Chapter Three: The Feeling of Despair

The scent of fresh lavender and roses was in the air......the taste of fresh air circulated his mouth......the sound of water hitting water sounded in the near distance..... and as the feeling of dampness took over his nerves, light slowly started to reach the surface of his eyes.....
Knuckles lifted himself off the soft cushioning under his back and let out a small moan, grasping the towel that lay on his head. His whole body had a burning itch to it, his front half more than his back, but he ignored the pain for now. He winced hard, and slowly started to open release his eyes from their overlapping lids. Light shone heavily on them, causing them to shut tightly in response. But little by little, he started to gain his senses.
As his vision became clear, logs of brown stacked atop each other became sighted. Flower pots and two small wooden tables filled the area. Cushions of green, burgundy, and flowery designs rested on every chair in the area, which were neatly placed in small corners and next to a long, round table with plastic matts awaiting bowls and dishes resting neatly in front of the chairs beside it. Carpets were laying on all different spots. In front of the couch on which Knuckles lay, under each table, and a small one in front of the entrance door. Beyond the tables and beyond the chairs, a blazing fire was set under a wall of carefully paved bricks. "Where am I?" He moaned softly to himself. The place he was in was so peaceful....It was almost like.....a home?
A small, threatening growl caught the echidna's ears, and all he could define as it's owner was a small brown blur with four legs that ran toward and out a small built-in door within the door that sealed the area's exit. Knuckles tried to get up, but an instant shred of pain steamed in his knees as soon as he tried to do so. Cringing and looking down, he realized his knees were heavily covered in bandages. He reached for them quickly, and rested a gloved hand on the left wound. "Ah-ah-ah! No peeking!" exclaimed a voice that was all too familiar to the echidna, yet somehow, it was a new voice at the same time...
Knuckles guided his eyes toward the matt at the entrance, where a pair of white and blue sneakers rested above the fabric. In their grasp stood a pair of legs covered in white fur, which were joined by a pair of short blue jean shorts. He quickly made his way to the face, skimming the peach belly and light blue top quickly while he was at it. "You wouldn't wanna infect those burns, now!" The bat girl in front of him gave a slight wink and raised two fingers on one semi-raised hand while the other rested on her waist. Knuckles realized who it was, and for the first time in a long while, he was caught off guard. "R-Rouge?....."
The brown blur with four legs was standing at her heal. It let out a small Meow, and allowed itself to be carried. "The one and only!" She patted the cat softly as it layed on her arm, stroking it from ear to base. "Sorry if my friend here gave you a startle. Her job was to watch over you."
The red echidna finally quit staring. "Why am I here!? Is this some kind of guard-nap or something!?" He tensed his body for a fight, but he kept his hands on the couch below him anyway. "Sheesh, is that any way to treat a lady!? Particularly one who just saved your life!? I didn't HAVE to save you y'know. I could've left you in that dessert to dehydrate, but instead I was nice and decided to pick you up." She placed the Siamese cat on the ground, where it took off for a rug to lay on. "Picked me up? From where!?" "Why, the dessert of coarse. You were just lying there in a puddle of your own drying sweat, unconscious from the heat. Your back was sunburnt 'till it steamed, and your knees were burnt so bad your fur fell off. A little more and your bones would've been burned as well. Same goes for your elbows." Knuckles raised both his arms to glance at his elbows, which were also covered in think white bandages. He then rested his face on one of his palms, his large white gloves covering the entire mid-section of his head. A small moan was all he could release, as the stinging itchfull burn of his entire body came back to taunt him. "Here." Said Rouge. "This'll keep you hydrated." She handed him a glass of water, then went to the fireplace to add some more wood.
Knuckles gulped the freshness little by little, the first cool sensation to enter his body aside from the wet rag of a cloth that rested on his head a few moments earlier. He was too weak to stand, barely being able to move without some part of his body being stung viciously while rubbing against the soft couch's leather. Rouge walked up to him and grabbed his arm. "Come", she commanded. Knuckles let out a small, manly groan of pain and thrust his arm away from her, her simple touch causing him great amounts of pain. "Oh come on! You weren't nearly as much of a wimp the last time we met! I always thought there was a cry-baby within that big buff exterior!" She grabbed his arm once again and pulled, causing him to stand on his weak knees while he winced hard in pain. She quickly placed his arm around her and slowly guided him out the door.
"My gosh! You're just as hot as you were when I found you! You haven't cooled off at all!" A small moan of pure weakness was his reply, and even though he was barely making steps, the flirty bat could still feel all the muscle and man power the red body next to her contained. She could feel the strength in his arm, the intensity of his weight, and the fierceness in his legs, arms, fists, chest, neck, stomach, and feet. It took her time, but she finally managed to get him to the small lake outside her hut. The sound of water hitting water filled the blind echidna's ears, and the smell of green grass and nature filled his nose and lungs. She stepped into the water until it reached the top of her ankles, and gently started to lay him on his back.
"W-what're you doing?" He barely managed to ask. "Isn't it obvious? Resting in this fresh, cold water'll cool you off as well as heal your burns. Mystical in your mind, but common sense in mine!" Knuckles hadn't opened his eyes since she layed him down. He obviously was in no condition to deal with her sarcastic remarks, but he showed every sign of being awake. "Comfy?" she asked. "Good! Cause you MIGHT have to stay like this for awhile!" A sense of mockery was still in her voice as always. "Have a good rest, my dear echidna." She turned away and started to pace. "By the way...." She turned slightly. Knuckles opened his eyes and looked up at her. Don't mind the twenty-pound goldfish. They don't bite..." She winked. "Often!" A slight, devilish smirk crossed the side of her face, and she continued walking away as the severely burned echidna resumed his position with his closed eyes...

A loud, agonizing scream was heard within the prison cells, followed by the loud thrashing of fist pounding into solid metal. Pants and wheezes and cries of strength being built for destructive causes filled the room, and echoed from cell to cell with endless hints of pain and fear. Some would even think it was torture...
"Sonic! Calm down! There's no way we're breaking through those bars!" Tails tried to reason, but Sonic continued to pounce from wall to wall, mustering up all the strength his thin peach arms could muster to break through the steal walls. He leaped from wall to wall, giving each one a loud, hard thrust that hurt his hands as he landed on them and leaped off short after. Tails just watched in astonishment.
The helpless hedgehog let out another loud screech of terror, filling the prison walls with nothing but echoes of loud seemic torture. He grabbed two bars and pulled on them with all his might, but they still didn't budge. Tails could see the sweat and the muscles flexing beneath his fur, and it only brought his fear and curiosity to a higher level. Not to mention all the worry...
"Sonic! What's wrong with you!?" Sonic turned around. Tails had NEVER raised his voice to him like that. Never had Sonic gone so low that Tails would have to yell at him. But as the blue hedgehog turned to face him, Tails saw something even his wildest dreams couldn't bring to his mind....
"Tears!?" Tails thought to himself. "Sonic.....Sonic's CRYING!?" The hero's green pupils were surrounded in shades of red lines and visual plates of pink-ish red. From their bases, streams and streams of tears flowed down his face faster than chili down his throat, and the young fox's eyes grew wide at the sight. NEVER had he EVER seen Sonic cry. NEVER has Sonic looked so helpless and down. He was ravenous...he was mental...he was TRAPPED. Trapped from the freedom he loved so much. Suddenly, everything he loved except Tails was taken away from him. He couldn't run, he couldn't jump, he couldn't leap, dive, spin, climb, or even twirl. The walls surrounding him were close, the floor and ceiling seemed to get closer and closer every time they looked, and for the first time in his life, Sonic was helpless and out of hope.
The fact that he's been encapsulated struck him in the heart. Him, Sonic the Hedgehog, the 'One who could not be Caught' was over-powered and deceived by normal, slow-going people. He could no longer show off, he could no longer call himself super, and everything his ego stood for had dropped. His heart pounded, his tears dripped, and the sweat that filled his forehead started to make him wince. He felt weak, worthless....scared....
Sonic tried pounding the wall behind Tails one last time, only to leap off it and land on his feet. "Sonic! Stop!" Tails tried once more, but failed...only in a different manner....Sonic went down on all fours, erected his spines, and pointed them in ALL directions. He hid his limbs and ducked his head beneath his body, making himself out to be a big ball of spines. He stood still, motionless, and Tails was astounded as ever.

He sighed. Tails knew Sonic was scared, but the fact that he's never seen him do this struck him with confusion. He had no clue as to what was going on, and slowly, he raised his hand forward to touch Sonic's spine. He looked down. He was desperate to make his best friend feel better, to calm him down and reassure him that everything was bound to be okay. But instead, he got a taste of a hedgehog's wrath...
"Sonic...I-YOWCH!!!" He grasped his hand HARD as splitting pain surged throughout his entire arm. What had just happened caught him TOTALLY off guard! As soon as his fingers made contact with Sonic's spines, the spiked rodent made a huge thrust into the air, causing one of his spines to split right through Tails' glove. He made loud, threateningly agonizing puffing noises under his armored back, and Tails could see his lungs move up and down under his spines and skin with each puff as he did so. The body before him trembled, and then tried it's best to stay still again. Tails winced hard as the pain started to calm on his hand. Then he sat down on the floor and burried his face in his hands.
Sonic had just struck him....Sonic had NEVER struck Tails before...never has he hurt him on purpose...Why was he so paranoid? So nervous? Could it be because...? Tails looked around. They were in a small compartment...not once had he EVER seen Sonic in a house or apartment or hut for a very long time...he was always outside, in the open, where he was free...not even a hotel room when it was rainy or snowing....Could his blue hero possibly be....claustrophobic?
It made perfect sense! His love for freedom and peace would certainly make him hate imprisonment more than anything in the world! All his life, all his happy days filled with fun and excitement, all took place in the outdoors, where he was free! Maybe that's why he fights so hard...his love for freedom and peace overwhelms ALL his big ego trips and hatred for tasks. That explains why he actually GOES on adventures in the first place instead of just running around freely all day...he'd hate to see the world he loves so much get taken away from him! Nonetheless see the innocent suffer...Tails began to think more, and somehow, managed to let out a small, happy smile. "I guess he does have a heart of gold after all..."
Tails just sat his prison...with his hero...filled with hope...

