Flipswitch Part IX

The nippy summer breeze blew Amy's soft bangs into the air before letting them fall again, settling in loose curls around her petite face. The old swing seat creaked softly as Amy rocked it with her heels, never lifting her boot clad feet off the floor.

Another creak broke the crisp night air as Amy shifted the weight from the ball of her heels to her toes and back again. She'd been sat in her back garden for the past hour, doing nothing but rocking back and forth on the swing seat. Nothing but thinking that is.

Thinking about both everything and nothing at the same time - if that was even possible.

Nothing seemed to make sense. It was as if the pink hedgehog's brain was running at the speed of sound and the parts left scattered in its wake were fragments of thoughts that had long lost any meaning, and now held even less as she tried to piece them back together.

Her mind kept turning over Tail's words. That and how on Mobius she was going to Sonic about everything that had happened. Both to no avail. How was the opposite of apathy even relevant to her anyway? His question should have been the opposite of love. Hate. That was something she could definitely understand. Sonic was totally going to hate her for everything. Or close to it.

She furrowed her brow in annoyance as she tried to form a coherent reason to explain her actions to her hero. How was she supposed to explain why she had put Sonic through everything she had?

Amy clenched her fist and let out a long sigh. "This is useless." She mused in a half-whisper, her words hanging in the misty night.

Walking through the woods after shooting Sonic for the second time, Amy had promised herself that she would take a step back and give Sonic the space he so clearly needed. Even now, she found it difficult to prevent herself from searching him out and seeing if he was okay. That had been her main reason for leaving Tails' place early.

Besides, he was probably doing his best to avoid her even more than usual. She couldn't bring herself to blame him for it either.

Her gaze shifted to the twinkling stars above barely visible through the mist and she loosed the breath tightening her chest. "What the hell is wrong with me." She closed her eyes as the words hung in the air like the stars in the sky.

"Well, I don't know about you but I'm sure Knuckles has a few choice words on that matter."

Amy whipped her head round so fast she saw white dots glitter before her eyes. They faded to fully reveal a handsome blue hedgehog.

"Don't worry though, I'd never let him say any of them." He drawled, flashing a trademark grin before sauntering over to stand near to her.

Sonic watched her meaningfully with those leafy green eyes that always reminded her of an endless forest full to the brim with life. The same leafy green eyes that were now narrowed in... worry? No. Suspicion. Great.

"Hi." Sonic said awkwardly, finally realising that he hadn't actually uttered a real greeting.

"Hi." Amy replied with a small smile. No matter how horrible she felt, just his presence could bring a smile to her face.

Sonic walked a step towards her before seeming to reconsider and moving back to where he was before. She had so much to say to him, she realised, but not a clue where to start. They remained in complete silence for a few minutes before Sonic broke through her thoughts.

"Amy, is everything okay with you?"

"Of course." She replied, too quickly for her own liking. "I should be the one asking you that question." She said brightly, masking her true feelings with a cheery air.

Clearly her overenthusiastic attempt at chirpiness was failing miserably because Sonic narrowed his eyes further and sniffed loudly. "You know, of all the people who would blatantly lie to me, I never thought you'd be one." He stated simply, his green eyes scanning the area around her. Looking everywhere but directly at her.

It was more of a statement than an accusation but still, Amy felt the sharp sting of his words and immediately felt the need to explain herself.

"I don't – I'm not..." her voice trailed off as she realised she had no words to describe what she wanted to say. Her cheeks burned with embarrassment and she turned to face the garden, hoping that it was too dim for Sonic to notice.

"Amy Rose, speechless. And here I thought I'd never see the day." He lifted a gloved hand up to his quills and ran his fingers through them nonchalantly. Amy felt the silence around them bearing in on her. Sonic was expecting some response, sarcastic or otherwise, but she felt as if her brain had turned to mush. The most she could manage was an amused glance and a soft sigh.

"Do you mind if I sit?" Sonic asked politely, gesturing to the space next to Amy.

Amy nodded her head and scooted over to make room for him. Sonic strode past her and took a seat on her left. She felt his eyes burning into her side and when she chanced a glance, she found that he was watching her intently, his green eyes filled with concern.

Amy opened her mouth to speak but Sonic beat her to it.

"I'm sorry Amy." He said, eyes focused on her.

"What?!" Amy blurted, unable to hide the shock in her voice or features.

"I know that I pushed you into it but I just want you to know that I never meant to make you feel so unwanted." Sonic continued. Whether he hadn't heard her outburst or chose to ignore it, Amy wasn't sure. What she did know was this was not his fault. He had no right to the guilt he'd assumed.

"Sonic, stop." She said simply. "None of this is your fault. Everything I did was my responsibility. It's me who should be apologising to you for everything you had to endure whilst you weren't yourself." Her tone was kind, pleading.

