Hello!

Wow, we're actually at the sequel now?

Yes. Yes we are.

Anyway, the sequel will probably be shorter than ISITC, because there are less sub-plots (that may change)

Okay: any music I mention ... it's going to be stuff we know of now mostly, because we still listen to stuff that came out years ago ... why would these guys be any different? Also, I am not writing brand-new songs that I won't even use and won't be good.

Anyway, the younger characters (Daisy May, Alex, anybody's kids) will all of listened to what their parents/older siblings listen too so yup :b

I JUST HAVE TO SAY ONE THING; DAISY MAY'S FRIENDS IN THIS STORY ARE FREAKIN AWESOME. They're all imaginary friends I had when I was younger, I just made them animals ... so yeah ^_^ random fact there.

Enjoy :)

( x x x )

The hedgehog in the mirror was tall, with pink quills that had been cut so they ended above her shoulders. She had big dark green eyes and an hourglass figure. She was wearing black leggings, red boots and a floaty,long,dark-red and black top Her make-up was simple; just a bit of red-lipstick, and some dark-grey eyeshadow. There was a gold chain around her neck with a red gem-stone hanging from it. On her finger was a ruby ring, set into a gold band.

It was hard to believe that the girl in the mirror was me. I look so ... grown-up.

Inside though, I still feel the same way I did ten years ago; like a scared teenager, wondering what was going to happen on the first day at my new school.

Amy, it's no big deal, I said to myself, You're just going over to Shadow and Maria's, for their reunion dinner-party thing ... no biggie.

I shook my head, and turned away from the mirror, walking out of my tiny bedroom - Daisy May needs the bigger one.

Besides, Shadow told you that he probably wouldn't be coming ... you have nothing to worry about.

I walked into the kitchen of our little house; we sold the big house years ago, to pay for Daisy May's hospital bills, a car, and this bungalow, now that she can't get up stairs with her injury. The kitchen is pretty small, but cosy. The walls are bright orange-yellow, and there's a table in the middle of the room with an orange-and-red checked table-cloth. There are a ton of Daisy May's old paintings on the fridge, and some postcards and photographs arranged on a pinboard - a group photo of the whole gang at the ice-rink when I was sixteen, Shadow and Maria with their daughter, some school pictures and postcards etc: etc:

'Daisy May?' I asked, grabbing my car-keys from the kitchen table. 'You ready?'

Her voice rang out through the house, 'Just a second!'

'Are you sure you don't - ?' I began but a loud sigh cut me off. 'Amy,' she said, sounding a little insulted. 'I've been using this thing for five years, okay? I think I can get in and out of my room.' she snapped, rolling into the kitchen. She managed to avoid knocking over anything with her wheelchair. I winced slightly - even after all these years, it still hurt to know that she wouldn't be able to walk again.

A few years ago, Daisy-May had been in a car-accident with Scourge and Rosy who had been taking her to our grandmother's house. There had been a drunk-driver on the road ...

Well. You can see what happened

Scourge and Rosy had been okay, but Daisy May wasn't so lucky. Her knees had been very badly damaged in the crash and she had needed a wheelchair ever since. The accident had changed everything; we had to move. Mom moved in with her sister so we could get a smaller, cheaper house ...

It had made my choice of what to do with the arranged marriage situation a lot easier though.

'Amy? Hel-looo? Earth to Miss Rose?' Daisy-May sang. Her voice snapped me out of my daze and I looked back at her, feeling relieved when I saw that she didn't look annoyed at me anymore.

'Now that you're back, what do you think of my outfit?' she asked me, doing a neat little spin. I took in her apperance; God, she had changed a lot.

Her deep fuchsia coloured quills had been backcombed, with random stripes of green, black, pink and blue and a few clips here and there. She as wearing a red tartan skirt that ended slightly below her knees, a tight black vest-top, black leggings and cherry-red DM boots with black laces. She had a ton of bangles, bracelets and bands up her left arm and a black fingerless glove on the right. She wasn't wearing much make-up; just some eyeliner, green eyeshadow and lip-gloss. To be honest, I wasn't to keen on her look nowadays ... but I didn't like telling her what she could and couldn't wear; she had so little control over anything in her life as it was.

I smiled, 'You look great lil' sis!'

Daisy-May beamed, 'Thanks! Jade and Paul helped me pick it out after-school yesterday.'