"WHAT!? No way!" the young girl exclaimed in her mind. "Sonic would NEVER do a thing like that!" She watched attentively at the TV screen behind the glass, a small croud watching with her from behind. "Ohhh, I hope he's okay!" She had her hands clasped together and pressed them upon her bossom, her green, innocent eyes gleaming with hope and worry. "How? could this ever happen?"
The sun was going down again, and a dark shade of pink covered the sky above the now-quiet city of Mete'or. The beach was still, motionless, the entire city soundless except for a few honks from distant cars. It was as if the world had suddenly become hushed, quiet, with nothing but a few breazes to represent low whispers. Rarely was the city this peaceful and relaxed, and the people living in it were as quiet as sleeping sloths. Amy, however, had her full attention focused on the screen before her, where a female reporter with thick eyeglasses gave her the story that would torture her nightmares.
She watched with horror as a picture of her blue savior in his prison cell was presented. She nearly cried at the sight. Everything, all of her thoughts and feelings for Sonic were being tested at this moment. She, she KNEW, with all her heart, that Sonic would NEVER pull off such a horrible stunt. He was too kind, too heroic....too glorious, to be able to do such a thing as stealing a priceless artifact from a museum...No, not Sonic. Not HER Sonic.
Everything she loved about him was based on his heroic attitude. To think that he could do something as bad as overwhelmed her with disbelief. "Sonic...MY Sonic is the sweetest, most caring being I've ever come across. Sure, he isn't too nice to me, but that's only because I pressure him with my love and affections for him....and besides, whenever I'm in danger, he always risks his life to come and rescue me..." More thoughts raced through her mind, so much so that she had stopped listening to the broadcast and was engulfed in her own train of thought..."It just couldn't have been him. It just COULDN'T!!!"
When the newsflash was over, the small crowd of five that was watching it turned and parted in their own directions. All except Amy, who stood standing in thought, mesmerized by what she had just seen. She fell to her knees. "No way. Not Sonic..."
"But what if he actually just CAN'T be it!" Tears started to run down her face. "If only I him..." She sniffled inbetween her words. "But how....? What could I possibly do?" She wiped one of her tears away. "Well, it's risky, but I could still try....anything for Sonic...anything for MY Sonic..."
She stood up, and walked away into the night.

Meanwhile, back in the safety of his undersand layer, Dr. Robotnik, just like Sonic's pink admirer, had just finished watching the broadcast about his blue combatant's capture. A wicked, frightening, and disgusting version of a smile seamed to creap across his revolting excuse for a face. "So...the hedgehog has once AGAIN been framed by that pathetic piece of laboratory garbage they call Shadow....hmmm...." The scientist was deep in thought. "In this case, I might as well destroy that prison before he finds a way to escape!" He stood up from his metallic throne in a hurry. "But then again....what if I could capture him? Then I can torture him 'till he nears his death, and then roboticize him before his life is ended..." His hand was once again on his chin. "GUARDS! Prepare the Egg Walker!..." A dark, evil sort of grin crept to each side of his face. "We're going to have some funnnn..."

A cool sensation caused a bone-chilling shiver to cross his spine, then scattered itself around his body. This caused his eyes to open slowly, weakly, just enough to let him realize where he was and to remember how he got there. Painful and stinging as it was, he managed to overcome the pain, and Knuckles forced himself to sit upright.
He raised his left hand to his face, which he used to rub his now- closed eyes and forehead, while the other lay steadily beneath the water and on the ground, preventing him from tilting to his side. As he rubbed his eyes and gave a soft moan, his right leg tilted at the knee, moving it above the water, while his other leg remained motionless beneath the rippling, now cold water. Not until he completely gathered his senses and managed to ignore the burning pain throughout his body did he start to look around. Now it was night, and a full moon shown brightly above his head.
There were stars around it. Shiny, clear-blue, twinkling, bright stars. They surrounded the dark black sky in an unrecognizable pattern. As his head turned swiftly to each side of him, he clenched his fists and shut his eyes tight before he forced himself to stand. His legs were wobbly at first, from both the cold within them and the exhaustion they were filled with, but his body was accustomed to being tired, and he walked out the lake with stiff, strong steps.
The wet echidna looked around as globs of cold water dripped frantically from his lockes, gloves, and chin. There was no light in the cabin, and the sent of another flesh and blood life form was nowhere near his presence. Nothing but darkness....with shades of green and white.....and brown and blue....was visible to his calm-purple eyes. His ears caught nothing but the sound of crickets, and the crashing of the was quiet....too quiet...
The burned guardian turned around, and faced his head toward the mysterious moon. Then, with the corner of his eye, a glimpse of yellow light was brought to his attention. He turned his head toward it, and saw that it was atop a small, yet sightful hill. It was within walking distance, but a simple glide would take him only seconds. Looking toward the starry sky with the light in front of it, he walked toward a large, brown, oval-shaped boulder with countless dents upon its surface. Being tall enough to look beyond it while he was standing, he placed one foot on it's slanted side and leaned against it, relaxing his leg into an angled position and resting his arms side-by-side atop his knee. His eyes were still blurry from the weakness of his body, and he strained them to see the distant light more clearly.
As he placed a flat hand above his eyes to focus his sight, a fragile, long, cool breeze passed him by, and his fur and lockes trailed in it's path, flapping and swishing rapidly in the wind. When it calmed down, they slowly, yet steadily, placed themselves back in their original position, giving small hints that another breeze was about to pass. Knuckles thought about gliding, but he was too dizzy to keep his body steady, and so, he began to walk.
The road was grassy but rough, and rocky yet smooth. He followed no trail, just a straight mental line toward the lighted hill. His dizziness continually got the best of him, and he had to slow his pace down more than once so he can gain his focus and keep on going. His legs were also in no position to walk up a steep hill, but he continued moving, not dropping a single ounce of sweat.
"It's about time you got here, those strong legs of yours don't seem to work very well!" The sitting bat said in a taunting tone. The top of the hill was just as Knuckles expected. Just a small table, two chairs, a lava lamp, and a wooden ceiling to protect them from rain. He didn't bother responding, just gasped a few breaths and stood upright. "First thing's first. Where's the Master Emerald!?"
"Emerald? Why? I haven't collected any of those in months!" Rouge answered with a devious smile, crossing one leg over the other while she sat and posing feminishly with her hands and face. "I know you took it! I want it back! NOW!" The emerald's guardian remained standing upright, looking down upon the seemingly innocent ex-spy.
"Now now, Big Boy, it's gonna be kinda hard to attack me on an empty stomach. Have some salad! It has tomatoes, which kinda remind me of you!" Rouge slided a large wooden bowl full of lettuce, tomatoes, and a bunch of other vegetables Knuckles had no time to identify. "This isn't a game, Rouge! Give me back my emerald, or you'll have a bloody price to pay!" Rouge rolled her eyes. "Ahhh, boys, so stubborn yet so demanding..." Knuckles just watched her as she taunted him some more. "...tell you what! How about we make a deal..." The echidna's left eyebrow raised. "If you sit down and have some salad, I'll tell you everything I know." She smiled another one of her usual mixtures of grins and smiles, and placed the top of her hand under her chin as she sat with one leg over the other. "This is NO TIME for one of your games, ROUGE!!!" He stood in a fighting position and made a sudden strike. He stretched his right arm strongly in front of him while pulling back with the other, then made a bow-and-arrow motion toward the bat-girl's face. Rouge simply waited for the right time, and calmly pushed the fist toward the side when it was inches away from her face. Knuckles' body turned slightly, just enough to have the would-be victim stare him in the chest, and his previous forward motion caused his body to bend and pose them face to face. He made a sudden gasp in surprise and confusion. "Now now, you wouldn't wanna hurt those bones!" Rouge calmly said in the same fake-mother voice as before. "You'll have to think wisely, now. You can either go hungry and try to find your emerald on an empty stomach with absolutely no information, or you can sit down, have a meal, and listen to what I have to say. In the end, you'll be strong again, and have a better chance of retrieving your little green gem. Now you tell ME which one's the better outcome!"
Knuckles had had it. Her little taunting voice and calm attitude was angering him to the max. But his stubbornness took the better of him, and the sake of his beloved island came to mind. He clenched his fists and teeth, gave her a nasty, threatening look, and annoyingly pulled his chair out from under the table and sat down. "Talk! I don't have time for any bull!" "Ah-ah-ah! What did I tell you before, Knuxy-Wuxy, a good meal gets you good stories!" She was doing it again, and Knuckles' arms started to tingle in rage. Too much more of this and he would strike her for sure. However, any information on the Master Emerald's whereabouts was worth holding back the punch. He pulled the bowl toward him, grabbed the wooden fork beside it, and stuck it into a piece of lettuce, hard enough to hear a satisfying crunch. He looked down upon the bowl, but didn't stick any of it's contents in his mouth. He looked up at the bat in front of him and glared at her. "Well? You'd better eat up, or you won't get any in- foeeeee...." This time her taunting accent didn't affect him, and he pushed the bowl half-way across the small wooden table. "Pfft! How smart do you think you are?" "Why Knuckles, what ARE you talking about?" Her little act was starting to get to him again. "You're being WAY too nice! What's the deal here!? There's a catch to this deal and you know it!" Knuckles placed both his hands flat on the table with his elbows pointing upward, putting himself in a position to stand up. "Now now! You won't know until you eat up!" "Sorry, I don't accept food from my enemies. The old poison trick lost it's touch YEARS ago!" Knuckles stood glaring, about ready to stand and strike, as Rouge tried her best to maintain her calm emotional state.
She rolled her eyes and folded her arms across her chest. "You boys can be such nitwits. Fine, suit yourself, just don't come crawling back later saying that you're hungry. I only make three meals a day and I intend to keep it that way!" Her little act was still going on, and Knuckles wondered if it was really an act or it was just the way she talked. Besides, it wasn't really the talking that tested his rage, it was the fact that she remained so calm while his island remained in turmoil. "Don't worry about that! I don't intend on staying very long." Knuckles continued to glare, and she rolled her eyes once more before she continued talking.
"Well, if you MUST know, I don't have your Emerald, nore did I steal it in the first place." "You lie! I saw the footprints from your boots, and they ended right in the middle of a field! YOU took the emerald and glided away with it!" "Actually, that' just all coincidence. I haven't been on your island ever since that first day we met." "And might I remind you that you were there that day to STEAL the emerald!!!???" "That was once, what makes you think I'd do it again? And besides, I gave you back those pieces of it you wanted when we were up in space." "Yeah, which was AFTER I saved your life! You've still given me no reason to believe you didn't try and do it again!"
"Oh dear, dear Knuckles....can't you see? If it was me who stole your diamond, why would I be here and not out selling it or chopping it to pieces to wear as a pair of earrings?" Rouge rolled her eyes again, and kept them looking away from the echidna before her. "You're a spy! Who knows what you could've done with it!" Knuckles' blood was REALLY getting hot under his skin, and if he didn't hear something he would WANT to hear within the next few seconds, he would definitely throw some fists. He only waited for what she said next...
"Well, anyway, if you'd LET me get back to my story, I as an ex- government spy..." "EX!? You mean you're not a spy anymore!?" "For your information, NO, I'm NOT!!! Now please, let me continue!" Knuckles had his doubts, but let her talk anyway. "I as an ex-spy, still get the news on important events and up-coming disasters. And word has it, the greaceball you call Eggman is rebuilding the ship he once called, the 'Death Egg'..." "THE DEATH EGG!!!??? NO WAY!!! Sonic and I destroyed that thing YEARS AGO!!! And it took us every ounce of hope and sweat we had to do it!!!" Knuckles exclaimed in a rage. "Well, that's the word that's out." Rouge still had her arms folded with her eyes looking away from Knuckles. "Now I KNOW you're lieing!!! Robotnik no longer has the POWER, or the countless SUPPLIES needed to restore that ship!!!" This time Rouge stood up and looked him face-to-face. "Knuckles, listen to me before you judge my words! Is it not OBVIOUS enough for you to figure out!!!??? At the end of that whole Shadow incident, we left the Space Colony 'Ark' just floating up in space with no purpose whatsoever!!! Don't you think Robotstick or whatever his name is has the wits to use the entire Ark itself to rebuild the Death Egg!!?? After all, it's pretty much HIS passed-down property, not that it matters anyway! His grandfather had it built so he could work on Project Shadow, and Rostocknik could've taken his grandfather's colony after the incident was declared over and used it's body especially for rebuilding the Death Egg!!! Only now, it'll be even STRONGER, since the Space Colony 'Ark' is equipped with none other than, THE ECLIPSE CANNON!!!!!"

