Brief Author's note... I don't own any of these characters or plots. They belong to Sega, and are used in homage with no intent to infringe upon their rights. Enjoy.
Oh, also, I have to thank my friend Justin, whose conversations with me about SA2 inspired this chapter and helped me to beat the game, and to InsanePurin, who inadvertantly caused me to finish the fic and who helped me talk through some issues I had with rating, naming, etc. Thanks guys!
Ivo J. Robotnik stared out the window at the rain.
It wasn't so much that he was bored-he was, though his video game collection and robot collection could fix that any time-it was that he was waiting. Waiting for Grandma Robotnik to come.
She had called five minutes and fifteen seconds beforehand to tell him that she would be coming over; it was approximately a six minute ride from her house to his. It was always rather easy to get around in Station Square, especially going downhill. But the remaining forty-five seconds seemed to take forever, and the fifteen to thirty that she could run late would seem even longer...
Luckily, Grandma was fifteen seconds early.
Ivo ran to the door, carefully achieving his rather unimpressive top speed and then narrowly, but precisely, dodging the furniture in his path. Ivo wasn't much on sports, but he loved to run, and his mother wasn't home, so he could.
When he opened the door, his grandmother's wrinkled hand was reaching up to knock on it. It amazed him that she would bother to be that polite to her own grandchild, especially since his mother was her least favorite of all in-laws.
She noticed him and looked down, smiling with her false teeth and her dark eyes. "My little Egghead!" she exclaimed.
"Grandma!" He hugged her around the waist, being careful not to squeeze too hard.
"You're looking well, kiddo," she mused, patting him on the head. "Been eating your vegetables?"
"I understand. Well, let's go in. I have a surprise for you."
He moved out of the doorway and allowed her through, watching her as she went. To anyone else, she must have looked like the stereotypical fat, old, balding woman; but to Ivo she was the last relic of a dying obsession, and one of the best friends he had ever had.
Grandma sat at the kitchen table, and he immediately went to get her a glass of water. "I'm glad you came over. I was kinda bored."
"You mean to say that between my old video games, your new ones, and your robots, you can't stay busy?"
"Gramma, the collision detection on your games is horrible."
"Well what do you expect, Ivo? It was 2001; they were still treating most character avatars as points back then."
"That's so primitive."
"One of these days, I'm going to find a copy of Pong for you."
He sat the glass of water down in front of her and sat down. "Pong. I've played it. The most boring game ever."
Grandma Robotnik sip of water. "So, where's your mother?"
"She went video game shopping. She won't let me go because I put on five pounds."
His grandmother scoffed. "Pushing kids your age to lose irrelevant amounts of weight only causes them to gain more. And the particular brand of skinny that's all the rage now-and has been since my mother was your age-is frequently as unhealthy as the alternative."
"Tell her that."
"I have." The old lady sighed. "You know how well I communicate with your mother."
It amazed Ivo at how much his grandmother tolerated his mother. He had come to the conclusion that animosity among in-laws was common, but his grandma made a pointed effort to be civil in a very toxic relationship. That amazed him. Sometimes, when he was feeling particularly cynical, he noticed that his grandmother seemed all about appearances, hiding dark secrets beneath the friendly old lady exterior. Like Grandpa's secrets...
"Ivo, I come here to ask you a favor."
"I'll do whatever you want me to."
The old lady frowned and removed her glasses. Her face looked young still-not a day over 60-but the look in her eyes was old and tired. "I'm seventy-two years old, Ivo. While I'm not going to say that I don't have much time left, because that's depressing and trite, I will say that I'm well past the time I was supposed to die. Rather than continue to thumb my nose at death and hope it doesn't come to me before I'm done, I want to wrap up some unfinished business I have now so I can have fun in my remaining years."
He blinked, refusing to acknowledge what she was saying. His mom said it to him sometimes, too, and that scared him. Everyone was always talking about dying in his family... He wondered why...
"I'm not so senile as to forget your fascination with your grandfather. I told you that I had shared everything that was his with you. I lied."
"I was saving it for the right time. A time when you would be old enough to truly appreciate what he did, why he did it, and what happened to him. Unfortunately, that time won't come until long after I'm gone. However, you are now old enough to be responsible and wait for it on your own, without having someone babysitting you."
Ivo raised an eyebrow. "This is about his execution isn't it?"
She sighed, heavily. "Yes, Ivo, it is. I shared with you his journal entries up until the birth of your cousin Maria, and you have copies of mine until that point. However, he wrote up until the date of his death, and while I write more sporadically, I too wrote through that dark period of my life."
"So you're going to give me the journals?"
"And ask you not to read them until you reach thirty years of age."
"Thirty? Geez, grandma!"
"Hon, I wasn't ready for it when it happened, and I was a lot older."
"But he was your husband."
"It's more than that. And you won't be able to understand why until you're at least 18, but that's too young."
Ivo looked down... He couldn't understand what was going on. Grandma R was never one to say "you're too young." Why now? What could grandpa have done that was that bad?
Grandma R opened her purse and pulled out a small black teddy bear. "This teddy bear belonged to your cousin Maria. She had quite a collection, and most of it stayed on earth while she was on the ARK.
"Grandma, what about the journals?"
"Getting there. Inside this teddybear are two disks. One with your grandfather's journals, and one with mine. You must make sure that no one finds out about the disks. Not your mother or father, not your friends, not your teachers, no one. If anyone asks about them, you are to tell them that you have not looked at them, and that I gave them to you."
"You are not to open the bear and retrieve the disks until after you have your master's degree, or achieved the age of 30, whichever comes first."
"And you are to promise that you will follow my guidelines, if not for my safety, then for your own."
"I promise, grandma."
"Then Shadow, and the power that lives in him, is all yours." She sat the teddybear on the table, and hugged Ivo. "Be careful, my little Egghead. The world can be a scary place, and sometimes all you have is what's right."
"I'm not going for a while yet."
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