Categories > Games > Sonic the Hedgehog > Changes Are No Good

Epilogue: Another Lost Highway

by chaoscheebs 1 review

Forgetting you, but not the time.

Category: Sonic the Hedgehog - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama - Characters: Charmy, Knuckles, Miles "Tails" Prower, Sonic - Warnings: [!] [?] - Published: 2006-10-27 - Updated: 2006-10-27 - 2217 words

Changes Are No Good
By: Chibi
Epilogue: "Another Lost Highway"


One year later...

Charmy shivered. The sky was a miserable gray and had been spitting down rain since she had arrived at the gravesite. The grave itself was little more than a raised stone slab with hero-turned-villain's name, birth year, and year of his supposed death inscribed on it. A flower and a note reading, "Remember Sonic, not St. Jimmy" had already been laid upon it by the time she got there. The bee hoped that didn't mean he had already been there and left. She fidgeted, not out of nervousness, but out of sheer boredom. In an attempt to make time go faster, she sang softly to herself. "He says we're fucked up, but we're not the same/ and mom and dad are the ones you can blame..."

"Jimmy died today/ he blew his brains out into the bay..." a male voice continued. The bee jumped and turned to face a deep purple hedgehog in an ordinary tan raincoat. The man pulled his hat lower and chuckled. "'The Death of St. Jimmy', right?"

"Uh, right," Charmy confirmed. She extended a hand to him. "Charmy Bee."

The purple hedgehog took her hand and kissed it. "Thomas Leary," he replied. "You wouldn't happen to be the drummer for the Honeybees, would you? 'Ninjas with Noodles' was an awesome album."

"The one and only!" Charmy answered brightly. "So, what brings you here?"

Thomas shrugged. "Why else would someone be here today? To see if the crackpots are right and Sonic the Hedgehog's zombified corpse is gonna visit this place. You?"

"Same reason, pretty much," the bee replied. "There's some pretty strong evidence he's alive somewhere, you know."

The purple hedgehog snorted. "What, that 'Shadow the Hedgehog survived a fall from the ARK, why couldn't Sonic' theory? Pff, that's a lotta crap if you ask me," he dismissed with a wave of his hand.

Charmy wagged a finger at him. "There's that, and then there's what his friends said about his apartment."

The hedgehog's ears twitched underneath his hat. "Oh? What was strange about it?"

"Well, for one thing, his iPod was missing," Charmy told him.

"Probably had it on him," Thomas countered. "They are tiny little things, after all."

Charmy grinned and tsked at him. "Yeah, but I'm not finished yet. The missing iPod wouldn't be a red flag if not for the other missing item."

Thomas tugged at the collar of his jacket. "What was the other missing item?"

"An old Loves-A-Lot Bear. According to Miles Prower and Knuckles, he's had that ratty old thing since Miles was a kid," the bee answered.

"That doesn't prove anything," Thomas said with a frown. "He probably just threw the bear out beforehand."

She wagged another finger at him. "But this bear was special. He got it as a gift years and years and years ago! Two of Sonic's most prized possessions end up missing for no apparent reason? Suspicious, suspicious!"

"An iPod and a Care Bear from his mom. Real suspicious there. It's more likely one of 'em threw the bear out and forgot that they did," the hedgehog replied.

"I didn't say who the bear was from, Thomas," Charmy said, creeping closer to the hedgehog. She looked him straight in the eye and said, "You know, you have really pretty green eyes. They kinda remind me of someone else's."

Thomas backed away from her and weakly said, "Eheh, you don't say..." He turned to run but bumped into something warm. "Ah, excuse me..." He let out a tiny "eep!" upon recognition of the taller fox.

"Hi, Sonic. It's been a while," Miles said. He briefly glanced at the bee. "Thanks, Charmy. We can handle it from here," he told her.

Charmy saluted. "All in a day's work!" she said before flying off, completely forgetting she had a skirt on.