Knuckles stopped glaring and just looked at her with an astonished, confused face. If this was true, Robotnik could actually end up destroying the world as he always dreamed of doing...

"Oh, and in case you haven't figured it out yet....HE MIGHT WANNA USE THE MASTER EMERALD TO POWER HIS SHIP!!!!!!!!" She sat back down and took a breather. Sighing heavily, she crossed her legs and arms once more, and looked at Knuckles with a kind of 'NOW what do you have to say!?' expression. Knuckles clasped one fist into the palm of his other hand, and cracked his knuckles in thought. "This is all too much to handle...I'd better warn the others, FAST!" He turned around to run, but stopped suddenly and turned his head toward Rouge. "Waitaminute..." He turned his body completely around to face her, and pointed one of his gloved hands toward her face. "What now?" She said aggressively. "How do I know I can trust you? How do I know this isn't just a big pile o'..." "Because I saved your life and healed your wounds? I didn't HAVE to do that y'know." She shaked the one leg that was on top of the other in a motion that revealed she was trying to control her emotions, and her wings opened and spread half way over and over as she did so. "Okay, in thanks to your rescuing me, I'll mark you with my trust. But if this is just a big scam, expect me back here. Soon!" Knuckles turned to glide, and when he was about to take off, Rouge stopped him with her words.
"Well wait!!!" She yelled out to him while leaning on the table and reaching her arm for him. "What?!" He threw back as he kept his back toward her and turned his head to look at her face. His lockes swung loosely as he did so, and Rouge couldn't help but notice them swing. "I'm not a nurse or anything, but even little ol' bats like me say it isn't good to go on an adventure to save the world on an empty stomach. Won't you have a bite?" She was back to her old, taunting voice. " I told you, I don't accept food from--" "Enemies? Well, let's think about that for a minute. I saved your life, bandaged your wounds, and just told you top government information that could lead you to saving the world AND the island you cherish so much and in addition, decided to make you a little salad for your own well being. Something tells me I'm not your enemy anymorrrre..." Knuckles could literally see the gleeful shine to her excited face, and couldn't help but realize she was right. "Listen, I understand where you're coming from, but I don't have time to--" "Eat a strong, healthy meal? I think not! If you eat, you'll be at your best! And you'll have a better chance at saving your island!" Knuckles looked toward the ground. "So, what do you say, Big Boy? Are we gonna eat our veggies?" The hungry echidna sighed. "O-kay...but this HAS to be quick! I have to go warn--" "Yeah yeah enough of that! Sit!" Knuckles hesitated, but then turned around and sat on the chair across from Rouge. He took one small bite of the salad, then another, then another, and before he knew it, he was scarfing it down ravenously.
Even though he held his fork the wrong way, Rouge couldn't help but admire his arm as it's muscles flexed and unflexed as his joints did their work and got his hand from the bowl to his mouth and his mouth to the bowl. His arm connected to his shoulder, which connected to his massive neck. It seemed as though it was as wide as three of the wooden fork he was shoving in and out of his mouth. But connected to his neck, was his massive version of a chest. Even though it didn't seem to take up as much space as it actually did, the muscles that made it up were humungous in size! She couldn't help but admire him, his eyes, his lockes...his serious face...but even though she would've LOVED to continue staring, she had to break the silence before he noticed it.
"My my, so demanding yet so lacked in manners..." Rouge said as she started to shake her leg again. Her arms were still folded, only this time on her lap. Knuckles didn't reply, he was almost done with his meal. "Didn't your mamma ever teach you to eat properly in front of a lady?" "No, I was raised by my father, who also ate the same way I do." Knuckles replied inbetween a fork of tomato. "What happened to your mother?" "I don't wanna talk about it." He stated right before he shoved a fork-full of food in his mouth again. "Oh....well, what have you done since we left the Space Colony 'Ark'? You wouldn't happen to have a...girlfriend, would you?" She asked in another taunting voice. "No. Don't have time for girls. You?" "No...but that Sonic character is kinda cute. His skinny yet athletic body makes him look SOOO sexy..." She stated while closing her eyes halfway and grinning at the now full echidna. Knuckles shrugged this statement off, and dropped the fork into the bowl as he took his last gulp and finished his meal. He looked up at her and grinned. I'll be sure to tell him he's got an admirer. However, I'm not sure he's too fond of government spies. He'd usually prefer the job to be done as fast as possible instead of taking his time and using all that equipment." "Aww, so you're saying he wouldn't like me?" "Nah, not the Sonic I know and barely like." "Really? Well..." She looked up at him with sinful eyes. "Why wouldn't he like me? Am I not a pretty girl?" Knuckles thought for a second about how to answer this question, and soon found himself staring at the table. "Well?"

She stood staring at him with her stomach halfway leaned on the table and her chin resting on the top of her joining hands. As he stared at the table, something about her eyes...the way he sensed she was looking at him...caused him to tilt his head upward and look into them. They were green....a fascinating green that he couldn't help but stare at...almost like the color of the Master Emerald he protected so fiercely... Before he lost himself in a trance, he stood up and motioned toward the sky. "I...I have to go now..." "Where are you gonna head to after this?" "I....I don't know...I told Sonic to meet me here when he finds a Chaos Emerald..." "Well then, shouldn't you wait for him? He'd be mighty disappointed if he had to run through a seventy mile desert for nothing..." "But what about the Master Emerald? I HAVE to find it!" "Well, I'm gonna take my best guess now, and I'd say you want him to bring you a chaos emerald so you can use it's link with YOUR Emerald to your advantage." "How did you know abou--" "You told me about it when I tried to steal it last time!" "Oh....right...well, I can't just mope around here and wait for him, I have to test my luck at finding it!" "Knuckles, it could be anywhere in the entire planet! And I as a government spy who's searched for jewels all around the world should know, it's a really big world out there, and it's gonna be MIGHTY hard to find a treasure with no known whereabouts...." So you're saying I should just wait?" "Why shouldn't you? After all, you STILL have to heal those burns up!" Knuckles hadn't thought about his burned body since they started their argument, and now that it came to his attention, the cool air around him caused the burned skin to dry up and itch. So much so that he almost couldn't resist but to start scratching. He was smarter than that though, as his father once told him, "Don't scratch! It'll only make it worse!"

"Look, Rouge, I don't know whether I'm gonna stay for long or not, but for now, I'm gonna head back to the waterfall..." "Suit yourself. My casa es tu casa. Did I say that right?" "Don't know. See ya later." "Bye." "And Rouge?" "Yes?" I'm sorry for yelling at island means more to me than you'll ever know." "I've heard that before! Apology accepted, now go freeze in cold water while I clean all this up." He turned around after hearing this, and started to walk toward the edge of the hill. "Oh, and by the way..." The ex-spy stopped him once more. "Word also has it he's rebuilding something called the Egg Carrier. Does that ring any bells?" A grumble was his reply, and with that, Knuckles took off, and since his senses were back to him since he ate, this time, he glided.

Not too far from the seductive bat's home, a shadowy figure scaled a pyramid in the darkness of the night, using the light from his jet- propelled footwear to guide him with sight. "This is it..." He thought to himself as he reached the pointed top and stood on it. "The pyramid where my releaser hid his underground layer, and from the small vibrations I can feel underneath, it's still working as his hideout..."
He stared up at the starry night sky, and started to remember how he had once looked down upon the Earth the same way. He remembered how he and Maria would stare at the blue, brown, white and green swirls that covered the large blue ball Professor Gerald called 'Earth'. "Shadow, have you ever wondered what it would be like to live there?" He remembered her sweet, soothing words as they escaped her mouth and recorded themselves in his ever-lasting memory. "Huh? As simple as your question is, I don't understand." He replied with confusion, yet still remained with a serious face as he looked at her's. "Earth. The planet. I've always dreamed of going down there and living with people." She explained. "But there are people here on the 'Ark'." "Yes, you're right, Shadow, there are people here on the 'Ark', but they all seem to have nothing on their minds but science. They aren't like regular people, who talk and play and have fun." "Fun? What's that? I have no knowledge of that word." "Fun? Well, fun is....I can't explain it. I barely ever have any of it here. This place is so locked up and contained. I wish to feel the wind as I run and play in it, and feel what it's like to swim and roll on the green of the grass. Shadow, let's make a vow to go there one day." "I've always wondered why I'm here..." "Shadow, what do you mean?" "What is my reason for being? There must have been a reason as to why I was created....maybe if I go down there, I'll find the answers I seek..." "Will you go down there with me, Shadow? So we can find those answers together?" "Of coarse, Maria. I'll stay by your side as long as we live. We'll always be companions." "Mmm..." She nodded her head, and Shadow's little memory flash vanished into thin air.
"Oh Maria..." He whispered in a quiet, longing voice. "How we've always dreamed of being on this Earth...yet now that I'm here, I'll give anything to be on the 'Ark' with you once more..." Shadow closed his eyes in a soft, calming way, and tilted his head toward the sand beneath the pyramid at which he stood, causing his tilted spines to face upward toward the blue night sky. "Maria, I assure you, you would've been happy here....but my life means nothing without you, and I have not yet found those answers I told you I seek, and I cannot be happy myself without you. However, now that I've fulfilled my promise to you, I still have to complete one task that's been stranded in my mind and heart, if I was even created with one. I MUST find the pathetic human who did this to you and gather my revenge. It's all I have left, for you, and for me. Forgive me Maria, but I MUST complete this quest, and when I do, I'll continue searching for my answers. Who knows? Maybe I'll even find them on my way. Even though I may never see you again, I will ALWAYS remember you, and live fulfilling your once thriving wishes. Goodbye once again, my friend...."
"My releaser and creator's grandchild, Dr. Robotnik, may be right beneath my sneakered feet. But that means no matter to me, as all I need to find my answers, is this..." He stared at the green, glowing gem he helled in his right hand. It shone brightly in the darkness, and shone it's light upon the entire pyramid, giving it an eerie kind of glow. "I WILL find my answers, and the first place I'll check, will be where I was first created." He swished the emerald in front of him, positioned his body in a certain way, and yelled out the certain words that made it trigger. "Chaos...CONTROL!!!" A bright, flashy light surrounded him, and he disappeared without a trace.