(Jade and Paul were Daisy-May's best friends. Jade and Daisy-May had met in hospital - Jade's diabetic. Paul was Jade's boyfriend ... their relationship had been a little like Tails and Cosmo's in secondary school ... best friend's who had fallen in love. Only it had taken longer for them to go out, because Daisy-May and Jade had been convinced that Paul was gay ... he was really just metrosexual.)

Daisy-May and I left the house and made our way to the car. It's nothing special, a dark-red seven-seater (so we have extra trunk space for Daisy-May's chair). The seats are a little faded and there's always a ton of clutter inside, but I like it all the same I lifted Daisy-May out and put her down into the seat; thank God that she doesn't weigh that much ... she has to mind her diet because she's in the chair. I folded the chair up and hauled it into the trunk before climbing into the driver's seat and setting off. Daisy-May was texting one of her friends on her phone so I decided to put in a CD. I slid Amy's CD 2013 into the player (Silver, Tails and Tikal had gotten really into making CDs for different people and occasions a few years ago).

After a few seconds I stopped listening to Taylor Swift and started thinking about what could happen tonight; it would be the first time the gang was all together, in one-place for the first time in ... forever.

Not that we've been ignoring each-other or anything ... it's just been hard. Marine went back to Australia for a while, all the drama with Knuckles and Rouge, Cream and Charmy are still getting their degrees ...

It's not only the gang at this thing though ... my whole year from secondary school will be there too, along with some of our friends in other years/schools - like Bunnie and her husband, Antoine, Azura and Ash - Cosmo's cousin and her on/off-again boyfriend.

Charmy will have his new girlfriend there, we'll be meeting Cosmo's new boyfriend for the first time, there will be kids ...

Yep. A lot has changed in the last ten years ... some of those changes good and some bad.

As I drove

A week or two after Vanilla and Vector's wedding, Maria had told the gang about her bullimia. They had been shocked to hear it but managed to stay strong for her, and get her some help.

She hadn't made herself sick since the wedding.

She and Shadow were still together; they did try to take a break one year, when Maria went to study in France but both of them were pretty miserable - especially Shadow. Maria decided to come home for Christmas, as a surprise, and the two of them ran into each-other's arms, and hardly let go the entire week.

Shadow and Maria now live in Maria's old house, to look after Maria's mother who has Alzheimer's disease. Maria had earned the title of ''professional dancer'' after finishing her ballet classes. She danced professionally in a few productions and she had recently started teaching ballet classes.

And true to her word, Maria had convinced Shadow that they should adopt a kid; a little Vietnamese tiger called Mai, who was seven years old - they had adopted her when she was five and her English was getting better all the time. Tails and I were her , because he and Shadow had become pretty close - well, as close as a guy can be with another guy without having romantic feelings for him - after things started going wrong for Tails at home ... Shadow could relate. And Maria had chosen me because the two of us were still best-friends.

Maria hadn't changed much in ten years ... she wasn't as hyper anymore, only freaking out whenever something really exciting happened. Her hair had been cut so it ended just below her shoulders and she had piercings all along her ears.

Shadow had changed; once he left secondary-school and moved in with Maria he became a happier guy. He smiled more ... he even talked more now! It had been a little hard to adjust too at first, but we were all used to it by now.

The change was brought on by the fact that he wasn't living at home with his parents and little sister anymore. None of us (except for Maria) had known much about Shadow's home life; we had all just believed that his parents were typical parents and that he just had a sister who annoyed him. In reality though, he was very unhappy at home. He felt like his parents loved Sunshine more than him, so he began to rebel; all the black clothes, and chains and guy-liner ... just a way to annoy his parents. Maria confessed that Shadow would often sneak out and run to her house at night everytime he and his parents had a huge row.

It was Maria who changed his relationship with his family; she called over to his house one day, having made sure he wouldn't be there. She sat down at the kitchen with his mother, his father and Sunshine and told them how Shadow felt at home; how alone and judged and upset he felt ... they all seemed a little shocked and tried to deny it, making excuses ... but the message obviously got through to them because one day he walked into school with Maria, both of them full of big smiles. His sister didn't ignore him in the halls, and instead she greeted him warmly.

Shadow was still at his piano, writing music and songs for Mina's band (her band were pretty famous now - Manic had joined them on drums. Mina had made peace with Maria and Shadow and she was now engaged to her manager, Ash Mongoose.)

