A/N: This is a birthday gift for a good friend of ours.

Sword: Happy birthday, Avalon the Assassin! *throws confetti*

Pen: *wipes off confetti* Ugh. As always, we belong to the author. Sonic, Amy, and all related characters and material belong to Sega. Now, I am leaving before Sword breaks out the party games.

Sword: *blindfolds self and chases Pen with a tail and nail* C'mon! Pin the tail on the pen!

Please enjoy.

Nature's Ring

Amy approached her prey softly, silently. He was standing on the corner, tapping his foot impatiently. Don't turn around. Don't turn around, she begged. The store windows on either side of the street could give her away. She stepped lively, moving as fast as she dared in her boots.

His ears twitched. Did he hear her? She had to act now. Amy jumped high into the air, spread-eagled. He turned just as she called his name. "Sonic!"

She latched onto him, holding him tightly. She inhaled his wind-swept scent and nestled her face into his warm chest. Amy always did enjoy this closeness, even when the blue hedgehog was frantically trying to pull her off. "Amy! Loosen up, will you?"

She was reluctant to do so, sure that he would run off. Amy had tried dozens of time to give him his space and not be overbearing. Nevertheless, he always left her just the same. Still, she did relax her hold. "You want to go get something to eat?" she asked. "I found this place that serves great chili dogs."

"Tempting, but I have to pass," he said. He slipped from her and dashed off. "See you later, Ames!"

"Sonic!" she screamed. She started to follow, but gave up. "Oh, what's the use?" He was long gone by then. Assuming he stayed in the city, she would never be able to find him among the maze-like streets. Amy turned for home, kicking tiny pebbles along the way.

Why did he run from her all the time? Was she that unlikable? Her friends had assured her that she was not and that Sonic was simply a free spirit. She realized that, but that did not help the pain each time he left her alone.

Amy entered her house, but not before plucking a small flower near her doorstep. Inside, she removed her left glove. Tied to her ring finger was a withered flower, its fragile stem falling apart. She snapped it off and tied the fresh flower to her finger. Why do I keep doing this? she wondered, sitting down on her sofa. It's not like Sonic cares. Then again, ten years is a long time. I'll bet he's forgotten.

Amy traipsed merrily through the park. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining. Nature was alive and cheery, with birds and small critters darting back and forth. Best of all, Sonic had offered to spend some time with her. So far, they had raced through the park, played hide and seek, and leisurely lied on the grass, picking out shapes in the white clouds.

She wished the day could last forever. Amy always wanted to be by Sonic's side. Although very young, she had already decided in her mind that she would marry him one day. She often told him so, asking if he would want to as well. He always avoided the topic, scratching his head. He usually changed the subject, telling her she was far too young to be dwelling on such things, or he would simply leave. Even asking how he felt about her caused the same reaction.

She could broach the subject that day. After all, everything had been going swimmingly so far. But Amy did not want to ruin anything. She was too deep in thought to notice Sonic trying to get her attention. It was only when he snapped his fingers in front of her that her train of thought was broken.

"Ames? What's wrong?" he asked.

Amy shook her head. "It's nothing."

"C'mon. Tell me what's eating you. I'll try and help."

"Well," Amy said slowly. She had to approach this delicately. "Sonic, do you ever think about what you'll do when you grow up?"

He shrugged. "Keep saving the world, I guess."

"What about your friends?" she asked.

"What about them? I'll stick with you, Tails, and Knuckles."

Amy shuffled her feet. "Will I always be just your friend?"

The light dawned in his bright green eyes. "Oh," he said. "Look, Ames-"

She came closer to him. "Please, Sonic. I just want to know."

"You shouldn't be thinking about this," he said. "That's far into the future, if at all."

"You always say that," Amy said, dropping her head. "I only want to know if you'll marry me someday. I want to know if you love me. That's all."

He sighed and dragged his hand down his cheek. He dropped his head and saw a patch of flowers near his feet. He bent over, plucked a pair, and asked for Amy's hand. She held it out to him. Sonic removed her glove and tied the flower around her ring finger. "I promise, I'll tell you someday, okay?" he said, finishing the knot. He had her tie the other flower on his finger. "This will be a reminder. Even when I have to leave, I'll always come back until I've told you."

Amy could accept that for now. She could wait. "And it will also remind you I won't ever stop loving you," she said. When she finished tying his flower, she wrapped her arms around him. He patted her head and they continued their walk.

Sonic had kept his word on that. Whether because trouble liked to rear its ugly head in their city or because he missed his friends, Sonic always returned. He was always concerned for her as well. She could not deny that. But why could he not answer a simple question? They were both older, so whatever the answer, they could handle it. If he said "No," she would be heartbroken, yet she could survive. If he said "Yes," then she could act rationally. Although on the inside, she would be jumping for joy.

Amy stared at her makeshift ring, turning her hand over. Well, I made a promise, she thought. Whether or not Sonic holds up his end, I'm going to hold up mine. She would wring an answer out of him someday. Besides, Amy could not stop loving him, even if she tried.

Evening was near and she had some chores to do around the house. Abandoning Sonic, she started her tasks before she was too tired to do them.

The cool wind at sunset was always pleasant to Sonic. Not to mention the view was spectacular out in the Mystic Ruins. There were so many colors of orange, red, and yellow that bounced off the landscape, painting the forgotten ruins with intense shades. The deep colors breathed life amongst the encroaching shadows. It was simply beautiful.

I should bring Amy here someday, he mused to himself. Maybe tomorrow. At his feet, he saw a lonely, long-stemmed flower. He picked it and removed his glove. The crinkled, brown flower tied to his finger was nearly gone. He brushed it off and tied the new one on.

Besides, I have something I need to tell her, he thought. He reached into his quills, checking them. His fingers brushed against a round object nestled safely inside. It was still there. For a split second, the sun's rays caught a glint of gold, highlighting the object in his blue hue.

Maybe Tails can lure her here, he mused. He continued to shape his vague idea he had had for a while into an actual plan. Then she can "find" me and I'll "give in" to going for a walk with her. When we reach a flower patch, I'll take off my glove, remind her of the promise, bend down, pretend to get a flower, and bam! Satisfied, Sonic dashed off to Tails' workshop in the distance, hoping to enlist the young fox's help for his plan tomorrow.

A/N: Well, that was a little shorter than we had planned. Sort of another strabble.

Pen: Ugh. Stop that. It sounds like a cheap knock-off of Scrabble. Admit it. You just ran out of ideas for this.

Okay, okay. I did. Didn't want to unnecessarily stretch it out.

Sword: We hope you liked it, Avalon! And that you guys liked it too!

Please, let us know what you thought! Thanks for reading!