"Come on, Sonic, it's gonna be okay! You're this planet's greatest hero! They'll give you a chance to explain!..." The hopeless fox tried to sooth his balled-up friend with his calm words, trying his best not to accidentally rub by him or somehow find himself making physical contact with him within the small, narrow cell they were in. The blue hedgehog's lungs could be seen pumping oxygen in and out through his spined skin as he huffed and puffed quietly, making Tails all the more nervous to be in his presence.
"Sonic...this isn't like you...losing all hope within such a short period of any other situation, you'd probably be cracking jokes and showing off right now..." Just like Amy, Tails' opinion on his super- sonic hero were being tested at this moment. He couldn't blame him, however. After all, Sonic WAS afraid of water, and that's because there's no way he could run on it, and as he and the rest of the world knows, he would be devastated, contorted, and vulnerable, if he couldn't run. Without his speed, there would be no ego. Without his ego, there would be no Sonic. His speed meant everything to him, and if it was taken away....even Tails couldn't think of what his life would lead to. If only he could find a way to get him out....
"Hey! Stop! What're you doing! Put your hands up--Ugh!!" Tails sprang upward at the sound of a man shouting toward someone in warning, then the sound of a hitten head, and the thud of a body hitting the ground. As he listened closely and attentively, he could almost here the sounds of...keys!? The sounds of loud clacking noises filled the entrance to the narrow room of cells, and as the door was pushed open, an innocent looking pink hedgehog in a red and white dress and boots jogged into the room.
"AMY!!!" What're YOU doing he--" "SHHH!!!" Tails was interrupted rudely. "Be quiet!" She whispered in response. "You don't want someone to hear you, do you!?" Tails simply nodded his head in agreement, and store at her with his big blue eyes. "Oh am I supposed to open this lock with so many keys to choose from?" She said worriedly. Even though she was certainly almost hopeless, she wouldn't give in now, and started with the first key on the chain.
Sonic's curiosity got the best of him, and he slowly, steadily, and carefully, lifted his head up to see what was going on. His spines were so scattered atop of him that Amy could only barely see the green-ness in his eyes, and the blackness inbetween. She suddenly stopped fiddling with the lock, dropped the keys to the floor, and looked deep into Sonic with teary eyes. She was frozen at this point, just staring at her beloved savior, ready to plop down and cry for him at any given second. Tails noticed this, and pushed her hand away while picking up the keys and blindly trying to open the lock for her.
Sonic store back at her with his sharp, dangerous spines still covering his body completely. Only the tip of his nose was completely visible, and even that was giving out threatening glances by the way it breathed in and out as quickly as it did. After a few seconds of this, Sonic hid his head beneath him again, and Amy could see nothing but numerous spines pointed out in all directions, including at her.
"Come on, Amy. Sonic needs you right now, and so do I." Tails saw the effect that Sonic's current state was putting her in, and tried to sooth her with a calming voice. "If we can't get outta here, I don't think he's gonna allow himself to make it. Please! It's gonna be really hard for me to open this lock while I'm on the inside of the cage. You HAVE to open it for me! For my sake, and his..." Amy simply looked at him with her green eyes wobbling with salty liquid, nodded her head, and slowly started to work on the lock again.
"Tails!...they aren't working! I've tried them all twice!" She exclaimed in a worriesome tone. "There's GOTTA be another key somewhere! Amy, go check that guard's pockets! I KNOW he has the key! He's the one who locked this cage to begin with!" "M-hm..." Amy replied innocently, and took unbalanced steps toward the entrance door again.
Even though Tails never really interacted with Amy much in the past, he knew how she felt, and he understood that with the love she had for Sonic, the fact that he wouldn't have hesitated to stick his spines through her hand if she had tried to touched him must've been tearing her apart. She had nothing but love for him, and she would easily and willingly give both her life, body, and everything she owned for him any day. All he had to do was ask, and whether it was with loving eyes or with crossed arms, tapping feet and annoyed eyes that looked away from her, and she would be there for him whenever, wherever, for whatever reason he needed. And then here he was, threatening her with his spines, willing to hurt her badly, even if all she tried to do was tap him on his shoulder, if that was even visibly possible. In the past, Sonic had deserted her, ignored her, and sometimes even insulted her, but NEVER, had he even made a FEEBLE attempt, to hurt her. If something like that was to ever happen, the results would be catastrophic. Now Tails had both Sonic's, AND Amy's emotional health to worry about, not to mention his own...
His thoughts were interrupted by Amy's hopeful wails. "Tails! I found it!" She yelped as she made a feeble attempt to run back to him. "But there's two of them..." She explained to him with teary eyes. "Oh dear, I hope one of them's the right one..."
"Tails' head made a sharp turn towards the door, and he suddenly started to get EXTREMELY nervous. "Come on, Amy! The cops're coming! Get us outta here quick!" He whispered to her in a hurried voice. "Oh dear, okay, I'll try this one!" She whispered back as she stuck the key into the small hole and struggled to turn it.

"Yeah, and so he starts riding on this shopping cart, y'know? And...WHAT IN THE WORLD!!??" Tails heard one of the incoming men talking loud and clear to another. "Amy... hurry up!!!" Tails started making small jumps and holding onto the bars of the cell very tightly, and suddenly had an unbearable urge to urinate.
The two policemen charged into the room with their guns in hand, and shouted, "Stop! In the name of the law! You're under arrest for--" But it was too late, Amy had already finished turning the second key, and to her heart-calming delight, the cell door was unlocked.

One small glance was all it took. Time itself couldn't measure the quickness between the time he was in the cell and the time he was out. The vast movement of the speed of his feet were unimaginable to the human eye, and as soon as Sonic heard the door to his cell unlock, it only took as fracture of a millisecond for him to charge at the door without bothering to lay his spines back first, grab both Amy and Tails by their wrists, and speed out of the jail cell at what seemed like the literal speed of sound. The two policemen were right in front of him before it happened, and even though their eyes were fixed upon the entire event, all they saw was a giant blue blur come at them with exhilarating speed and knock them out before they could even THINK about reacting. And as Sonic ran with blinding fear and rage, even Tails and Amy were afraid of him crashing in his now lunatic state.
As Sonic ran even faster than he ever thought he could, alarms and guard robots started to trigger. Emergency closing doors and death traps stood no chance, as Sonic was completely out of the building and into what looked like a giant army facility, loaded with planes and trucks at every spot that he barely took the time to look at. Guard robots were smashed instantly upon contact, and above the enormously loud sounds of Sonic's dashing speed as he cut through the air and wind, Tails and Amy could here what sounded like an engine. A very large, LOUD engine.
"Wh-What!? How did he get out!? No're a perfect target for me now, hedge-HOG!" The sinister doctor exclaimed to the very distant blue blur as he held what seemed like two handles with red buttons on their tips. He tried placing a little cross-shaped icon above the running hedgehog on the small screen beneath the handles he was glaring at. However, when he managed to place it over him, big, red letters came to his attention that spelled 'CANNOT LOCK'. "What!? WHY CAN'T I LOCK ONTO HIM!!!???" He yelled loudly and angrily as he pounded the large metal control panel with his fist. "Target cannot be locked onto, sir." The voice- automated computer answered back in a boring voice and tone. "Well WHY NOT!!!???" He exclaimed back. "Target is moving too fast, sir." "ARGH!!! Hold STILL you MISERABLE RODENT!!!" He yelled to Sonic as he started to fire at him without locking on.
Sonic could hear the bullets as they planted themselves in the metallic ground just inches behind him, but gave it no thought as he ran at what seemed like three miles per second! The sounds of the guns that were shooting them were barely hearable over the wind of his own speed and the bullets hitting the ground, but they were loud enough for Tails to follow the sound and notice where they were coming from. If he wasn't out of breath already from Sonic's amazing speed, he would have gasped at the sight. He could barely believe it. It was the Egg Carrier...
"CURSE YOU!!!! WHY CAN'T I EVER CATCH YOU!!!???" This time, Robotnik's temper was at it's max, and instead of shooting mere bullets, he decided there were bigger fish to fry..."I WILL make you stop, mark my word!" He opened up a flap to another handle with a red button, aimed as best he can, and shot out an ENORMOUS missile.
The missile landed right at Sonic's heals, and it not for his life- saving speed, both him and his companions would be blown to smithereens. However, his speed was able to get him far enough to be just sent sailing and hit the ground twenty feet away from the now-smoking crater.
"YES! YES! YES!!! The hedgehog is MINE!!!" He carefully aimed another missile, and prepared to press the red button of destruction...
Sonic cringed as he hit the ground, and as he got on all fours to look up at his attacker, his eyes got filled with nothing more than pure anger and rage. He got up, got into a threatening stance with his knees half bent and spread and his arms held out at his sides with fists at their tips, and clenched his teeth so hard that Tails and Amy could here them creek as they rubbed against each other. Sonic saw the missile exit from it's cannon, and once again, used his super-sonic speed at it's best. He grabbed the keys Amy never had a chance to let go, started a super-fast mixture of a Sonic-spin and a spin dash, and through the keys toward the missile's nose as hard as he could. The explosion happened right inbetween the space between Sonic's eyes and the glass of Robotnik's cockpit. He gave his nemesis one more hateful glare before picking Tails and Amy up off the ground from which they never had a chance or the time it took to get up off of themselves, and placed them behind a large wall from which they would be safe from incoming bullets and missiles. Now it was time to "Do it, to it", in a whole new style.
Robotnik clenched his teeth and gave a growl as he glared back at the blue hero who always took his dreams and plots and blew them in his face with a giant-sized smirk. He hated that hedgehog in every way humanely and psychotically possible, and even though the world itself was a nauseating piece of shining garbage that he wished to destroy once and for all, that darn blue spiky rodent held a special place in his dark, disgusting heart. He had such an intense hatred for him that every time he had him in his grasp, he couldn't just squash him quickly like a pathetic, worthless bug, he had to sabor the moment, watch him suffer and scream as all him dreams and loves were being taken away from him, nice, and slowly. he wished to see him cry, plead, and beg for mercy at his merciless heals. He smiled at the thought with a definate noticeable hint of evilness, and just couldn't BARE the thought of ceasing that opportunity once again. "This time," He thought. "You're MINE!!!"...
As soon as Robotnik pressed the original red buttons once more, Sonic ran at full speed, dodging the bullets that aimed for him. He used his trademark speed in two ways this time, for both running while dodging extremely fast bullets, and scanning the area for ideas. It wasn't until he spotted a loaded cannon meant for shooting down enemies or unidentified aircrafts did he have one of his also trademark ideas. When he ran towards it he noticed it only had one missile, and Robotnik's bullets were right on his tail. He turned and ran in a complete circle with his one arm tucked to his side and the other pointing forward while slanting at the elbow and his blue legs invisible beneath the red and white blurs that were his feet. He ran towards the cannon, hit the trigger, made another complete circle around it with Robotnik's bullets still skinning his spines, ran atop the cannon, leaped upward head-first off it's tip with his arms stretched out in front of him, and grabbed the now-flying missile by it's nose and hung on, soaring up into the sky towards the Egg Carrier with it.
That's when he did the first 'impossible' stunt of that day. Somehow, in a way even Tails couldn't explain, Sonic swung around the missile's body with his hands, flipped on top of it, and stood on it, both feet, with his knees bent and arms at his sides with his fists to his front, like he was riding the missile like a skateboard, so fast that even the speed of the missile's movement wasn't able to kick in and knock him off, and as he did that, he gave Robotnik a raging glare that would surely make his spine tingle.
Sonic then used the missile's tilted body as a ramp and sped off of it, soaring into the air like a missile himself, sticking his arms to his side and keeping his body straight and stiff, causing the long blur behind him to make him look like a shooting star. While flying over the ship and reaching it's near-end, he somehow used his speed to kick off air itself, and in the most powerful homing-attack motion he had ever done in his life, soared downward, and broke right through the Egg Carrier's surface in a diagonal direction, heading right back for the missile, which was just inches away from it's impact with the ship. Before it hit, however, Sonic's original plan came to it's end point, and he headed right for it. When he got to it, he used it's body to flip himself upward again, but this time didn't bother landing on it, and allowed himself to sail up toward the sky, passed the cockpit, and back down as soon as the missile was about to hit. It exploded when Sonic was right above the glass in which Robotnik hid behind, and as gravity did it's work and pulled Sonic toward the ground below, and the fiery blast from the explosion was both under and right behind him, Sonic pointed a finger at Robotnik while positioning his body with his left arm tucked to his side and his knees half-bent with his sneakers pointing downward, and moved his mouth in the movements to say the word, "YOU!!!".
This gave the mad scientist behind the glass an instant surge of fear, and he tried his best to turn around fast enough to get into the Egg- Walker. But before he could, Sonic kicked off pure air once more, and made a homing attack toward Robotnik's face. He broke through the bullet-proof glass and would have torn the Eggman's head off if it had not been for his robotic chair falling backward as his fear got the best of him and he tried to push back. The cockpit filled with smoke in the blink of an eye from the explosion under it, and the enraged hedgehog would have continued to assault him if it had not been for the ingenious escape artist Robotnik actually was. Since the Egg-Carrier had proven itself unsuccessful in the past, he hid the Egg-Walker somewhere in the cockpit, and flew off in it with it's recently updated jet-fuel engines. He flew off in a hurry, and left the Egg carrier to make an emergency landing into the bay.
Sonic watched him as he flew away, and yelled in voice so loud that even Tails and Amy, who were a long way under him, could hear him perfectly. "ONE DAY, ROBUTTNIK!!! YOU'RE GONNA CROSS THIS HEDGEHOG'S LINE, MAN! YOU HEAR ME!!!??? AND WHEN YOU DO, I'M GONNA SETTLE THIS ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!!!" He looked around quickly for anything solid, and broke one of the handles off the control panel.
"So, you wanna fly, aahh Robuttnik?" He said to no one in particular in a sarcastic tone. "Well this one's gonna leave ya flyin' wit' the stars!" He spun himself in a tornado motion, and threw the now-broken handle at the exact right time and right amount of strength that it hit Robotnik's little ship at it's hind core section, and caused it to start blowing smoke and fire out of it's new opening and start spinning around and twisting uncontrollably, but he still managed to fly out of sight. The blue hedgehog crossed his arms and tapped his foot in disappointment. He was actually aiming for his head, but even hedgehogs aren't lucky all the time.