All in all, things had improved for the two of them.

Marine and Aishling broke up after almost two years, but the two of them were still on good-terms. Marine taught P.E and Aishling was a journalist. Marine lived in a small apartment and Aishling lived with her friend Brendan, who was also gay - the two of them decided to come back here to live, instead of staying in Ireland for the rest of their lives though they went back to their home-country a few times a year.

Knuckles became a security guard at the Natural History Museum while Rouge was still trying to decide what she wanted to do in life ... she started working part-time in her friend Bunnie's salon, unsure of what she wanted to become. Then she overheard Marine telling Cream that a parent had pulled their child out of her class because she was dating a woman at the time. This opened Rouge's eyes up to how hard life could be for the LGBT community ... she remembered an exchange student we had for a year, a wolf from England who was trans male-female, and how she couldn't get a part-time job anywhere because of her gender identity.

That's when she decided she was going to become a Human-Rights lawyer. She had graduated from law school two years ago and was now working in a pretty succesful firm.

Knuckles and Rouge had lived together for a few years in an apartment ... things were fine for a few years. Of couse they had their arguments, but that was normal for any relationship ... especially if the people in that relationship were Knuckles and Rouge.

Then, when she was only twenty, Rouge discovered that she was pregnant.

They were scared but excited - Tikal wouldn't let Knuckles baby her anymore and got annoyed when he was too protective and Rouge was used to doing things on her own and was to stubborn to ask him for help when she needed it, so he was glad to have someone else to look after. Rouge had always wanted a little kid in her home and now she was finally getting one. Nine months later, Emerald (Emily) was born. Tikal and Aaron (Tikal's on/off again boyfriend and close friend) were her godparents.

Knuckles and Rouge believed that they could be a happy family now ... but things didn't work out that well.

Knuckles and Rouge knew that they would have to stop fighting now that they had a child ... first of all they tried discussing their problems but neither of them were good at opening up about their feelings. So they started to keep them bottled up ... and when that happened, the tinest thing could set them off. Knuckles forgot where he put his keys once and Rouge had a screaming fit, where she started yelling at him for things that had happened weeks earlier.

It wasn't that they weren't in love anymore ... they were. You could see it if you just looked. But they were both stressed out from having a child. They were tense and scared to even speak anymore in case it set the other one off. Neither of them were good at keeping their opinions to themselves; believe it or not, all of their arguments had been healthy for their relationship because it allowed them to see what the other person was thinking and feeling and they always worked harder at listening to the other afterwards. But this ... it was like they were trying to navigate their way through a field of land-mines. Taking small, soft steps then BOOM! a huge fight, with screaming and yelling and throwing things (okay that happened once ... Rouge grabbed a paperback of Blaze's and flung it in Knuckles' directon before storming out of the room).

Rouge spent more time with people in her school because she was so sick of being so careful all the time, not coming home until the early hours of the morning - they started leaving Emily with her grandmother (Knuckles' mother) most days. Knuckles became scared, worried that she had fallen out of love with him and was having an affair with one of her new friends. Of course she wasn't doing this ... but Knuckles was scared all the same. This only lead to bigger fights.

But eventually, they realised that it wasn't healthy. For them, for their relationship, for Emily ... so they broke up. Knuckles stayed in the apartment while Rouge moved in with Tikal for a few months, until she graduated and managed to buy a small house for her and Emily. Knuckles and Rouge would each have Emily for a week, but relied on Tikal to take the child between their houses ... they refused to talk or admit that they missed eachother.

It was sad ... they were still in love and they wouldn't even try.

Silver and Blaze were still together though. With Blaze's help, Silver's dyslexia improved and he was now a primary-school teacher. He taught third-class kids and loved his job. Blaze taught too, but she taught English in a our old secondary school. She was also writing a book; a fantasy novel, about a rebillious princess who wanted to be herself, and her little sister who was jealous of her. There were goblins, wood-nymphs, fairies and a romance between the princess and a guard-in-training who was also her best friend ...

Huh. I wonder where she got that idea.

But seriously, it was going to be great. Blaze was very good at writing and making up stories.

Silver and Blaze were the only couple that hadn't gone through a split or a break-up in the ten years they had been together. They had finally made love the Summer before they went to college and according to Blaze, the night had been perfect. The guys didn't get anything from Silver though ... he spent the next few days after their first time stuttering, blushing and looking as though he were in a trance.