The fox leered at her until she was out of view. "Hard to believe no one noticed she was a girl for so long. If I thought for a minute Saffron wouldn't kill me for it..."

"Thomas" looked around nervously. "Hey, who's 'we'?"

He felt a tap on his shoulder. "I am," Miles's companion said. The hedgehog had only just turned himself around when suddenly there was pain and him flying several feet away.

The hedgehog feebly groaned. "Nice to see you're not mad, Knuckles."

The echidna shook his hand out. "Nice to see you're still hard-headed."

Miles shook his head. "They never grow up..." he muttered as the echidna advanced on the hedgehog.

Knuckles pulled Sonic up by his coat collar and scowled. "And just what the hell were you trying to accomplish, Sonic?!"

Sonic slouched. "I don't know. I don't know anymore. I-" He found strong arms around him, holding him tight to the other man. "... huh?"

"I can't believe you didn't talk to us before you did all that! We could've done something; could have talked you out of it!" Knuckles scolded. He pulled away and added, "And then you go and let us think you're dead!" He punctuated the sentence by punching the hedgehog in the arm. "Dammit, we care about you, you jerk!" The fox snorted. "Well, I care, anyway," Knuckles corrected.

The hedgehog rubbed his arm. "Yeah, I can feel the love." He dropped his hand and looked away. "Why did you have to look for me? I'm no good for anyone. If it got out that I was still alive, the doc and Elise..."

"So you really were in Soleanna," Miles mused. "I managed to trace you that far, but I hit a wall after that. That's when I realized I needed a professional," he said, gesturing in the direction the bee went. He shook his head. "Anyway, I tracked you down because I had something to say to you. Knuckles just came along for the ride."

"So, what's so important that you had to dig up the dead?" Sonic asked with a weak laugh. "Wanna cuss me out for closure or somethin'?"

The fox shot him a withering glare. "That's one part of it," he answered. "Everyone trusted you! I trusted you! You were the fucking Commander of GUN, for crying out loud! You were supposed to keep everyone safe, not blow them to hell! How dare you pull that kind of shit?!" he shouted, jabbing a finger towards Sonic. "And then there's Saffron!" he continued. "Do you have any idea what you've done to her?!"

"I can imagine," Sonic replied glumly. The echidna began gently stroking the hedgehog's quills, which the hedgehog unthinkingly leaned into.

"Thanks to you, she's going to be haunted with rumors about her helping you for the rest of her career," Miles said, lowering his voice and his hand. "And though she'll never admit it openly, she..." He fell silent for a moment. When he spoke again, it was only in a loud whisper. "Just because you didn't have faith in GUN, it doesn't mean you should try to destroy everyone else's." He then pointed to Knuckles and, with a sudden violence, said, "And stop fucking coddling him! Or do you need to be reminded of what he did to you?!"

Sonic's stomach did an amazing series of acrobatics. "Oh, God, Red, I..."

Knuckles stood his ground and pulled the hedgehog a little closer. "I didn't think it'd get that far with Eggman either," he said. "As for... you know... consider us even for the Rouge thing."

"You were shot!" the purple hedgehog exclaimed as he pulled away. He hugged himself tight. "I...! You...!" He whispered, "You could have died because of me..."

"So now you're finally fucking sorry," Miles spat. "I guess you only feel bad about hurting people who've fucked you-Oh, wait, I forgot about Jet. Never mind."

"Everyone else was gonna be OK! You and Saff were away from the base! You were safe!" Sonic defended. "And the rest of you had crazy powers or robot armies to defend themselves! And Jet...!" He suddenly found a bug crawling on his shoe fascinating. "You have no right to say how I feel about that," he mumbled.

Miles opened his mouth, but the soft growl coming from the echidna stilled his tongue. "I have a question to ask you, Sonic, and then I'll be on my way," the fox finally said.

"What's that, Tails?" the hedgehog asked.

"Dr. Prower, thank you," the engineer corrected acidly, "Or Miles, if you insist." He reached into the inside of his jacket and asked, "Tell me, honestly. Do you plan on going against GUN again?"