Tails and Amy watched in awe as the blue crusader dismounted himself from the falling Egg Carrier by making a huge leap towards the harbor. After the few seconds it took for him to reach their side, the large red ship made on last big explosion before hitting the sea with a great big splash that would have wet them all if it had not been for Sonic, who grabbed them both and ran them out of the way. Once they stopped, Sonic made a bunch of coughs and gasps that indicated the anger and stress and exhaustion that filled his mind and body, and Tails and Amy just bit their nails and looked toward the ground in discomfort.
This was a day of firsts for the both of them. They've both seen Sonic get mad enough to let Robotnik die in an explosion or crash, but never has he so been so enraged that he would have killed him with his bare spines if he had had the chance. They've never known him to do such a thing. Although Sonic wouldn't mind defending himself by punching someone 'till they're knocked out, like he had almost done with Knuckles a few times in the distant past, he would never, EVER, get to the point where he was willing to end their lives. His heart was too pure and glorious to do such a thing, yet here he was, in the midst of a raging heart with nothing on his mind but revenge, even though he really had no proof that it was Robotnik who had caused him the pain of being locked in a jail cell, willing to spin-dash right through him and strangle his neck. If everything else that had happened didn't do it, NOW is when they were starting to question their love for their blue hero.
As soon as Sonic was able to stand up straight and stop coughing and wheezing, the sounds of distant aircrafts filled his ears. He turned his head sharply in their direction. "W-what is it, Sonic?" Amy asked, stuttering once of twice in the nervous state she was in. "Aircrafts. From G.U.N. We'd better get the heck outta here." He answered as he hesitantly made a turn and grabbed their wrists. "Metal Harbor. I've been here before. I know exactly where ta' go, there's a forest North from this place. I can get there in a Sonic-Second."
Both Tails and Amy noticed one of Sonic's arms start to shiver, indicating he was still tensed up either from the rage he had before or the fear he had before it. They didn't know just how mad he was, and they didn't know how to calm him. All they knew was now was not a good time to question him, and they simply let him pull them away in a gust of wind.

A few minutes of running and ramp-crossing was all it took from them to reach the forest Sonic had mentioned earlier, and within seconds after that, they were deep enough to see nothing but trees and leaves at the horizon. They stopped in a small grassy plain, big enough to hold one small tent and a tiny campfire, and even a sliding tree for them to sit on. It wasn't Sonic's idea of a comfy paradise, but it would do well for one night of calming.
As soon as he stopped, he immediately walked toward one of the surrounding trees, leaned his head and right hand on it, and started coughing and gasping again. Tails and Amy observed in awe as his entire body, spines and all, started to shiver, and his hands slowly turned to hard fists as he started to breathe and gasp louder. "Um......S-Sonic?" Amy called gently and nervously to him. "A-Are you gonna be--" "DARN IT!!! I SHOULDA HAD 'IM!!!! THAT DARN EGGMAN'S GONE TOO FAR!!!" He yelled out in a rage to no one in particular as he turned around to face them both with gleaming red eyes and tightly clenched fists. " I swear when I get my hands on him, I'm gonna--" "Sonic! Calm down! You don't even know WHY the cops were after you!" Tails yelled back in a wise tone, trying to get his blue comrad to cool his nerves. "Yeah, and I intend to find out! And when I do, SOMEONE'S gonna have a VERY bad day!" He stated as he threw a fist into the palm of his other hand.
"Come on, Sonic! This isn't like you! You're the good guy here, you're the hero--" "HERO!? Yeah!? Well guess what!? I don't get PAID enough for all this crap! I've risked my life out there to save their butts HOW MANY TIMES!!!??? Come on, Tails! Buttnik and I have been goin' on our little runaround for years! Time after time I went out their and risked my hide for this crummy planet and in the end, all I get is a pair of handcuffs and a really tight lock! I'm not a hero anymore, Tails! I quit!" He yelled in Tails' face from a distance, and sped off with a loud crack toward the endless forest.
Tails just stood their, staring into the direction Sonic had ran, and soon found himself with nothing else to do but plop down and cry. He didn't, though. He just sat there, in the middle of the small grassy plain, and thought deeply about what had just happened. Sonic had just given up...he had just flushed all his pride down the toilet. He had just turned his back on all his dreams, his fame....his heart. Could this really be it? Could it possibly be that only a small cell with a locked key was all it took to throw the blue individual he's looked up to since he was a small lad off his coarse and into the depths of a nobody? Was Sonic really giving up on the love he had for his dreams of freedom and peace and a happy, Robotnik-less world? No way. Not now. Not after ALL he's worked for....not after all of his accomplishments....not after they were so close to fulfilling their dreams...
Besides the speed, the cool-ness, the fame....Besides the action, the adventures, the stunts...and besides the love, the freedom, and the endless happiness, he loved Sonic for his heart. Even in the heat of battle, when all seems hopeless and lost, the last thing on that hedgehog's mind was to give up, even if it meant giving up his own life for the battle to be won. For years, he's been going around helping others in need of a hero, even though he never really had any reason to do it. He wasn't getting paid. He wasn't getting a spot in the President's office, or getting loads of money from the people which he rescued. Even if they did offer him money, no matter how large in amount, he would never allow himself to take it. He loved his life just the way it was, and for some unknown reason, even though he could very easily strike at rich by starring in his own T.V. show or dating the daughter of a very rich man, he never really bothered doing it. Not once. He's been offered tons of things by tons of people tons of times, but never said yes unless it had something to do with a chilidog, and even then it can only be two or less. The truth is, he loved being a hero. He loved seeing people's smiling faces of pure glee and happiness after he's saved their lives and solved their problems for them. Happiness was his pay, and that's all it took to make him happy as well. Then he'd speed off into the sunset, and do the things he loves to do, like running or grinding on really long poles. No way, Sonic wouldn't give that up. He loved it too much. It was pretty much what kept him going besides his unbeatable speed, and Tails knew him too well to believe this was the end.
"Tails? A-Are you okay?" Amy asked worriedly as she took small steps toward him and held her hands together in hope. "Yeah, I'll be fine." He answered as he slowly got up off the ground and looked Amy in the eyes. "Just give Sonic some time to think, he'll be back to his usual self... least, I hope he will..." Amy could see in his big blue eyes that Tails was hurt after what Sonic had told him, but still, that undieing love he had for him still showed, and she was sure it would prevail to end all his worries.
"Do you think we should...make a fire, or something?" She asked in hopes of comforting him and getting his mind off the present situation. "Naw, we shouldn't anyway. The smoke'll point the army right to us. We wouldn't wanna get Sonic in another jail cell..." He shivered as he answered back. "That was scary...I've never seen him so scared in my life....that one memory is gonna traumatize my dreams forever..." "He said as he held his eyes closed tight. "Shhh, yeah, I know. I almost cried when I saw him like that...but I'm sure he'll be himself again soon...I know he will, he can't be stopped just like that...that's why he's my hero...." She said in a sad tone. "Yeah...he's mine too. There's not a thing on this planet that can keep THAT hedgehog down. Right?" He forced a smile. "Right." She accepted, and smiled back. "Sonic'll be fine..." He said as he yawned while stretching out his arms. "Just fine...just like always...." His voice got lower, and lower, 'till he rubbed one of his eyes and sat on the fallen tree. "I'm-I'm gonna wait here for Sonic..." He said in the middle of another long yawn. "He'll come back soon, and I'll be here waiting for him..."
He fell asleep soon after that, and Amy couldn't help but smile again as she watched the young kitsune lay his head on his hands and hold his knees close to his stomach as he slowly drifted off to a land where he, himself, was a world-known hero....