Actually, that happens a lot ...

Oh.

Well.

Their relationship hadn't changed much ... Silver still fawned over Blaze while she teased and flirted with him. Silver was still nervous about everything but was willing to do anything for the lavender cat ... and Blaze still felt a little shy whenever he made a big romantic gesture towards her. But they were sweet and adorable and in love.

Tikal surprised everyone by becoming a school counselor. She had always had her heart set on acting or working for Greenpeace ... then, she became the Agony Aunt for the school magazine and she found it addicting. Tikal discovered that she was good at helping people! She had been bullied and she had observed the rest of us going through things with our parents, relationships, school-work etc: so she could relate to the people who needed help.

In her spare time she'd continue to make her little trinkets - houses made from ice-lolly sticks, feather mobiles, shell jewellery, stuff like that - and try out for shows in the local theater.

She did go out with Aaron (the echidna at the wedding) in the end ... they broke up after a few months but they remained close friends. Aaron was still totally in love with her and wanted to get married to Tikal but Tika wanted to make sure that he was the one for her.

So they went out with other people, just to be sure.

Charmy and Cream decided that they wanted to be nurses after poking around the hospital ater Daisy-May's accident. They were seventeen at the time and wondering what they wanted to do in life and they got talking to a nurse at the hospital ... and found out what they wanted to do.

Cream finally went out with Monty but they broke up; Cream was a wreck for a few days and Charmy was the only person who could get through to her. Charmy was upset, but only because Cream was so heart-broken. When she did start dating again he didn't feel jealous ... he had moved on. The two of them had a totally platonic relationship. The two of them were so comfortable together that when it was warm in the apartment, Cream would walk around in nothing but her underwear without any problem. Charmy was constantly pulling her down onto the couch and starting tickle-fights with her. It was sweet but didn't help their love-lives; their boyfriends/girlfriends always felt threatened and jealous and would realise that Cream and Charmy would never care about them as much as they cared about one-another.

Tails went through a pretty rough time when Cosmo and Aishling discovered that his father was having an affair. They had been in an Art Museum and had seen Tails' father with his arm around a pretty young hedgehog.

For a few months, the yellow fox was sulky and withdrawn; he had been close to his father and couldn't believe he had done something like this. He started falling behind in school and snapping at all of us.

After a few weeks, Cosmo made a very difficult decision.

She broke up with Tails.

We all objected to this and demanded to know why she was doing this ... Cosmo just looked at us and said sadly, ''He doesn't need a girlfriend right now. He needs his best-friend back ... I love Tails and I will be all that he needs no matter how I feel.'' Tails eventually got over what happened and things went back to normal ...

But they never did get back together.

And none of us really know why.

Tails opened up a little shop where fixed things and he sold things he had made from bits of metal and wood - model ships, toys, tables and chairs, little inventions etc: etc: Tikal and Cosmo made little things for him to sell too, because they were both so good at Arts and Crafts.

Cosmo had no idea what she wanted to do. She knew what she liked - art and music ... but she had no idea what she wanted to do as a career. Right now she did twenty different things, trying to sort it all out. She was a waitress in a cafe in town, she helped Tails at his shop, helped her mother at her shop, auditioned for pantomimes and shows at the local theater, tried to sell paintings to galleries and wanted to illustrate Blaze's future book.

Tails had broken up with his girlfriend, Mandy, a few months ago. They had only been dating a few weeks; we had met Mandy once. She was a pretty tabby cat with big amber eyes and a nice laugh ... but she was a wallflower and didn't try to join in with us. She was so different from Cosmo ... I think that's why it didn't work out.

Cosmo was dating a new guy. We hadn't met him, but her relationship status on facebook had changed from single to in a relationship with Steven Woods almost two months ago. None of us knew what he was like, but we had seen a picture of him on Cosmo's facebook page - a smokey-grey wolf with long, messy black hair and dark, dangerous eyes.

I wonder what he will be like ...

We were almost at Maria's house. Daisy-May was staring out the window, looking a little anxious. She was clutching her phone in her hand, as though she were scared it would run away. The phone buzzed and she quickly read the message, eyes glowing.

'What's got you so excited?' I asked her. My sister slipped her phone into her black purse. 'Oh, Jade was just ... she just told me this really cute thing Paul did for her, is all.'