"But if I'd just paid more attention to when we'd planned our dates in the first place, none of this would have happened." Amy blinked. Why on Mobius was Sonic so determined to make things okay by blaming himself. She was going to have to play this differently.

"Okay, fine." She said coldly. "If that's how we're playing it then this is all Tails' fault for creating the infernal machine in the first place."

The look of pure shock on Sonic's face told her that she'd hit her mark.

"Yeah, sounds pretty ridiculous doesn't it." She paused, suddenly serious. "I really am sorry about everything though. I had no right to try to change you, no matter how hurt I was."

Sonic nodded, accepting her apology easily. He'd forgiven her before she'd even had to apologise and she both loved and hated him for it.

"Okay, you've had your turn." He said. "Now it's my turn to apologise."

"Sonic, did you not just hear any-" The rest of her words were muffled as Sonic pressed his hand against her to prevent her from speaking.

"Will you please at least her me out." He said, quirking an eyebrow. Amy nodded and he released his hold on her. Or at least, the physical one.

"I'm sorry about all the things I said to you." He began. "I might have been flipped, but I still chose to say them."

"You also weren't you." She said softly, refusing to meet his gaze. When Sonic said nothing in return she knew that she had to take a leap of faith. She took a deep breath to calm herself. "I missed you." She admitted in a low voice, a blush gracing her cheeks.

She could feel Sonic turning towards her but she couldn't bring herself to look at him.

"Do you want to look at me and say that?" Sonic asked quietly. She could hear the smile in his words. Amy turned towards him and shook her head. As much as she'd love to, there was no way she was getting those words out whilst looking at him.

"That's okay. It's a good thing I heard you the first time then isn't it." His eyes were locked onto hers and Amy wanted to stay in the peace of the moment forever.

Sat there, looking into his caring eyes, Amy wondered how she'd ever believed that the other version of him could be him. The eyes that had looked kind before were but a shadow of what she saw in the real Sonic before her.

Where the other Sonic was muted and dull, this one was all vibrant and bright and...alive.

Never again.

Never again would she try to change the perfectly imperfect boy before her.

Reluctantly, she dragged her eyes away from him and back to her garden. She felt Sonic do the same and glanced to the side to see him drop his head into his hands. He took a deep breath and stood up, pacing in front of the swing.

"I should go." He said coming to a stop in front of her, glancing quickly at his watch. She craned her head up to look at him.

"Thanks... for checking up on me."

Sonic nodded his head in acknowledgement and waved uttered a goodbye. He looked as if he had more to say but couldn't bring himself to voice it. Probably exactly what she looked like she realised.

One second he was there and the next he wasn't. You'd think she would be used to that sort of thing by now, having been with the hero as long as she had but it still unnerved her. Having him there and then not. It was a bit like having the ground pulled out from beneath you and suddenly realising you were falling.

Amy closed her eyes to the world.

She felt a rush of wind and let it wash over her. She startled as she felt the seat shift with a weight that wasn't her own and jumped up to find the culprit.

Sonic looked at her sheepishly and she sighed in relief. "I wasn't sure who you were." She admitted breathlessly as she sat back down, increasing the distance between the two of them. "I thought you had to go."

Sonic nodded. "I should... but I don't want to." He admitted softly. "I forgot to tell you something."

"What's that?" She asked curiously.

"You know, I still..." Sonic battled with his words, or thoughts. Maybe both. "I still remember how it felt." He said finally, giving her a quick side glance.

"How it felt to hate us?"

Sonic gave her a strange look and Amy felt like she'd missed something important. He let out a soft laugh. It was utterly different from his laugh during the battle she realised. The hard tones turned soft with a melodic note and the sound surprised her.

She knew she would do everything in her power to make sure she never lost that sound again.

The blue hedgehog shook his head and bit his bottom lip. He cocked his head and looked thoughtfully at her with a warm gaze. "Yeah, I do remember that but that's not what I meant."

Amy's brow creased at his words. "Well then, what did you mean?"

Amusement danced in those green eyes and his drifted down to her lips before guiltily looking away. It took a beat too long for her to understand his train of thought and she blushed brightly with a soft uttering of "Oh..."

The seat suddenly felt too small for the both of them and Amy was sure that Sonic could feel the heat radiating off of her.

She didn't know how to respond. What was she supposed to say to something like that anyway? Luckily for her, it didn't seem like Sonic was looking for a response. He had a different question in mind.

"Do you think it always feel like that?" He asked thoughtfully.

Amy shook her head softly from side to side. "Honestly?" She turned just enough to be able to see the side of his face. "I don't know."

"Would you like to find out?" His face turned towards hers and she could feel his warm breath on her cheek.