The sky was still a smooth, dark blue, with only the smallest glint of bright light descending from the stars and caressing the green leaves and grass which covered the musty green forest in layers of white that flickered in the gentle push of the cool colorless wind. They surrounded a large, greyish-white sphere that was now impaling itself at the top of the endless sky and leaving the world beneath it in awe and wonder in it's mysterious beauty. It shone upon a small lake, noisy and rippling from the thunderous, yet soothing motion of a crashing waterfall that never ceased to slow it's one-sound beat. Resting at the lake's tip was a large, seemingly lifeless boulder, which would've been impossible to see if not for the shining moon and the stars that helped it glisten it's light. It was grey with black, with a few brown stains at it's bottom from the mushy wet dirt by the side of the lake, and at it's top, rested a soundless light figure, who's fur was embrazoned with a dark, silky-smooth color. It's position made it lean backward and onto the rock, giving it a good eye view at the starry night sky and preventing it from tipping over and crashing into the cold, rippling water. It rested it's body on it's rump, and used it's limbs to cover it's light peach center and green-pupilled face. While the bottom ones lay bended at their centers and balanced at the boulder's surface, the top ones hugged the previous ones' tops and helped cover the figure's shivering, tear-stained face. It wasn't just and ordinary, still figure, with red and white cloth for bases and sharp long needles to protect it's back. It was more that just a gleaming icon known world-wide for it's gleaming attitude and endless heroism. It was more that just a world-renouned idol that was thanked over and over by those who had been in physical and emotional turmoil. It was more than just an inspirational being that struck the minds and hearts of millions for what it had done in the past and the way it invented it's own lifestyle. It was more than just the bearer of a loving heart, said to be made of pure gold because of it's endless bravery and softness for others. It was a hedgehog. A hedgehog, in blue....
As he sat soundless at the tip of the boulder, a pare of nervous, green, sorrowed eyes watched him within the cover of the dark green, overgrown grass, and as she watched him make no moves whatsoever, Amy creeped silently up to the rock, trying her best to step softly and slowly so as her red and white boots didn't crack any twigs or crunch an old leaf. "S-Sonic?" She said softly and quietly, trying not to startle the still, motionless figure.
The half-rolled hedgehog simply turned his head a small amount, just enough to reveal his eyes from under his protective arms and legs, and moved back to his past position soon after. "Whad'ya want?" He asked in a cold, harsh manner, somehow proving he wished to be left alone. "I just wanted to see if you're okay...." She answered softly, moving her eyes down toward her booted feet. "Well I'm fine." He threw back, almost no emotion in his voice but a stale one. "Okay...I'll just go then....and leave you alone..." She stated as she hesitantly turned around and started to leave in small, quiet steps.
Sonic rolled his eyes. "Hold up!" He said quickly as he quickly unrolled, turned the top half of his body around and stretched his arm out toward her. He couldn't stand hurting other people's feelings, even in the current emotional state he was in, and even though it was Amy. He didn't mind throwing her off the trail every now and then, but this time she was only trying to check up on him, rather than annoy him beyond belief. He couldn't shrug her off this time, not after the worried gleam he saw in her eyes just a few moments before.
"Hm--uh...Yes, Sonic?" She stuttered inbetween as she nervously turned around and hoped for the best. "Uh....How'd you find me?" He asked quickly, as if trying to come up with something to say. "Well, you kinda left a wide trail after you sped off like that..." The pink hedgehog motioned toward a wide, long, half-deep ditch that left the grass and flowers beside it covered with dirt. "Oh...sorry 'bout that....I wasn't really in the mood to worry about flyin' dirt and flowers..." He said as the green in his eyes started to shine toward the semi-wet dirt once more. "Well...I'll leave you alone now...." She stated in a soft voice again, motioning toward the surprisingly large ditch. "Hold it!" She turned around again. "I don't have to go if you don't want too...Not that you HAVE to stay either, you can go if ya want, but you can stay if ya want, too..." He explained in babbled words. "You don't mind me staying?" A shine of hope entered her eyes, and all Sonic could bring himself to do was roll his eyes and shrug. "Nah, it's allright."
Sonic tried to make it sound like she had all the choices, but somehow Amy sensed that this time, for the first time ever, he actually WANTED her to stay. Although she walked and spoke slowly, her mind raced with anticipation. This was an opportunity she COULDN'T miss.
As she made her way toward the over-sized rock at which he sat on, Amy accidentally kicked a solid object that nearly made her trip and fall on her front. She looked down to see what it was, and had a surprised, yet confused look on her face when she saw it was a smooth red diamond that could be nothing more than a Chaos Emerald. "Oh my gosh..." She said to herself mentally. "I can't believe's true..." She nearly cried at the thought, but somehow managed to hold it in and make her way toward the boulder.
She tried to climb it, but couldn't get a good grip with her slippery boots and inexperienced hands. Sonic waited to see if she would be able to get up on her own, but grew impatient over a three second period and rolled his eyes again as he reached out his hand. "Need some help?" He asked boldly, and somehow managed to fake a smile. "....yyyyessss..." She said hesitantly as she slowly placed her right hand into his, and felt him give a slight tug as he helped her make her way up.
Although his arms were long and thin, Amy could feel a slight tough of strength and manly-ness within them. Her weight didn't seem to effect him at all, except for the slight flex in his arm as it barely struggled to hold her from falling. The feeling of his long, gloved fingers and soft, but firm palm gave her a sudden sense of empowerment and safety as they wrapped semi-tightly around her soft, tender gloved hand. Although it had a strong, firm grip on it, Amy felt in no way like her hand was being squeezed, but simply like it was being held, without effort, just a firm, soft, safe hold, that prevented her from falling and getting hurt. This was the grip that could hold a child safely without squeezing it and making it cry, and that could calm a helpless kitten that's stuck on a tree with a simple touch, and prevent it from biting and scratching in a desperate attempt to defend itself. It was the touch that could reassure a helpless victim that he or she will be okay, and the touch that could calm the nerves of the most nervous beings that could possibly exist, and the touch that could bring a soft glimmer to the eyes of those who have lost all hope. It was the touch that could hold tight yet feel loose, and the touch that could grab hard yet feel soft. It was the touch of a loving hand, the touch, of a hero...
She made her way to the top with the help of Sonic's hand, and almost longed for it's instant return as it released it's grip from her clasp and returned to being gripless at the blue hedgehog's side. She could still feel it's strong tenderness around her palm, and took a swift moment to look into Sonic's eyes and see the same cool, loving force she had previously felt in his hand. She fixed her dress quickly and quietly and carefully sat next to her beloved savior. She sat close enough to feel the tips of the fur on his arm brush against her own, and felt herself go into another mindless trance. His fur was so separated. It's almost like he had no fur at all, but a few strands of straight, soft hair that was easily seen, but not very noticeable. It wasn't like a fox's fur that was fluffy and well-connected, it was like each strand of hair was apart from the others, leaving a small amount of skin inbetween them, but not enough to actually see the skin which they kept warm. It added on to the look of his body, which seemed weightless and light, as if he wasn't sitting next to her at all. She could almost feel a breeze hit her from his direction, as if he wasn't sitting there at all. His body was so slender and thin, yet in some odd way, it was more athletic and powerful than skinny and weak. With his long, peach arms and his also long, blue legs, topped by humungous red and white sneakers, his body looked like it was swift and fragile, yet strong and powerful. His hands were large in size, too, but it just added to his astounding unique look. His long, sharp spines added to it vigorously, and made him seem even more powerfully slender than his front side alone. He had the look of a carefree individual who had nothing but happiness and the thrill of a nice long run in his mind, and somehow, in a very odd sense, instantly gave a symbolized sign of everlasting freedom and peace. Sonic's lightweight body almost gave Amy the urge to feel she was alone,
She simply cleared her throat and clasped her hands together as she made herself comfortable, trying her very best to move her eyes out toward the waterfall and not toward the shining blue body beside her. The moonlight and stars shone onto him and caressed his fur with a shining tone that excluded him from the rest of the area. Sonic, only Sonic, because of the color of his dark blue fur and emerald green eyes, was able to shine so brightly and smoothly under the bright gazing moon. His outline was pearl white within the light's path, and the green in his eyes suddenly became a mystical illusion of a brand new color, one which Amy had never seen before, which was a mixture of shining green with pure white-ish grey light, that sparkled in a different tone every time she moved her head even if only in the slightest of slightly manners, and although she didn't know it, the blue-blazer's eyes reflected upon her's as she store at them and gave them a silver-ish green look within her's. Him, just sitting there, almost weightless, like he was nothing but air, with the wind softly blowing across his fur, and his beautiful spines and magnificent eyes, reminded Amy of all the reasons she loved him so much.
"Is Tails alright?" Sonic suddenly broke the silence. "Y-Yeah, he's okay..." She replied softly. "Doh man, I shouldn't a' broke down on 'im like that...The poor keed musta've been heart-broken..." "Yeah, he was very stunned after you said what you said...and after you did all that you did..." She seemed distant when she spoke, and she did so in a very low tone. "It's just I hate small places! Makes the walls look like they're closin' in on me! No space to run or walk around, almost like ya can't move at all, like ya can't breathe. Makes me go hedgehog-crazy...still, I shouldn'ta' yelled at him like that...Now he's probably afraid of me...'specially after that spikin' I gave 'im back in the cell..." "You hurt Tails?" Amy asked in surprise. "Yeah...I didn't mean to, I just wasn't thinking...How could I have done that? He wasn't doin' anything's just when he touched me, I felt the instant urge to defend myself, like he was tryin' ta hurt me or somethin'...Doh man, I'm such a dope!" He yelled as he banged his forehead against his knee and squinted hard. Amy just looked at him as he spoke, and could almost feel the trauma he must have been going through, and wished that somehow, someway, she could fix his problem for him. "I'll have ta talk with 'im tomorrow...But it ain't gonna work. I'm bad with 'I'm Sorries'...I don't even sound good sayin' it! ....But I'll make it up to 'im somehow. That keed's got kinda heart I'll never have, and'll forgive me no prob! It's just the fact that I hurt 'im that gets me goin' down..." "Amy continued to look him down slightly, and turned her head toward the lake in thought of his words. "No use cryin' over it now, though. Guess I'll just have to he awake?" "Nope...He fell asleep waiting for you to come back..." "Man, better not go over there at full speed then, wouldn't wanna wake 'im up." "Mmmm..." She answered with a small nod and a VERY short smile.