'Okay - you know, you haven't had them over in a while. I have a parent-teacher meeting with the second and fifth-year parents next Thursday. I'll be out a while so you could have them over so you have some company?'

'Yeah ... maybe.' Daisy-May bit her lip, 'Could - could I invite someone else over as well?'

'Sure,' I replied, turning left; just a few more minutes. 'You have a new friend then?'

She nodded, 'Taylor just moved here from New York.'

'Awesome,' I smiled. 'Sure! Taylor can come over as well ... it's nice to see you're including her. She's probably having a hard time fitting in with everyone. It can be hard being the new-girl.'

Daisy-May seemed to be a little uneasy; she looked like she wanted to say something, but I stopped the car before she had a chance. We were at Shadow and Maria's house.

I helped Daisy-May into her wheelchair and we walked up to the door of the big white building. They were good enough to put up a ramp for Daisy-May. I rang the doorbell open; I heard an excited high-pitched voice cry 'I'll get it!'

A small silver tiger with black stripes and big amber eyes opened the door. Mai. She was wearing a little pink dress and sparkly shoes. Mai smiled when she saw Daisy-May and I and flung herself at me. Daisy-May laughed as I pulled the little tiger off me, holding her up above me so she was looking down at me.

'Hello Mai!' the two of us chorused. Mai grinned, 'Hello Amy! Hello Daisy-May! Mama and Daddy are waiting for you.'

'Mai?' Maria appeared at the door, her face splitting into a huge smile when she saw the two of us. 'Amy!' she exclaimed, pulling me into a hug - Mai quickly jumped out of my arms and went over to Daisy-May. 'Ah, we haven't spoken in forever!'

'We went shopping last week Maria,' I told her but I returned the hug all the same.

'I knoooow!' Maria whined, 'But I still missed you!'

When she finally let me go, we all walked (or rolled) into the house. Shadow walked out of the kitchen to greet us. He hugged me and shook Daisy-May's hand before kissing Maria on the cheek. Mai giggled and Maria sent her off to play with her toys. Daisy-May went off to mind her.

Shadow was wearing black designer jeans and a grey shirt. Maria was wearing a short, pale-blue dress and shoes with her hair pulled back from her face.

'How's your mother?' I asked the blonde hedgehog, putting my coat up on a hook. Maria smiled sadly, 'She's okay ... sleeping right now. We have the baby-alarm down here and in her room so we can check on her if she wakes up.'

The two hedgehogs lead me into the dining room; the table was full of trays of cheese and different crackers and savoury biscuits, bunches of grapes, little tartlets and things like that.

'Amy? Would you like a drink?' Shadow asked me, gesturing to the bottles of sparkling apple juice - he hadn't touched alcohol ever since Maria's sixteenth birthday and he and Maria wouldn't keep it in the house.

'Oh, yes please.'

Shadow poured me a drink and passed me the glass; the doorbell rang and he excused himself. Maria went around the room, moving things around and putting her iPod on shuffle in the background. I drank my sparkling juice, feeling more and more anxious by the minute ...

What would I do if he turned up tonight?!

I heard voices in the hall and I smiled when I recognised them; a little pink echidna with jet-black rings bounced into the room, giving us a quick ''hello!'' before running off to find Mai.

Rouge walked in behind her, looking as glam as ever in a short, slinky black dress and heels. Maria let out a little sqeal and pulled the three of us into a hug; I could understand her excitement this time. We hadn't met up with Rouge in a while - she had been working on a case for a man who hadn't been granted asylum from his country or something like that (I had only heard of it via Tikal so I was a little sketchy on the details).

'God, I've missed you guys!' Rouge exclaimed when we broke apart. 'How's work?'

'I'm getting my students ready for a recital ... we're doing ''Cinderella'' for Christmas.' Maria said, handing Rouge a drink.

'It will be amazing Maria. With you putting it together ...'

'Thanks Amy - I never asked how things were with you?'

We walked into the living room, sitting down on the sofa and armchairs. 'It's good I guess. I'm planning on taking my first-years on a trip to this old monastary and round-tower which should be good.'

'I still find it funny that you ended up teaching History,' Rouge confessed, 'I mean, I know you were good at it and all but I never thought you liked it that much.'

'Yeah, it is kinda strange.' I agreed, 'But it's a good job. I get a pretty decent wage.'

