I wrote this loosely based on recent personal experience, which accounts for the supposed fan characters. Names have been changed. Try to care.

Came from the heart, stayed in the mind, found its own way onto paper, so to speak. Some of the emotion/expression is rather exaggerated, for those of you who know which or were involved in the situation I'm talking about here, I just thought it would make a good enough story idea to work with. It's called artistic license.

Enjoy.

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HER CHOICE

A short story by David Macintyre

Names have been changed. Based on personal experience.

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"She digs him, man. I'm telling you, they're in love."

"…"

Tails didn't utter a word. He just sat, unsure of what or of anything to say or do.

He took another sip of his soda.

Around him the bustling crowds of the local mall's food court went about their culinary business, pushing the scene in deeper, and making it seem all the more…

What was the word?

He couldn't put his finger on it, but Tails felt the casual surroundings made the whole thing seem a lot more… emphasized.

He looked around and sipped from his large soda. His blank-looking eyes locked onto Sonic's face as he turned his head back to face him.

"Are you sure?"

"I'm very sure. There's almost no doubt about it."

While his friend was talking, Tails tightened his blue and gray sweater to escape the nipping draft. Winter breeze.

"How do you know?"

Sonic the hedgehog paused for a moment, stroking the unruly blue quills out of his eyes before placing a gloved hand around his chin. He was thinking, and hard by the look of it.

"it's difficult to explain, because you're young," he answered eventually. "But I've seen them as friends together, and there's just… I dunno, this sort of…"

"Chemistry?"

"That's probably the word. Same thing she had with you."

That sold it, really.

If Tails knew anything at all about Sonic, it was that he was never wrong when it came to relationships like this. He'd been right when he informed Tails about Fiona's crush on him—albeit a day or two late—and more than likely he was right now.

"You gotta believe me, man," Sonic said seriously before taking a bite out of his hot dog. "They're as good as together."

Tails stared into space, expression blank, his eyes full of wonder.

He looked down into his drink, then back up again.

Finally he spoke, but his voice was distant.

"I…" he turned his head away and looked into the distance. "…don't doubt it. I kinda guessed it myself."

-

"Now's as good a time as any," Sonic said calmly, a breeze ruffling his spiked hair. He leaned against the big tree they had 'hidden' behind at the sight of Fiona coming down the park path.

"I was going to call her about it," Tails said uneasily, cautioning his visibility. He WAS going to call her—he hadn't counted on the girl in question taking the same route through the park as he and Sonic.

"Your choice," said Sonic, getting comfortable. He looked away from Tails and Fiona's general direction, leaving Tails to make his own decision.

Tails helplessly watched Fiona walk closer to their impromptu hiding place, her black high-heeled boots making soft tapping sounds against the cobble-stoned path. Her tilted black sunglasses shone in the afternoon sun, blonde echidna locks swaying in the slight wind and draping onto the bag slung around her shoulder.

Tails watched, choking. He couldn't think of a thing to say, let alone how to open it.

She was…

So beautiful.

"…"

Sonic let out a sigh.

"Come on, man. Hey, Fiona!"

Sonic's loud greeting caught the girl's attention and a look of angered surprise from Tails. She turned to look at them, looking up at Sonic leaning against the tree and Tails pushing himself away from it.

"Oh… hi, you guys!"

Tails sputtered for several seconds.

"Uh…"

He took in a deep breath and trotted quickly down the small hill to Fiona, who turned to look at him. He stood opposite her on the path.

"Hi, Tails," she said, her usual cheerful demeanor showing through her almost ever-present smile. Tails looked into her green eyes and sighed.

"Fiona… I want you to be honest with me for a moment, please."

Fiona bit her lip, looking slightly worried, unaware of what would come next.

"Okay, sure." She remained calm. It could be innocent.

Sonic watched calmly. Tails scratched his head, looking for words, and trying to avoid eye contact. Every time he saw Fiona's eyes, he lost his train of thought, and started thinking the whole idea was childish.

Finally he snapped, and managed to squeeze a few words out, trying not to look at her again after that.

"Forget it. I'll catch you later."

With that, he took off running, leaving Fiona to stand where she was with a perplexed expression.

Sonic looked disapproving but said nothing.

"What was THAT about?"

Sonic shook his head and leaned away from the tree, zipping up his jacket.

"Nothing important, just a previous engagement," he said coolly, cracking his knuckles.