He hesitated at his next question, but somehow found the courage, and the will to hear Amy's voice go on and on in one of her stories, and let it escape his mouth. "....What about you?" "Huh?" She asked in confusion as she lifted her head to face him. "H-How're you feelin'?" He looked at her with green eyes full of concern, and it made her bow her head down in their mystifying beauty. "Oh....well....I'm okay...." "You sure? You seemed kinda speechless when we got to the forest..." "No, it's just....Sonic, the way you looked at full of anger and you wanted to attack me...." Her eyes got watery and her voice got squeakier with every word, 'till she buried her face in her hands and finally broke down to tears. "Aw, come on, Amy...I didn't mean anything..." Sonic tried to cheer her up with his soft words, wondering how and WHY he had gotten himself into THIS. Now, knowing himself all too well, he knew he wouldn't have the heart to just leave her crying. He HAD to find a way to cheer her up without getting on one knee and proposing to her. If anything, he at LEAST had to stop her from crying.
"Aw, come on, Aimez, there's no reason ta cry...." She slowly looked up at him and wiped away her tears with a loud sniff. "W-What...did" "Huh? Oh, Aimez....why?" She looked at him with wobbly, sad eyes that seemed to have a microscopic hint of glee within them. Not saying a word, she just looked at him as if expecting him to say something else. "....You saved me y'know..." He said truthfully, trying to change the subject and prevent her from crying again. She sniffed. "What?" "You got me outta that prison. If you hadn't come, I'd probably still be in there..." "Oh, that's okay..." She said as she wiped her final tear and, to Sonic's relief, calmed down completely. A hint of depression and sadness was still within her though, and Sonic, being the hero that he is, wouldn't be satisfied until she was completely normal again. "Hey, no way! It isn't okay!" He yelled in a strong, heroic tone. "Hmm?" She mumbled, looking at him with her head bent sideways and resting on her hand.
"If it wasn't for you, I'd probably have NEVER gotten outta there! I hate ta say it, but...I owe ya, Amy..." He said with a smile that he hoped would bring one upon her. ", you don't owe me a thing. You've saved my life lotsa times...It's okay, Sonic..." He was off the hook, but she was still sad, and he just HAD to do something about it! Somewhere inside him, deep in the depths of his legendary golden heart, he truly wished to make her happy, and he rolled his eyes before he spoke his next words. "No, but I WANNA repay ya! Honest!" He assured her with a certain expression. "Really? You WANNA pay the favor?" She asked, uncertain. "Yeah, just name it! ANYTHING you want!....just don't make it a kiss or a wedding or something, I'm too young ta get married." He sighed slowly. "I'll even go..." He cringed at the thought. "shopping with you...." "Hmmmm...." She thought about the offer, wisely, and considerably.
Something about the way she looked, just at that moment, struck Sonic's eyes and couldn't release it's grip. The way her eyes sparkled under the moonlight as she returned to her normal, "Amy", state, caught his eye, and he felt a surge of victory and relief at the sight. "YYYESSSS!!!!" He said to himself in his mind, as he made a short, unnoticeable fist in a victorious sort of way. Then she looked him in the eye again. " can repay me right now, if ya want......"
"Huh? Now? Right this instant?!" He said dumbly and taken aback. "Yeah! I MEAN...if you want can always repay me some other time if you want I just thought since we're alone and we have pretty much nothing to do that--" "Okay, cool, you got it!" He said as he got annoyed at her random rambling. She bit her lip in thought. "Hey...Ya saved my life. Thanks....Aimez...." He looked deeply into her eyes with a smile only HE can pull off. The gaze in his eyes caused her to lose control and lean forward in a falling motion, causing her head to land on his chest as she wrapped her arms around his neck. " Oh Sonic....I love it when you call me that..." She said as she closed her eyes and tightened her still-loose grip. Sonic, who was VERY taken aback by this, and who's eyes were wandering in every direction for a direct escape as his teeth suddenly rubbed against each other, had absolutely NO IDEA what he was supposed to do now, or how to get Amy off him without making her cry again.
"Uh....Yeah...." He said inbetween sweatdrops as he scratched the back of his head. When he realized she wasn't planning on letting go, he decided to slowly and gently wrap his arms around her too. He hesitated over and over until his arms completely slid around her back and contained her within his grasp, and when she felt the warmth and comfort of his arms wrapping completely around her, she snuggled up even more and held him a little tighter than before, causing the blue speedster's nerves to shake even more in mental discomfort. Although he almost ENJOYED the warmth her body endowed upon him, he'd much rather have been free, and little by little he started to tap his fingers on her back in impatience. Still, she didn't let go, and he slowly felt himself starting to drift in thought.
Did he really mean those things he said to Tails? Was he really giving up? And if so, why? Because people saw him as a bad guy now? Because he was overpowered by mere policemen and taken to a jail cell that's probably smaller than some kid's tree house? Nah, no way. He never cared what people thought of him before, so why should he now? He wasn't gonna let Tails down now, not after he'd proven over and over that what he once told him as a small child was true. He gave a slight grin at the thought of what he had told him. "Listen Tails, this hedgehog's like usin' the toilet! You can hold him back only so long 'till one way or another, he catches up to ya!" He remembers the small giggles Tails responded with, and this time, a loving smile rather than a trademark grin crossed the side of his face. "Doh man, that keed grew up too fast for even ME to notice." He thought to himself. "Guess I just sorta missed it..." No matter, the next day he would forget everything he had said and go back to his original heroic ways. Why? It doesn't matter why. He simply erased that memory and lived on as himself. Why? He didn't have regrets. He didn't NEED regrets. There was no time to live his life in regret, cause' time didn't wait for him, it just crept by at super-sonic speed. It didn't matter what he said before, he'll just live his life his own way, whichever way he chose. That's the way this hedgehog thought, and now, just like he always had, he chose to go his own way.
"Sonic?" Amy broke the silence and the hedgehog's train of thought. "What's up?" He asked calmly. "Do you really find me annoying when I follow you around?" "Huh?" If her sudden grasping of his body didn't surprise him before, this question CERTAINLY did the trick. "Y'know...the way I get so happy when I see you and start hugging you and suggesting ways we can get married or go on dates..." "Ummm...." He was really cornered at this point. One wrong move and she'll be staining his fur in tears, and as his personality probably made obvious, Sonic the Hedgehog HATES taking baths. "....I really do love you, Sonic...but I'll stop, I'll leave you alone, if you want me too..." Sonic's eyes grew wide at her statement. One simple sentence and all his Amy Rose problems would be gone! He'd be free of yet one MORE thing, but soon he noticed she started to squeeze his body tight in hope and worry that she'll never see him again and that he really DOES dislike her presence, he found himself trying to think of a way to calm her down, again. "Uhhh....nah, it's cool Aimez." She let go of him and looked at him with a straight, serious face. "Really?" Sonic would hit himself later for this, but found himself tensing his body and gripping the rock beneath him VERY tightly, 'till he finally managed the words, "Yeah...Really..."
"You don't really find me annoying? You don't really wish with all your heart that I'd just leave you alone and stop following you everywhere you go?" She asked as a sudden hint of happiness emerged within her eyes. "Well, butting in on my adventures and making life harder by gettin' captured all the time is MONDO uncool, but not knowin' when you're gonna show up kinda makes life a little more excitin'. Adds some thrill to it, I guess..." "Oh Sonic!" She yelled out in glee as she grasped him in another hug. "And for all this time I thought you couldn't stand me..." He cursed himself mentally. "Thank you, Sonic..." She said with tears of joy running down her face. "GREAT! Now I made her cry again! This hero stuff's gettin' harder and harder every single day!!!" He yelled in his mind. "Uh...for what?" He asked as his temper argued with his conscience. "For making me happy...again..." She answered with her tears still escaping her eyes.
"Uh, no prob..." Another sweatdrop started to form on the side of his head as he tried to figure out a way to get himself out of another one of Amy's famous bear hugs. "So...what should I do ta' repay ya?" He asked in hope of a miracle. "Um...well...if we can't get married or go on a date..." "Great, now she's gonna ask for a Magic Carpet ride or somethin'..." The hedgehog's mind said to itself. "Well, the one other thing I've always imagined would happen the day we fall in love is us dancing to sweet music under the stars..." She said as her eyes pointed diagonally upward in a state of thinking dreamily. "Come on!" She said in an excited voice as she slid off the rock and trotted happily across the grass, like the Amy Sonic's akways known and ran away from.
"" He asked as he gritted his teeth and backed away as much as possible without tipping over the rock. "Yeah! Come on, it'll be fun!" "But-but-but...I don't dance!-I mean there's no music-I mean....You can't be serious!" Sonic waved his arms and hands in front of him, trying his best to convince her skip the idea. His efforts were to no avail. "What? You mean, you can't dance?" "No! I mean, I never learned! I mean...I HATE DANCING!!! Tried it once and I'll never try it again! I don't LOOK good dancin', I don't ACT good dancin'....Heck, I don't even DANCE good dancin'!....I'M NOT EVEN MAKING SENSE!!! If there's one thing I cannot do, it's dance! This hedgehog DOES NOT DANCE!!!!....besides, there's no music...." "So? We can pretend there is! That's what imagination is for, and come on, it's real easy! You wouldn't want me to cry again, would you?" Amy gave him the 'sad puppy eyes', and Sonic looked away and winced hard. "No way! Absolutely not! Think of somethin' else, this hedgehog's not dancin'! Not now, not EVER!!!" "But....but you said you'd do anything...please, Sonic? If you don't, I might get sad wouldn't want that, would you?" She faked a sniffle. "NO! Don't start cryin'! DON'T START CRYIN'!!! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, DON'T START CRYIN'!!!!" "So will you dance with me?" "NO!!!!!" She started sniffling some more, and buried her face in her hands. Sonic crossed his arms and looked away. She started making noises. "HMPH!" This time he turned his whole body away. "Waaaaaa-ha-ha.....!!!!! WAAAAAAA-ha-ha-ha-ha.....!!!" "Grrrrrrrr-OKAY!!!! You win! I'll do whatever you want! Just don't go askin' for my chilidogs......" "YAY!!!! She jumped up in victory with her arms up in the air and grabbed Sonic's wrists. "I knew you'd come through, Sonic! You're my hero!" He sniffed hard. "Yeah, I know."
She held his wrists tightly and started to pull, but he pulled back hesitantly. "Come on! You have to stand up if you're gonna dance, silly." She giggled cutely, annoyingly in Sonic's mind. "Uh, no I don't! I can dance...WITH MY HEAD! See?" He started to shake his head from side to side, with his eyes closed tightly and a sweatdrop running down his head. He stopped. "There ya go! Enough dancin'! Time ta get some shuddeye!" He jumped off the rock, with Amy still grasping at his wrists, and made an attempt to run away. "NO!" She yelled in defiance. "You said you would dance with me! You promised!" "Okay! You wanna dance, you got it!" He grabbed her head with one humungous hand and moved it around. "Dum-dum-dum- dum-dee-dee-dee, okay! Glad we got that over with, let's bookie!" Sonic had been talking REALLY fast, and Amy barely had enough time to stand her ground as he finished talking and tried to run for it again. "NO!!! No no no!!! You said it yourself! You owe me! And I wanna dance!" She yelled with mad eyes. "But we just did!" "NO! Don't play dumb with me, Sonic Hedgehog! That's not what I meant and you know it!" "Well gee ya didn't exactly lay it out for me on a piece o' paper...Maybe next time ya save my life ya'd better put more talkin' into it....On second thought that'd be too annoying, maybe a letter? Wait, can't stand readin' hand-writin'..." "SONIC!" "What!?" She sniffled again. "Okay! Okay! You win! Just don't make it too long, please. This hedgehog HATES movin' slow..." "Yay! You ALMOST had me fooled, Sonique! For a second I actually thought you were gonna go back on your word! Silly me, I know you better than that!" Amy clapped her hands with glee. Sonic had a confused look on his face. "Sonique? Where'd THAT come from?" "I don't know, I just made it up!" "No, I meant I heard it somewhere..." He seemed deep in thought when she asked. "Someone called you that before?" "Yep, just can't remember....Oh yeah! Some Japanese kid called me that when I saved him from one of Eggman's machines! The poor keed, he didn't know English..."