We spent a little while longer talking about our lives - Rouge had a good moan about the people she was working with. As Maria and Rouge talked about Mai and Emily I tuned out; I wasn't trying to be rude ... but whenever they talked about kids I felt a little sad.

I excused myself to get another drink and walked into the kitchen. I let out a long sigh and rubbed my forehead, shaking my head.

'Worried?'

I spun around, relaxing when I saw Shadow standing in the doorway. He looked sympathetic.

I nodded, my gaze dropping down to the ground. 'What will I do if he shows up Shadow? I haven't spoken to him in years ... '

Shadow walked over to the sink and rinsed out a glass. His eyes were narrowed, his expression thoughtful.

'If he shows up you should talk to him.' Shadow said. 'Try get away from everyone - Maria and I will distract them - and the two of you can talk about everything in private.'

'It's going to be so awkward.' I moaned, tipping my head back.

'Well, that's your own fault.' Shadow snapped. I stared at him, shocked. My fault? How was any of this my fault? I never asked for any of this -

'Amy, I've spent time with Sonic and I've seen how the break-up affected him. He's still cut up about it and if you had talked to him at all after you broke-up with him I think he'd be - '

I kicked the ground and stormed out of the room, trying to ignore Shadow and the wave of guilt that was washing over me ... then I just felt angry. Why did I feel guilty? Shadow was wrong; it wasn't my fault.

I walked back into the living room; Emily and Mai were sitting on their mother's laps and Daisy-May was chatting away with Rouge. I sat down beside Maria, still glaring. Maria looked over at me. 'Amy?' she asked. 'What's wrong?'

'Your boyfriend.'

Maria let out a long sigh. She looked like she wanted to know more but the doorbell rang before she had the chance. She gave Mai a little push and the little tiger slid off her lap. Emily hopped out of Rouge's arms and the two of them ran back to Mai's playroom.

Maria skipped off to answer the door. Rouge and I giggled when we heard her excited scream. A few seconds later she came back into the room followed by Bunnie, Antoine, Marine, Silver and Blaze. We all exchanged hugs and Antoine kissed us all on both cheeks (it's a French thing, Bunnie explained). Rouge's eyes were narrowed and she was staring at Bunnie; her eyes widened and her face lit up.

'Bunnie! When did? Why didn't? Are you?' she spluttered grabbing the rabbit's hands. Bunnie and Antoine exchanged sly looks then nodded. Bunnie placed a hand on her stomach and it clicked ...

'Oh my gosh!' Maria and I exclaimed simultaneously. Silver and Blaze's eyes were glowing. 'You're ...?'

Antoine nodded. 'Oui, Bunnie is expecting.'

The next five minutes were full of ''congratulations'' and questions and squealing (from Maria). Rouge pulled Bunnie away to talk to her and Antoine and Maria sat down together, chatting away in French.

I looked over at Silver and Blaze; the two of them were standing together so close that they looked like they were joint at the hip and they seemed happy ... but there was something else there. Silver looked nervous and Blaze was a little distracted.

I walked over to them, 'Hi guys!'

Silver jumped slightly but quickly relaxed; he looked as though I had saved him from a pool of lava or something. Blaze smiled but she still looked like she wasn't totally with us.

'Hi Amy,' she said, 'It's so nice to see you. We haven't hung-out outside of work in a while.

'Tell me about it.' I laughed. 'So how are things?'

'Meh,' Blaze rolled her eyes, 'Same old - same old. I'm getting ready for these stupid Christmas Exams - '

'Ugh don't remind me.' I groaned. 'I have a load to put together.'

'I am so glad I don't do secondary-school teaching ...' Silver muttered. Blaze smirked, 'Only because you'd be way too scared of the students.'

'I would not be scared of them!' Silver exclaimed. 'Silver, you were worried about your class full of eight-year-olds for a month!' I giggled.

Blaze laughed; Silver stared at her, his eyes taking on a familiar glassy look that he got whenever he was with Blaze and -

Okay time for me to leave.

