. Just because you can travel around the world and enter different time zones does not make it okay for you to wake me up at this time at night. The only time I'm awake at midnight is New Year's Eve. Or if I can't seem to fall asleep."

"What about your birthday?"

"My—my what?" Amy looked at him, alarmed. She scanned the area around him as if to check to see if anyone else was there. She narrowed her eyes at him, trying to figure out what he was up to. "Some people might be up on their birthday, yes," she said slowly, choosing her words carefully.

"But not you," he said as his lips curled into a smile.

"But not me," she finished, matching his smile. "You remembered. How is it you can remember my birthday but not your own?"

He ignored her. "Can I show you something? Since you're already up and all?"

The sleepy hedgehog let out a dramatic sigh as if it were a huge deal but Sonic knew that she was beaming on the inside. "Fine, but it better be good."

"I hope it is," he said while reaching out his hand. "We gotta be on the roof for it though. I can jump up there, but you gotta hang on tight, 'kay?"

Amy nodded and placed her hand in his, carefully crawling out of her window and onto the sturdy tree limb. He pulled her close to his side, feeling warmth creep up his body until it finally nestled in his cheeks. When was the last time he had been this close to her? On his birthday? He could hear his heart racing in his ears and prayed that she could not as well. Every nerve in his body screamed at him to run. He was not about to give up now. Not after how hard he had planned for this moment.

"Ready?" Sonic asked, pushing his thoughts aside.

Amy nodded in consent. He jumped from the tree limb onto the roof, stabling himself with his free arm. When he felt like she could stand on her own, he let her go promptly, albeit reluctantly, his hands hovering around her just in case he had to catch her.

"I'm okay," she accented, straightening. "I'm not going to fall, so you can stop acting like I can't take care of myself."

His nose twitched. "I was just making sure you were steady."

"Well," Amy said with a huff, "I can take care of myself."

Sonic groaned, running a hand through his quills. "Argh, Amy…. Never mind."

"What?"

"Nothing. I don't want to fight. It's your birthday. It's supposed to be special. C'mon," he said, walking towards the tip of her roof before hastily sitting down, facing the moon in the midnight sky.

She followed swiftly and wordlessly, smoothing out her blue satin bottoms, the ones decorated with bows, once she was next to him on the cool tiles. She twiddled her thumbs in her lap, like she was nervous, like she was thinking something over.

Was she trying not to get her hopes up? Trying to figure out what he had planned? Trying to find some hidden meaning woven through his intentions?

Good luck with that, he thought, because even he had no idea what his intentions were at this point.

"So," she finally said, glancing over at him with bright, curious green eyes, "what are we doing up on my roof?"

"Well," he said, licking his lips to try to get some moisture that had suddenly left him feeling like his whole mouth was made of sand. "It's a surprise."

"Hmm," she mused. "What does this surprise entail, exactly?"

Sonic pointed up to the star splattered sky. Her gaze followed his finger and he watched the bubbles of light paint her eyes with sparkles. The moonlight illuminated her face and for the first time he noticed something he had never seen before. Before he could stop himself, he touched the area of skin that her bangs hovered over, as if she were feebly attempting to hide her impurity.

She jumped at the contact, her wild eyes widening in trepidation. "Sonic?"

"You," he swallowed uncomfortably, "you have a scar."

She nodded wordlessly.

"You have a scar," he repeated and shook his head. "You have a scar hidden beneath your bangs. I've never noticed it before." He realized his hand was still on her forehead and retracted it immediately, as if the mere exposure to her skin would burn him.

"Yes," the marked hedgehog said. "I bet you have scars, too."

"Was it Eggman? I mean, when did it happen?"

"Why does it matter?" she said tersely, her arms folding over her chest as if to protect herself from some hidden force. Or the truth. "It happened a long time ago. It's just a scar."

"It doesn't seem like 'just a scar', not with the way you are acting."

She covered her face with her delicate hands before pushing her bangs back and sighing. "It happened right before I met you."

Sonic nodded with interest but had an uneasy feeling growing in the pit of his stomach. He tried to shake it off but felt it growing, like a disease, before spreading and infecting the rest of his body. Something told him he did not want to hear this story. That this was a story she had never told before. That something had changed her.

"As you recall," she said, staring down at her hands folded neatly in her lap, "we met in early December, right before the new year. My house was right near Never Lake where Eggman wanted to chain up Little Planet. I had followed you because you were a hero. My hero." Amy let out a humorless laugh, shaking her head.

Sonic was alarmed, to say the least. She was clutching at the folds on her pants, her knuckles white with grief. Her hands were shaking with anger. He had never seen such a ferocity blazing in her kind eyes.

"We had met. I had introduced myself to you and had wanted to join you on an adventure. You, of course, declined. How could I keep up with you? How could I face endless danger? After all, I was only a little girl. I had no weapons. I had no special powers. I was useless. Useless," she said the word as if it left a bitter aftertaste in her mouth.

"I headed back to my house," she continued, the trembling now taking over her entire body. "I had been followed, though I did not realize that until I heard the explosion, felt the heat and terror incarcerating my body. I heard my mother screaming my name, shrieking in pain and yet she still had the mind to yell at me to run. I made the mistake of not listening to her, of opening the door to watch the light of her eyes fade at the hands of that monster." There was such a rage in her voice, low and dangerous.

Sonic opened his mouth. "Amy?"