Sonic winced at the correction. "I..." he began, only to realize he had no answer. "I don't want to turn my back on what the doc did for me, or drop an international incident on Elise's lap," he said slowly, "But..." He chuckled to himself. "Heh, I guess I don't even trust myself anymore. I don't plan on it?"

Miles faltered for a moment, the hand in the jacket holding still. He shook his head, scrunched up his face, then drew a gun from an inside pocket and pointed it at Sonic. "Not good enough. I won't let this happen again!"

The echidna protectively threw an arm in front of the hedgehog. "Hey, hey, HEY! What do you think you're trying to do?!" Knuckles exclaimed.

"Making sure St. Jimmy doesn't come back," the fox stated. "You heard him. He hasn't ruled it out." He curled his free hand into a fist as he held the other hand steady. "He's done enough damage, Knuckles. Now move."

Knuckles glanced at the hedgehog, then moved in front of him fully. "Yeah, he really screwed up. I'll give you that. But we gave Eggman a million and one chances-"

"That was his way," Miles snarled, jabbing the gun in the hedgehog's direction, "This way is mine."

"Yeah, but it's not mine!" Knuckles countered, advancing a step towards the fox. "I think he should have a second chance!"

The fox growled, but remained firm otherwise. "Why are you being so stubborn about this?! He almost got you killed!"

Knuckles stood up straight and stared intently at the engineer. "You don't protect something because it's safe, Tails. You do it because it's important to you." Silence fell upon the trio. The fox and echidna stared each other down, while the hedgehog reached out to touch the latter, but stopped short of it. Knuckles ended the staring contest by half-turning to the hedgehog and drawing him close. "You don't need to do this, Tails. I'll just do a better job of protecting him from himself this time, that's all."

The response to the echidna's statement was a synchronized "What?!"

Knuckles wore a very Sonic-like smirk as he asked, "What? You don't trust me?"

"It's not that I don't trust you," Miles said, confusion practically written in neon letters on his face. "But, well, you're kinda dumb."

Knuckles shrugged. "Maybe, but which of us still didn't get something was going on even with the proof shoved in their face?"

The engineer was quiet for several long seconds before he finally put the gun away. "Touché. But for record, it was more like I didn't want to believe it."

"Whatever you say," the echidna said with another shrug.

"But, Knuckles," Sonic interjected, "What about your kids? Wasn't Elly still living with you?"

"Rouge can handle it," Knuckles answered, "Plus Elly's been wanting to take over for me on the island for a while now. I think she's ready for it." He smiled at his friend. "And somehow I doubt you can build that many robots in the span of a week or so when I go to see the kids."

"Tell me about it," Sonic said. "It took me months to figure out how to fire up the doc's old assembly line, let alone how to make it make what I wanted..." Miles shot him a look. "Er, but that's all in the past, I swear," Sonic added with a wave of his hand.

The engineer pulled up his sleeve to look at his watch. "I should get going. Saffron's probably wondering where the hell I am right now." He turned his attention back to the pair before him. "You'd better do a good job keeping him in check, Knuckles, because if I hear one word-one WORD-about him pulling this shit again, he will not be getting off this easily."

"I will," Knuckles confirmed. "I'll need a little time before I can go with you. Can you give me a place to meet up with you later?" he asked the hedgehog.

"Huh? Oh, sure," Sonic replied, patting his pockets for a pen and paper. He found both, scribbled a location on the paper, and handed it over. "But... Why...?"

The echidna smiled. "Do you remember what you told me before we got together?"

Sonic nodded. "I promised you no matter what, I'd always be your best friend."

Knuckles went literally nose-to-nose with him and chuckled softly. "Exactly. I'm not letting you weasel out of your promise."

And, for the first time in far, far too long, Sonic sincerely laughed.


And in the darkest night
If my memory serves me right
I'll never turn back time

Forgetting you, but not the time...

-"Whatsername", Green Day
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