More and more people were arriving, all of them chatting, eating, drinking and laughing - Ash and Mina were together, Fiona Fox, Julie-Su (she and Rouge made peace at their graduation) and Mighty the Armidillo were talking, Aishling, her girlfriend, Nicole (a geeky lynx) and Aishling were trying to convince Cream to chat-up some bear I didn't recognise (''He's fit!'' ''How do you know Marine? You like girls?'' ''Hey! You like guys and you can tell when a girl's attractive, can't ya?''). Charmy and Johnny Lightfoot were loudly discussing a football match. Aaron, Tikal, Azura and Ash were sitting on the sofas so they were facing each-other. Aaron tried to put his arm around Tikal but she elbowed him in the side so he pulled his arm back. Knuckles had Emily up on his shoulders while Rouge, who was still with Bunnie, watched him sadly. Daisy-May was entertaining some of the little kids, Manic and his boyfriend - yes, a boyfriend! He came out as bisexual towards the end of the Summer Vanilla and Vectro got married. What's more, his boyfriend is Aishling's friend Brendan! - were talking to their friends Jazz, Nicole (not Aishling's girlfriend, this is another Nicole - she's Josh Hutcherson's cousin or something!) and her boyfriend and many many more.

I looked and looked but there was no sign of a cobalt hedgehog anywhere.

I don't know if I feel happy about this or not.

'Amy!'

I spun around, beaming when I saw a two-tailed fox walk into the room.

'Tails!' I exclaimed, hugging him. 'How are you? It's been ages!'

'Yeah, I was camping in this forest, looking for wood and trying to come up with new ideas for inventions.' he explained. 'I made a doll-house for Mai, and was wondering if you wanted to buy some little dolls to go with it or something?'

'Sure,' I nodded. 'I can do that ... being a Godparent is expensive.' I laughed. Tails smiled at my joke, before looking around the room, his eyes hopeful.

'She's not here.' I said; I knew who he was looking for. Tails' ears drooped but quickly perked up when I went on, 'But she's coming. She confirmed it with Maria - she said that she wouldn't miss it for the world.'

'Have you heard from her at all?' Tails asked me; he looked a little nervous. I shook my head, frowning slightly. 'No ... why are you asking? You two are best-friends! Haven't you talked to her lately?'

Tails shook his head a little sadly. 'No. I've tried asking her if she wanted to get a coffe or something but something always pops up with her new boyfriend.' I noticed the change in tone on the word boyfriend.

'Talking about Cosmo?' Mina asked us, pausing as she made her out the door. 'The doorbell rang just now - I was about to get it. It's probably - '

Tails had already left; I followed him, along with most of the old gang. We walked into the hall to see Tails open the door, his face breaking out into a huge grin when he saw a green seedrian standing there.

Cosmo's hair was longer than it was the last time I saw her, and the flowers on her head were in full bloom. She was wearing a soft green dress and dark green eyeshadow.

Something was off though.

Her skin was even paler than usual. She was squinting slightly with one of her eyes and even though they had brightened when she laid eyes on her best-friend they looked dull. There was a smile on her face but she hadn't flung her arms around Tails and hugged him yet, even though she obviously wanted too. She took a timid step into the house. As soon as she did so, Tails pulled her into his arms and hugged her. She looked a little nervous but eventually closed her eyes and her smile widened.

'It's great to see you Cosmo!'

'You too Tails. I've - '

'Cosmo.'

Cosmo jumped back from Tails as though he were on fire and spun around. Blaze and I looked over at the door; the wolf in Cosmo's photos was standing there, his dark eyes narrowed, his fists clenched, his stance alert. Steven Woods. Cosmo's mysterious new boyfriend.

'Hello ...' Maria offered, looking a little nervous. Steven ignored her, he just stared at Cosmo and Tails. Cosmo took a few steps towards her boyfriend. Tails stood up straight, his eyes narrowed as well.

'Cosmo, who is this?' Steven asked, gesturing towards Tails. Cosmo stepped beside the taller wolf, her gaze sliding down to the ground.

'Steven, this is Tails. He's the friend I told you about.'

'Ah. The ex-boyfriend.' Steven growled, a small smirk tugging at his lips. He extended his hand out to Tails. 'I'm Steven Woods ... the boyfriend.'

He yanked Tails' hand and shook it hard; Tails winced and I noticed how tight Steven's grip was on his hand.

I wasn't a huge fan of Cosmo's new boyfriend.

I don't think any of us were.

Everyone was glaring at Steven, or eyeing him up to see if they could take him down (that was mostly Knuckles, Shadow and Rouge.)