"Awwww, I hoped that would be MY name for you...." Amy gave another sad expression. "You mean besides, "My Herooooooo, oh that Sonic is just so sweet with his good looks cool moves and unbearable figure oh I just can't help but LOVE him!!! " Sonic mocked with his face resting on his clasped hands and his eyes blinking surprisingly fast with a shining tint to them. "Oh blah blah! That's not funny!" She shot back as the blue hedgehog laughed at his own joke. "Oh come on, Aimez! You know that's what you say about me when you're deep in thought!" "Yeah, but you don't have to make fun of me!" "Who's makin' fun of ya? Trust me Aimez, if I wanted to make fun of ya, it'd be ALOT worse than this!" "So what're you doing?" "Just statin' the truth! Ya can't get mad at me for tellin' the truth! It's what heroes do!" "Oh God you are impossible!" "Oh come on! I just wanted ta bring a laugh outta ya!" "By making fun of me!?" "I wasn't makin' fun of ya!" "Oh yes you were!" "No I wasn't!" "You were too!" "Was not!" Was too!" "Was not!" "Was too!" "Was not!" "Was too!" "Do ya really want me ta go any faster?" "You were making fun of me and you know it!" "So what if I was? Are you gonna be mad at me now?" "Well of coar-" Sonic cut her off. "Cause' y'know...if you're mad, then we really can't do that whole dancin' thing, can we?" She thought for a moment. "Oh all right! Just don't do it again! I don't like being made fun of..." "Okay okay, let's just get this over with!" "You promise?" "Promise what?" "That you won't make fun of me anymore!" "Nope!" "Why not!?" "Cause' one day a good joke's gonna come by and I'm gonna break that promise without thinking twice!" "Oh come on!" "No way, Babe. Not this time. You said you wanted a dance, and a dance you're gettin'. No double-whammies!" "Okay, well can you promise not to make fun of me just for this night?" "Just this night? No prob! Can't think of any jokes anyway..." "You promise?" "Listen Aimez, a hedgehog's word is a hedgehog's pride! It just can't be broken!" She smiled. "Okay, I guess one night's good enough for me." "Good, cause' this hedgehog can't hold back a good crack too long...." The more they talked, the closer they were getting to the middle of the small grassy clearing Amy had pointed to earlier. And before he knew it, Sonic had walked into her little trap.
" about that dance?" "Huh? Dance? Oh" "You're already standing where you're supposed to..." "I AM!?" He looked down at the ground. "Oh yeah...I am...Y'know maybe this isn't such a good ide-" "Come on, Sonic! It's easy!" Amy insisted as she grabbed his right hand and pulled him towards her. "Look, just do what you think you should do!" "I think I should get the heck outta here!" "Would you be serious?" "Okay, okay! Just don't tell anyone if I do somethin' stupid..." "I won't!" "You mean there's a chance of me doin' somethin' stupid!?" "NO!!! Come on, don't back out on me!" "Okay! Go ahead, hurry up and start..." "Well, my hands go here..." She said as she wrapped her arms around Sonic's neck. Just at that moment, Sonic noticed she had turned COMPLETELY into her old self. "You're taller than I thought you were!" "It's the long legs with the small stomach, makes my shoulders look like they're way down low..." She giggled sweetly. "So...where do my hands go?" "Can't you guess? It's pretty obvious!" She giggled again. "Ummm..." He hesitantly placed his hands upon her shoulders. "Here?" "No, silly! They go around my waists!" She giggled yet again, as if having the greatest time of her life. "Oh...I knew that!" Sonic sweatdropped. "Uh...." He removed his hands from her shoulders and lowered them, but Amy didn't feel them touch her at all. "Let me help you with that..." She said as she unwrapped her arms from his neck and grabbed his left forearm. "Right here. See? Those're my waists!" She explained to him inbetween giggles as she placed his arm not around her waist, but right next to it, with his hand touching the side of her stomach. Sonic left it where it was, not knowing what to do, and let his enormous hand almost engulf one entire half of her stomach and back without thinking. Amy didn't seem to notice either, and waited observingly as Sonic slowly placed his other hand on her opposite side. The tips of his fingers nearly touched each other at the center of her back, almost like he was holding her against her will, like he was controlling her, like she was....his...
She replaced her arms around his neck, and couldn't help but softly stroke the base of one of his lower spines, and Sonic couldn't help but notice how soft and fragile her body was. It was like all he had to do was give a slight squeeze, and he'd hurt her into crying. The way he thought of it, it was like holding a chilidog that had too much chili, one slight squeeze and the chili'll overflow and drop to your feet. Not a good thing when you're in a big hurry or desperately wish to get something over with. Still, he held his ground. Breaking a promise was NOT this hedgehog's way to go, and although he had a really great urge to step back and run away, he couldn't stand the thought of Amy crying again. So, he went against his ego, and granted one of the many wishes the pink hedgehog before him dreamed of every night of her life.
They both just stood there, posed in the position to dance, but hadn't brought themselves to actually doing it yet. Although she could've sworn they had locked eyes for a moment, Amy decided to move on, taking a small step to the side and breaking the stillness between them. Sonic simply stood his ground, and only his arms moved in the direction Amy had taken. She looked at his dumbfounded face, which just made a slight shrug in ignorance, and realized he was just-plain clueless. "Try to follow my steps, Sonic. We can't dance unless we're moving together!" "Wa? Oh, right, move, yeah." He replied in stupidity, trying to make himself sound as un- dumb as he can. He followed her first and only step, and was once again standing still directly in front of her. " try to do that every time I move." She explained obviously, as if wondering why the blue one before her found this so difficult. "Um, okay?" He sweatdropped and shrugged stupidly again, and his bright green eyes seemed to ask for immediate mercy. Amy took a step back, and Sonic followed a second later. She took a step to the right, and Sonic followed. To the front, and Sonic followed. To the left, and Sonic followed. Then back to the left, and just as before, Sonic followed. Still, something seemed not right, and although he was doing just as the pink female had told him, he still seemed to be doing it all wrong. She realized this wasn't the 'romantic dance' she was hoping for, and made a huge sigh before releasing his neck and removing his hands from her waists.
"Forget it." She said as she tilted her eyes downward and turned back toward the rock. "Wha--.why?" He asked in confusion, his elbows bent upward and his hands parallel to his shoulders. He lowered his hands to his sides after he asked, and just waited for a reply. Amy just sat with her back leaning against the rock and sighed. "No, it's okay, just.forget the whole thing." "But why? I was doin' what you said! You took a step, and I followed! You took another step, and I followed again! Or was I supposed to do something else the second time?"
He dug for an answer, trying his best to make her change her mind. Sure, he wasn't too fond of the whole thing, but unless she was happy, he wouldn't be fond at all. "N-no, you were doing just great, it's just." She lowered her head, and Sonic walked up to her and stood in front. "It's just.what?" "Well, I've always dreamt of us dancing together, but in my dreams, you always WANTED to dance with me. It was always out of love. This time, you're just holding me and following steps, hoping that it'll all be over soon." "Yeah, so? I'm dancin' with ya! Isn't that all that matters?" He asked as he looked down upon her. She looked up at him and sighed. "No, it isn't." "Then what is? Tell me, Aimez.I wanna make ya feel better."
She looked into his eyes, and instead of just pure annoyance like before, there was something different within them this time. There was a shining, shimmering glint to them that told her he actually cared, and actually yearned to know why she chose to reject him. He was worried about her, and honestly felt the urge to make her feel better, and not finding the strength to look away from him, she had no choice but to give in and talk.
"Well, my dreams, you do everything you do for me out of love, because you WANT to do them with me.I don't wanna take your love whenever I have the chance and use it for my own pleasures, I want you to GIVE you love to me, Sonic." She explained in a soft, sorrowful voice. Sonic sighed and looked at the ground. "But Amy.I honestly, truly just don't love you.ya have ta understand that." His voice was soft and sorrowful too, and he feared he'd hurt her feelings once again, and this time it wasn't a joke. "I know, Sonic.that's why I don't wish to dance with you. I know you don't want to, so I won't force you. I've always dreamed of you WANTING to dance with me, and unless you do, then the feeling just isn't there, and my wish isn't complete."
Sonic looked up and smiled with shining, hopeful eyes. "But Amy, I DO wanna dance with ya!" Amy's eyes shot up and looked deep into his. "You do!? But I thought--" "I said I wanted ta make ya feel better, didn't I? And if dancin'll make ya feel better, than I wanna dance with ya!" "But Sonic-" "And besides." "Sonic hid his hands behind his back, tilted his head downward and drew circles in the dirt with his right sneaker.
"Besides.what?" She asked confoundedly, trying to find a way to lock her eyes with his again. "Now ya got me curious." He stated while maintaining his current posture. "You wanna LEARN how to dance, too!?" "Well.yeah! Ya had me doin' it for awhile, so I might as well finish it, right?" He stopped twiddling his foot as he spoke, stood up straight in his usual, proud manner, and made his trademark smile as he looked into her eyes once more. "I.I guess." Amy stuttered. "Then what're we waitin' for!? Let's bookie!" Sonic said as he ran to the spot he was in before, happy as ever that the pink hedgehog wasn't sad anymore. "Well.okay." She got up hesitantly, and walked up to him slowly.
"You're SURE you wanna dance?" "No words're better than actions, sleed! And I'm standin' right here!" Sonic spread his arms a little. "Sleed?" Amy asked as she continued to walk, eyeing his every move closely. "Well, couldn't call ya keed, that only works with kids! Had ta think of somethin'!" Amy slowly and carefully took his hands and continued to eye him. "Chill out, Aimez! I won't bite! Honest!" She allowed a smile to creep out of her face, and even a small giggle shortly after. "What if I were a hotdog?" "A hotdog, maybe. But a chilidog, NOW you're in the gutter!" He smirked his famous smirk, and she giggled, this time, in full. "Only YOU would like something so sloppy and dirty. Don't your gloves get dirty?" "Trust me, Babe. Every ounce of every inch o' them dogs goes into my mouth and down my throat, NOTHIN' gets left ta spare!" He winked this time, and Amy giggled yet again, now happy with the current situation.

Okay, so you don't see anything new except a few paragraphs.well look more closely, guys! I've re-formatted the fic so the paragraphs'll be clear, so instead of pressing the spacebar five times, I went back and hit Tab for EVERY paragraph in the fic. MAN that was annoying. Chapter four is being worked on as you read this, so be patient, okay? Later dudes! And may the Hedgehog be with you!

~~SonicFrank: Long live the Blue Hedgehog