"Okay…"

"And, I gotta go too." Sonic walked down the hill. Fiona looked up at him, about a head and a half shorter than his tall, wiry frame. He smiled. "Sorry."

"All right. Bye, Sonic."

"Later."

With a wave, Sonic was gone down the path.

Fiona was left in bewilderment.

-

"It was her eyes."

Sonic sipped at the glass of coke in his hand.

"What?"

"Her eyes. They just… there was something about her eyes. Every time I saw them, I choked."

"Stage fright?"

"No, just… can't explain it."

"What was it? Guilt, sadness, worry, arrogance, pity?"

"I… really don't know, man."

Sonic turned down the stereo and thought. Tails, sitting opposite him at the wooden table in the apartment's kitchen.

"Well… we're going to have to find out."

"Why?"

"Because if we don't, it's going to be bugging you for weeks, and you won't say anything to her, and you'll regret it when she breaks it to you and you find out I was right the whole time. I know how this works."

Tails sat quietly, remaining silent. He stared into space.

Sonic's hand slid across the table and he set the cordless phone down in front of Tails.

"Can't see her eyes," he said, shifting into a comfortable position.

Tails stared down at the white phone.

After a long silence, he picked it up, moving nothing except his arm, expression still flat and emotionless. He punched in Fiona's number and waited.

Rang once…

Rang twice…

Rang thrice…

Her soft voice answered on the other side. Sonic watched and waited.

"Hi, Fiona…"

Pause.

"Listen, you remember earlier today at the park?"

Pause.

"Well, I want to talk now, and I still need you to be perfectly honest, please."

Longer pause.

"Okay…" He choked for a moment. Sonic waited, cleared his throat, and listened. "Listen, I've been hearing some things from Sonic, and he's telling me he notices that you are starting to like Sebastian, that wolf guy, and I'm pretty inclined to trust Sonic's instincts, so I want a flat yes or no answer. Do you?"

There was an uncomfortably short pause. Sonic watched Tails' expression sink, and tried to manipulate his own to sympathise.

"Okay… thanks, Fi."

It seemed like Tails was going to hang up, but by the look of it Fiona was saying something, so he didn't.

"Yeah, I know you would've."

Short pause.

"Of course not. You should know that."

Pause.

"Okay… um, how long was this going on?"

Tails face sunk again. Sonic watched.

Pause.

"Yeah, sure. I guess I'll see you then."

Pause.

"Okay. Bye."

Tails slowly put the phone down and pushed the off button. He looked blank, again.

"She say yes?" Sonic asked, not really needing to know the answer.

"Yup," Tails said flatly, setting the phone aside and letting his head slip into his hand.

Tails just sat looking disappointed for several minutes. Not a thing was said.

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.

"…"

"Told you she liked him."

"Yeah, I know," Tails replied, drumming his fingers and sparing the commonplace 'shut the fuck up' comment. He sighed.


Sonic didn't say anything for a long while. Tails looked to be in deep thought.

"What you want to do now?" Sonic asked, looking at Tails.

Tails looked up slightly.

"Go for a walk."

-

"That's him over there, isn't it?"

Tails looked over to the basketball court on the right of the sidewalk. There he saw Sebastian the wolf, wearing the usual muscle shirt and khaki cargo shorts, playing solo basketball. It looked like the team had left temporarily—there were still cans of coke, Gatorade, and other food on the wooden table nearby. He was turned away from the onlookers at the gate.

"…Yeah, I think so."

Tails watched as Seb planted several shots into the hoop, apparently exercising. He folded his arms.

"Angry with him?" Sonic asked. No answer came.

Tails just watched.

"I'll go talk to him."

Sonic watched, waiting at the wire fence. He folded his arms and waited as Tails went onto the court through the gate.

He approached Sebastian, catching the ball as it came down through the hoop. Sonic, at the side, chuckled. It looked like something out of a movie.

"Nice," Seb said in greeting, lifting his hands to catch Tails' throw. He tucked the orange ball under his arm.

"Thanks."

Not much was said for a moment. Seb lobbed the ball at the hoop, again. It landed in.

Seb spoke.

"So what you here for, man? Just lonely, or what?"

"Nah. Just came by to congratulate you."

There was a short pause while Seb retrieved the ball and threw it towards the hoop again, a little absent-mindedly. It managed to go in.

Tails spoke.

"You know, right?"

There was another pause. Seb went to get the ball, and turned around.

"Know what?"

Tails laughed softly, looking at the ground. He took the ball from him and threw it towards the hoop.