Eventually, Maria cleared her throat and said that we should be getting back to everyone else. We all nodded and walked back into the kitchen or living room. Tails tried to get over to Cosmo but Cream tugged at his arm and pulled him away, whispering something. Charmy nodded in agreement and Tails sighed. Steven has his arm around Cosmo, pratically holding her there as if she were a naughty chao who would run away.

This isn't good.

Not at all.

( x x x )

Things weren't as awkward as I thought they would be tonight.

Everyone was full of questions for different people and funny stories and (in Bunnie and Antoine's case) announcements. Everyone was laughing and being really loud; there was a great atmosphere in the air; a buzz of excitement around us.

Even Cosmo seemed perkier for a few minutes, telling Cream about how she was going to audition for the pantomime at Christmas. Tails, Cream, Charmy and Marine were all telling her how great she would be when Steven overheard.

He laughed, 'There's no point auditioning Cosmo,' he told the seedrian, 'There are plenty of young women and men who will be after parts ... you only have maybe a 10% chance of getting in the show. And even if you somehow landed the main role, what good would it be? Nobody gets famous from pantomimes.'

This statement was met by a shocked silence from the four people listening to Cosmo; Cosmo herself just looked down at the ground, and nodded, saying that she agreed with Steven and yes there was no point in trying out for a part because she wouldn't get one anyway.

I shook my head; what was wrong with the girl?

We were all gathered around the table, eating dinner, when things went wrong.

'Has anyone heard from Sally?' I asked, when the noise dropped down slightly. Everyone stopped talking as soon as I asked my question, looking over at each-other with questioning looks.

'Not since August.' Fiona confessed; that was almost two months ago.

'I tried contacting her to see if she could make it tonight,' Maria told us, 'But I didn't get a reply.'

'I thought you would've heard from her Amy,' Johnny Lightfoot said. 'I mean, aren't you - ?'

Honey the Cat hissed at him, scaring him into silence. Daisy-May looked over at me, wide-eyed. She wasn't the only one either; everyone looked a little nervous. An awkward silence filled the room.

I half expected crickets to start chirping.

I felt my face redden and my eyes burn; I stood up, pushing my plate away and storming back into the kitchen for the second time tonight. I marched over to the sink and splashed cold water at my face. In the window, I could see my diamond ring's reflection, shining and sparkling, as though it were taunting me.

I furiously splashed more water at my face, trying to stop myself from bursting into tears. I turned off the tap and dabbed at my face with a cloth. I looked in the window again, to see if my make-up was messed up ... I don't know if it was.

Because I saw something else in the reflection that made me forget everything that had happened today; instead, my head was flooded with memories - slow-dancing, kisses in the rain, swing-sets, picnics and confessions of love late in the night.

I turned around slowly, praying that it wasn't true, that he wasn't here.

My prayers weren't answered.

I turned around to meet the beautiful lime-green eyes and soft cobalt fur that had haunted my dreams since I graduated.

'Hello Ames. It's been a while.'

'Sonic the Hedgehog.'
...

Okay, first thing.

DAISY-MAY'S IN A WHEELCHAIR?!

Yes. Yes she is.

See, I knew that Amy had to have a reason for marrying ... whoever it is ... and I thought of something. One of Amy's fears was that Daisy-May would have to go through with the arranged marriage too (look back at ISITC because I've mentioned it a few times) and I knew that having something happen to Daisy-May would make Amy a million times more protective of her. I didn't want to go with cancer or anything like that, because there would always be the fact that she could die hanging over our heads, so I went with her being crippled.

You have no idea how many days I spent reading wheel-chair related topics and asking questions ... like what sort of clothes could they wear, how do they go to the bathroom, why might you need a wheelchair? (I was wondering where in your legs you'd have to break/damage)

So yus.

What else can I say about this chapter ...?

I BROKE UP KNOUGE, TAISMO AND MASHLING?

I'm sorry, please don't hurt me. I kept Silvaze and Shadia together didn't I?

I almost broke up Silvaze guys ... be grateful that I didn't.

OKAY. LISTEN.

I have exams at the start of December, okay? So I will not be able to write until the tests are over (but they only go on for two days anyway). I am sorry but my education is really important to me and I have HUGE exams next year (2014) and I have things to study already.

I'll try write over Christmas ... I promise.

(I hope anyone who was affected Sandy is okay)

Scarstar xxx