It was dark. Pitch black. Cold. The staleness of the air tottered on the tip of my tongue. Footsteps, hurried and sharp, resonated off the hard walls and through my ear drums. Hair stood up on my arms. I was fairly sure that if I could see, I would be able to see my own breath in the frigid air.
The footsteps stopped nearby.
"You shouldn't stay still," he said, his voice echoing in the small space. "Moving helps keep your body warm."
"Cuddling helps too."
A snort rattled from his nose. "Funny."
"Tails will get us out soon," I said, rubbing my hands up and down my arms in an attempt to create warmth. "Once he reboots the system, everything will be back up online and then we can get out of here."
"I'm not one to wait for others to do the rescuing," he said in an agitated tone.
I inhaled as if I had been physically hit. Standing tall, I balled my hands into fists at my side. "You think I like waiting around to be rescued? I don't ask to be captured. I didn't ask for this, Sonic."
"Yeah, well neither did I." A pause, then an empty sigh. "I'm sorry. I'm not trying to take it out on you. It's…not your fault."
"It's embarrassing," I said in a small voice, "to be captured this much. To be held defenseless until you guys come to get me. I don't want to be the damsel in distress anymore. I want to be helpful."
"Amy." Footsteps echoed through my body, synching to my heartbeat until they ceased in front of me. A sensation of warmth flooded my arm where his fingers grazed. Goosebumps rose on my body, like dandelions popping out of the earth after the frost. "You are anything but a damsel in distress."
"How can I be anything but that if all I do is end up in a cell, waiting for you?"
"Because you, Amy Rose," he said and I could just imagine his famous grin stretching across his features, "are a fighter. And fighters never give up. I seem to remember the last time you were captured you managed to escape all on your own without any of our help."
"You caught me," I said. "If you didn't catch me, I would have died. Last I checked great escapes don't end in death."
"Ah, ah, ah," he tittered as if he were practically singing, "but you fought. You sat and calculated until you figured out your best options. You heard the plane. You knew we were there. You knew we would catch you. Do you know how many times I've relied on Tails for the last of the escape plan? Hell, we're waiting on him right now. How is that any different than what you do?"
I opened my mouth, but no sound came out. Speechless. "Are you…are you saying…."
"You don't need to keep trying to prove yourself," he said, fingers tracing along my shoulders like the path to redemption. "You're already part of the team. We've known that for ages. I've known for ages. So, stop trying and just do what you need to do." One of his hands came down upon my head, ruffling my hair.
"But I'm weak."
A bark of a laugh bellowed from his lungs. "Do you know how many bruises I've gotten from that hammer of yours? You are one of the strongest people I know, both in strength and in will."
A small smile graced my features and I hoped he could hear it in my voice when I said, "Thank you. I mean it. Thank you, Sonic."
His breath tickled my nose as he said, "You're welcome. Amy…I…."
A shrill noise filled the room before he could finish what he was about to say. Then, blinding light. I shielded my eyes and blinked a few times, trying to get accustomed to my new surroundings. When my eyes finally got accustomed to the light, I looked up at Sonic. He seemed to notice how close he was to me because he suddenly stepped back, cleaning his throat. His cheeks were a slight pink, though it was unsure whether it was from the cold or for another reason.
"Tails seemed to get the systems back up. Let's get out of here."
In a flash, he sped towards the exit with me at his heels, his unfinished sentence replaying in my mind.
Two updates in a week? Thank the snow and sickness for this sudden burst of productivity. I originally was going to do something completely different for this chapter, but then this came to mind. Not sure how I feel about it, but I hope you readers enjoy it. Until next time!