"Fiona," he answered, a slight grin adorning his face.

"What about her?"

"She's over me. She likes you now, like you hoped."

The ball rolled on the hoop's rim for a moment. It fell out.

Seb stood silently for a moment.

He stood defensively.


"I know karate."

Tails laughed.

"Relax. I'm not here to fight you."

Seb did relax. He sighed.

"I thought you were going to kick my ass for a moment there. You must be REALLY pissed."


"God, of course not. It's her choice, it's not like she's disobeying me or something."

Short pause. Then Seb spoke again.

"I guess… you want a drink?"

"Yeah, sure."

Tails glanced over at Sonic, who still stood almost totally still outside the gate. He paced over to the right to follow Sebastian and Tails, his expression nondescript. He nodded, prompting Tails to follow Seb and take an unopened can of soda from the bench.

Tails sat down next to Sebastian on the stone platform next to the wire fence and opened the can, taking a long swig. Seb laughed, looking in no particular direction.

"Man. This is weird. We shouldn't even be having this conversation for another eight years at least."

"You'd be surprised."

Seb took a drink.

"By the way, I can't stay long," Tails began. "Have to talk to Fiona at the mall."

"Ah… that's cool." No further inquiry.

Sip…

Sip…

"Man…"

Tails took a sip of his soda after beginning.

"I feel like such an ass, now."

"Why?"

"Because. She actually DID have a thing going for you a couple months back, when I met you. Remember?"

Seb looked to be in thought for a moment. Tails continued.

"Actually, that started like a week after she met you."

Seb paused, looking blank for a moment. Shock.

"And, I told you otherwise. I feel like a dick."

"Don't," Seb said, putting his hand on Tails' shoulder. "You didn't know, man. And I'm a dick for getting jealous like I did."

"Nah… it's natural."

"Still."

Nothing was said for a little while. Tails looked over at Sonic. Sonic tapped his watch, indicating it was time to wrap it up.

"Gotta go, man." Tails stood up from the bench, taking the can. "Thanks for the drink." He began to walk away.

"No problem. Oh, Tails?"

Tails turned, listening.

"Yeah?"

"So this doesn't get in the way of us being friends, right?"

Tails smiled.

"Hell no."

"Hm…"

"Better to accept it and keep being friends then to get pissed and have everyone hating you, right?"

"Yeah… all right. Thanks for telling me."

"Anytime."

Tails headed towards the gate, waving to Sebastian as he walked. Seb waved back, retrieving his ball. His friends could be seen returning from down the road.

Tails opened the gate and greeted Sonic outside. Sonic smiled.

"Handled like the gentleman that you are."

"Shut up." Middle finger.

"Har har."

-

"That's her there, I think."

Sonic pointed to the blonde-furred echidna in the mall crowd, still wearing her black boots and carrying the bag. Her sunglasses were tilted onto her forehead rather than down on her nose as she approached.

"Oooh, she doesn't look like she likes you," Tails said quietly up at Sonic at seeing Fiona's reaction to the hedgehog's presence. Sonic looked closer.

"Probably pissed that I let it slip. I'll wait over by BK."

"Okay. I'll try and handle it."

"You'll do fine, buddy."

With that, he left, going to wait by a large plant next to Burger King. Mall food court; always a good setting.

"Hey, Fiona."

Fiona approached, a guilty expression on her face.

"Hi."

"Eh. Can I buy you something?"

"…No, I'm alright."

"Okay. Let's… sit down then, huh?"

"Yeah…"

Tails led Fiona to a table reasonably isolated from the rest of the crowds and sat down, folding his arms over the tabletop. Fiona followed suit, crossing her arms.

Across the room, Sonic saw Fiona shoot him a look of pure venom. He smiled and waved.


"So. You wanted to tell me something, right?"

Fiona looked back at Tails, who waited patiently for a response.

She looked down, then back up at Tails.

"Tails… I'm sorry."

"I know."

"I meant to tell you, but… I was scared about how you'd take it."

Tails laughed softly, lowering his head and scratching the back of his neck. He looked back up at Fiona, and tried to sound as calm as possible.

"Fiona, you should know I'd never get angry at you. Especially over something like that. I'm not angry at all."

"Well… people have told me that before."

"They lied, right?"

Fiona sounded the affirmative. Tails smiled.

"I guess I'm different, then."

"Hm…"

There was a long pause. Nobody said anything. Tails twisted to crick his back. He spoke again, making sure to keep eye contact.