Slowly, she turned to face him. Even knowing he was close, she was surprised at just how close he was. Her heart overrode her brain and she found herself talking without thinking.

"I would."

The words were out before she could stop them. So much for putting distance between herself and Sonic she realised. Sonic swallowed and she saw his throat bob with the action. She let her eyes drift shut, hating that the only sound she could hear was the sound of her own beating heart. She took a deep breath to calm herself and through the beats, she heard Sonic call out her name.

"Amy." He whispered, loud enough for only the two of them to hear. He said her name like a prayer infused with hope, closing the distance between them. Before she knew it, his lips were against her own.

His kiss was still enchanting, but now along with the thrill she could feel the gentle caress of something more. Something light and playful. She returned his kiss, lips gliding softly against his, answering his unspoken question.

This. This was what it was supposed to feel like she thought, realisation dawning on her.

Simple and pure. This wasn't something she wanted to lose herself to. No. This was something she needed to be fully there for. Something that made her feel that for the first time, she was truly being found.

When it ended, everything seemed so much clearer. Like a fog lifting off her heart, her head, her.

"I was wrong." Sonic contemplated. "It didn't feel the same this time."

Amy's heart dropped to her stomach. Her mind raced back to a different kiss, wondering what on earth had been different. Raced back to a different Sonic. Her emotions roiled inside her as the memories replayed in her mind and she held her breath to keep calm.

Sonic, unaware of her inner turmoil, smiled coyly and the sight eased her. There was no way that smile could mean anything terrible. "This time was definitely better." He whispered and Amy couldn't stop the giggle that bubbled out of her.

She knocked him lightly on the arm as he chuckled at her reaction. Sonic shifted his arm closer and Amy rested her head on his shoulder. She was grateful for the heat if nothing else, but something was bothering her.

"There's something I don't understand." She said softly. "I hit you with the ray so you shouldn't like me at all right now." She could feel the rise and fall of Sonic's breathing and she could have sworn it hitched as she'd spoken.

"The ray brought me back to who I was." Sonic clarified. "Why would I not like you?"

"Because it flips things. You liked me before I hit you the second time so I just thought that..."

"That I wouldn't love you?" Amy was speechless. She hadn't meant to bring it up like that, even if she knew it to be true. "You don't need to tell me how I felt Amy, I was there." Sonic, sensing her discomfort, smiled kindly at her. "Besides, there's different types of love."

"But love isn't how you feel for me." Amy replied. She could do the math, and the opposite of love was not love. It wasn't even hate like she thought earlier she realised.

"Maybe. Maybe not. I guess it would depend on what type you were talking about." Sonic stated. "Tails said that after you were hit with the Flipswitch, you chose your own path. I chose you once before when I was flipped and now that I'm back to myself I'm free to choose again."

Amy bit her lip. It wasn't hate. It wasn't hate. It wasn't hate. If you felt so much for someone, the opposite would be not feeling anything for them at all. Apathy. Tails' words floated through her mind along with her own. Everything was finally starting to fit together.

If you were to hit an apathetic person with the Flipswitch, what would it turn into?

Surely he should have completely hated me, not been apathetic, right?"

The realization rushed through her and only the sound of Sonic's voice brought her back to her senses. Back to the situation in front of her.

"If it's okay with you, I'd like to choose you Amy Rose."

"What?" Amy said, stunned.

"You don't have to say anything yet." He reached out and traced the side of her face gently. "It might not be what you expected, but I promise if you choose me that whatever happens, we'll have an adventure."

His words were full of warmth and she wrapped them around herself like a blanket, shielding her from the cold. An adventure. With Sonic the Hedgehog.

Sonic would always be there for her. No matter how late he turned up to dates. No matter how many times he forgot that they'd even had plans. None of it would change the fact that Sonic the Hedgehog would always be there for her. Just as she would be for him.

An adventure with Sonic the Hedgehog was everything she'd ever wanted. She didn't need to think anything over. She'd known the answer even before he'd asked. She'd known it for longer than she cared to remember.

Amy smiled a smile full of thousands of nights of hope, dreams and wishes. Her voice was barely a whisper, but Sonic heard it loud and clear.

"You. I choose you."

The. End.

I can't believe I've actually finished this story. Like, actually finished it. For real. I hope the ending did the story justice for you. Man, this is unreal.

I just want to take the time to thank everyone who has supported this story in any way (reading, faves, watches, reviews, reminders - they all mean so so much to me!). I'm not the most reliable author when it comes to updates but you've all been so accommodating and encouraging with my sporadic updates and I'm so grateful for that.

I can only hope that you guys have enjoyed reading my work as much as I've enjoyed writing it. Please let me know your thoughts on the ending if you can.

Thank you to each and every one of you for reading, and stay awesome guys!