She did not let him finish. "Those red eyes. I will never forget the way they stared at me. They were the same color as her blood." Tears pooled in her eyes, but she refused to let them fall. "I had tried to run. Fear is a funny thing, though. It can either cloud your mind or clear it. Back then, I had no sense of what it meant to be a hero. To fight for the things you love. All I knew was that everything I had loved was lost. I was an easy target, but I still tried to fight and get away for her sake. I would not let her death be in vain."

At this point, Amy stared at Sonic with eyes that reminded him of the calm before the storm. Suddenly, a thought flashed through his mind. He wondered if he had her eyes. Her mother's eyes.

"That's how I gained this scar," she said with an empty voice. "That is how I met you."

There were no words left to say. What could anyone even say after a story like that? Sorry? Sorry did not seem to cut it. It would never be enough. He searched her eyes before reaching forward, wrapping her in an embrace.

He held her close, leaning his head against hers. "I will protect you," he swore softly. "I will protect you from ever feeling that way again. From feeling useless, because you, Amy Rose, are anything but useless." He felt a tear fall on his shoulder as her body shuddered in his arms. "Your mother would be proud of the woman you have become. She would be proud of the difference you have made in this world."

She nodded against his shoulder. "Thank you."

They stayed like that for some time until he saw a flash out of the corner of his eyes. He pulled back, thrusting his finger up at the sky. "Look!"

Amy wiped her eyes with her fingers, a smile taking over her face. "Wow," she breathed, "it's beautiful."

"Happy birthday, Amy."

Streaks of colors raced across the brilliant sky. It almost looked like the stars were falling across the endless blue, like they were searching for something they might never find. It was both beautiful yet disturbing. Sonic wondered what it must be like to run for endless eternity.

Amy leaned against him, nestling her head on his shoulder. "Thank you, Sonic," she said graciously. "This is the best birthday I've had."

"You must have had some terrible birthdays then."

She elbowed him playfully. "I mean it," she said as her laugh tickled his ears. "Thank you."

"You're welcome."

They watched the lights in the night sky for what seemed like hours. Eventually, he tore his gaze away from the shower of lights to the pink beauty sitting next to him, wrapped up in his arm. He wondered how she could be so strong after going through such a disaster. How could she even look at him and not think of the pain and suffering he brought to her life? How could she even love him?

"Amy?"

"Yes?"

"How can you…." He had no idea how to even begin to voice the thoughts in his head. "How can you stand to be around me after what happened?"

She frowned. "What do you mean?"

"I was responsible for your mother's death. I am responsible for it," he amended.

She shook her head fiercely. "No," she said with determination. "You did the best that you could. You saved me when I could not save myself and that is what my mother wanted. She died to protect me. It is Metal Sonic's fault. It is Eggman's fault. It is not your fault."

Sonic thought back to all the times they had faced Metal together. Suddenly, memories flooded back to him. Amy's hands shaking slightly as she held her hammer, preparing for battle. Fear gripping her eyes before it succumbed to another emotion, one of resolve. Her voicing her worries about his safety. About their safety.

He wanted to punch something. Hard. He wanted to go back in time and save Amy from all the heartbreak. But mostly, he just wanted to comfort her. To somehow try to make this better.

Amy smiled up at him with sad eyes. "Sonic, if I could go back I don't know if I would change a thing."

His brows furrowed together in bewilderment. "What do you mean?"

"I knew my mother. I had eight great years with her. She taught me to be strong and to be brave. She gave up her life willingly so I could have a better future. I have that future now. I get to fight the evil that took her away every day in the hopes of a better future. Most of all, I got to know you. She would have liked you, I think."

"I bet she would have too," he joked in an attempt to lighten the mood, "I am very handsome after all."

A laugh bubbled out from within, loud and free. "There's that big head of yours again."

He chuckled deeply before pulling her close. "I'm glad I met you, Ames."

"I am too," she said with a small smile, glancing up at him.

Sonic studied her, watching the lights from the sky dance in her eyes. "Amy?"

She blinked, tilting her head. "Yes, Sonic?"

"I…," his hands felt clammy and he felt his heart start to pound. He recognized this emotion. He had this feeling before. The last time he felt this way he kissed her. Did he want to kiss her again? Was just the guilt pouring through his body? Was this just him wanting to protect her from all the dangers in the world?

No. He didn't think so. That thought was both terrifying and exhilarating.

He stood up abruptly, alarming the pink hedgehog. "We should get you back inside. You've got a big day tomorrow with your party and all. The meteor shower will be ending soon, anyway."

She stood up slowly, dusting herself off. "Sonic?" she frowned slightly. "You're not upset, are you? Because of the story?"

Sonic shook his head. "Of course not. Well, I am, but not for the reasons you would think."

She titled her head to the side in question.

He gripped her shoulders tightly, but also carefully. "Amy, I promise to protect you for your mother."

"Sonic, I don't need…."

"Please," he begged silently, "just promise me you'll let me protect you."

She nodded inaudibly.

He touched his forehead to hers and sighed, tickling her nose. "I can't lose you," he admitted quietly.

He felt the sharp intake of her breath. He felt her hands trembling against his stomach. He swore he could hear her heart pounding to the same rhythm as his as she wrapped her arms around him.

"You won't."

He closed his eyes, and for a moment, he allowed himself to be lost in her. He knew it wouldn't be enough, but for right now, it was.

It was.


This chapter was originally planned out WAY differently. The back-story was never supposed to take place. They were just supposed to watch the shower and have a cute moment. Somewhere along the way this came out and I have to say, I like this a lot better. I love it when moments like this happen :) I hope you all enjoyed it too! I was going to upload this tomorrow but I could not wait any longer! Feedback is welcome! :)

Happy Holidays! You readers and your support is the best gift of all :)