"Fiona… honestly, do you really think I would've been angry?"

"Yes."

"Well, at the moment I'm more worried about the fact that you lied to me the first time I asked you than that you don't like-like me anymore."

Fiona didn't say anything. She breathed quietly for a moment.

She stood up.

"Maybe I should go…"

"No, no, stay," Tails said, taking Fiona's forearm. "I'm not mad. I'm just disappointed, that's all. Maybe… weren't honest with me is a better choice of words."

Fiona apprehensively sat back down. Her expression remained noticeably unhappy.

"Look, Fiona, having you as a friend is more important to me than giving a beating to every other guy you look at. You like someone else, and I accept it."

No answer.

"I'm not going to get angry with you over something as superficial as swapping kissy faces. That's for really young beginners and desperate old people. You're better than that, and I don't want to lose you over something that really doesn't matter to me."

Fiona just gazed. Tails looked at her eyes.

"…are you listening?"

"Yeah, I'm just… surprised."

"Why? Because I'm not going on some psycho rampage?"

"Probably."

Exchange of laughs.

"Honestly, if you like some other guy, that's fine. It's your choice, and just knowing you love me as a friend is good enough for me."

Fiona looked down, looking for something to say.

"I'd say you sound like you're 40, but… you're sweet."

Tails smiled.

"I hope you're not still upset," he said.

"…yeah, a bit."

"Well… try not to be, that's all I ask."

"I lied."

"You apologized."

Silence.

"I've got to go," Fiona said, standing up. "Thanks, Tails."

"Anytime. You're still my friend, Fiona. And I'll never get mad with you, over anything. Remember that."

Fiona smiled softly.

"Thanks."

"Oh, and…"

Fiona turned to listen.

"Try not to be mad at Sonic."

Fiona huffed angrily, shooting Sonic another look. He smiled widely, tightening his eyes closed.

With that, Fiona turned around again, and left.

Tails watched as she walked off without a word, drumming his fingers on the table.

He sighed.

He stood up and turned around, walking back to his friend at the plant. Sonic nodded as he approached, putting out his arm to greet Tails shoulder.

"I SUCKED!" Tails announced, covering his face.


"No, no, you did great, from what I could see. Congratulations, you know how to talk to girls."

"No I don't."

"I sooo say you do."

"Shut the hell up, Sonic."

Sonic snorted laughter as the two walked away from the restaurant, Sonic grinning widely and Tails keeping an embarrassed complexion.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, folded, wrinkled scrap of paper. He opened it slowly, reading what it said.

'I think I have a crush on you.

-Fiona'

"What is that?" Sonic asked, plucking it from Tails' hands.

"Hey, give it back!"

"I think I have a… how sweeeeet, you saved it."

"Screw you!"

"No, no, this is good…"

Eventually Tails stopped grabbing at it. Sonic looked over it several times, eventually passing it back. Tails put it back in his pocket, sighing deeply.

"She was a great girl."

"Yeah, but life goes on, bud."

Tails took a short moment to let it set in.

Then he spoke.

"Come on. Doesn't matter THAT much."

Long pause.

"Does it?"

"Your choice, man. Your choice."

-

THERE!

It's… crappy on the edges. So sue me.

Anyway, everybody, try and understand the message in here. Your crush is not your property! Scouting for chicks is not like buying real estate! Just because you have a thing for a girl does not mean a girl is a thing you have! If someone who has a crush on you decides to shift their attention, accept it, like I did, and you will be commended for your maturity, like I was on most of my other breakup occasions. Don't go on a psychopathic rampage and start beating people up just because her googly eyes boggle in another direction. For fuck sake, if she happens to prefer one guy over you, improve yourself and try again, don't make it worse by beating the living crap out of him. When someone moves in directly and steals her from you, open the can of whoop ass by all means. If she cheats on you and you're HAVING SEX then I can understand. But if she handed herself to him, just let it go. I see a lot of otherwise going on and it upsets me, because it makes it more difficult for the enlightened to know the truth. As a teen I am not saying love isn't important to me and shouldn't be to anyone else, but I AM saying that it's not important enough when you're young to lose friends and have fights over.

I meant everything I said, and if 'Fiona' happens to read this I hope she understands that. Please, people, heed what I say, and just make sure you're still friends, for the love of pie.


Thank you for listening, thank you for paying attention, thank you for reading, and goodbye. Peace.

-David Macintyre