AN: This fic is set a few months after the end of Sonic X. I do not own anything within the fic save for my OCs.
Chapter 1: Memories and a Miracle
Within a workshop near a misty moor, there was a loud bang and a crash of metal. Inside, a yellow fox crawled from behind a door he had sealed for protection, moving aside his large, twin tails. The fox stood upright, and brushed himself off. His fur was stained with oil, fluid, and even some dried blood near some bandages. His eyes were sunken with fatigue and hopelessness. He limped slightly to the middle of the room, where there was a mass of smouldering wires. Frustrated, the fox kicked hard at a nearby metal plate, and promptly fell down with a wince. He held his now singed red shoe and made numerous noises of pain.
"Note to self," the fox spoke to nobody in particular, "Don't kick things that are both hotter than a stove and made of metal...ow."
Having gotten his frustration out of his system, he attempted to stand. His kicking foot was throbbing, and he almost fell down again. After a moment of uncertain swaying, he righted himself and limped gingerly to the door to his drawing room, putting as little weight as possible on his injured foot. Might as well go back to square one, he told himself. He looked up to the window near his desk, and frowned apologetically. In the windowsill was a medium sized plant pot, and in it grew a tall, beautifully green plant with a large green bud at the top. He sat in his comfortable chair, a present from his friend, the pink hedgehog Amy, after they had gotten home from their wild journey through space. Yes, that hellish journey through space...He stared at the plant. Both that plant, and the chair, were painful reminders of what they all suffered on that journey...what he suffered, what his friend Sonic suffered, what Amy suffered, and, especially, what she suffered.
"I'm sorry, Cosmo. It looks like I failed again."
Yes, Cosmo was her name. She was at first, an extraterrestrial stranger, someone who had come to plead for Sonic's help. Her family had been taken and killed by an organization known as the Metarex, and she knew what damage and death they were capable of. Sonic the Hedgehog, she had said, was the only one who could stop them. As a friend of Sonic's, he, Miles "Tails" Prower, had to help out, with his technological wizardry and brilliant mind. Amy Rose, Sonic's self-proclaimed girlfriend, Cream the Rabbit, a close friend of everybody, Knuckles the Echidna, the Master Emerald's guardian, and Chris Thorndyke, a human friend from another world, all joined Sonic, Cosmo, and himself in helping to stop the sinister Metarex. As their journey through space continued, Cosmo and himself became close, very close, and eventually, fell in love. He wasn't sure what Cosmo saw in him, but in her he saw beauty, serenity, and endless kindness: Unlike many others, Cosmo never teased him...ever. In fact, she often praised him for the very things that others teased him about: His intelligence, his engineering skills, even his twin tails. Yes he was young, and probably naive about feelings, but he really didn't care.
To him, Cosmo had become everything. She had become the one.
And even to think, if only a passing thought, what she suffered, caused his eyes to sting badly.
Her family had been murdered by the cosmically terrifying Dark Oak - one who was a member of Cosmo's own race of people. Not only did Dark Oak kill all of them, save for Cosmo herself, but he had used Cosmo as an unwitting spy for him as he and the Metarex roamed the stars, stealing the life force of countless worlds, claiming endless numbers of lives. Cosmo had been left alive after Dark Oak finished his messy slaughter, and her entire being had been shaken to the core. She had confidence in him, in Sonic, in Amy, and even in Shadow, but she kept none for herself. She would frequently run herself down when faced with dire situations...and watching her, it ate him up. Then, she found out all along that she had been a spy, against her will, the Metarex using her own eyes and ears against her...and she completely broke down. She refused to climb out of bed, or eat, and despite being in that bed, sleep. Eventually, she tried to leave, to make sure that we were safe, but Cream and himself wouldn't have it. In fact, they all wouldn't have it. Even Knuckles, who was being a realist about her, didn't want her to leave. Then, came that final battle against Dark Oak himself. And in that battle, Cosmo, the one he knew he loved more than anything, lost her life.
And he had been the one to kill her.
She sacrificed herself nobly, it was true, but even thinking about that, Tails still felt terribly guilty. He blamed himself daily for it. He remembered, he screamed and wailed at Sonic, his best friend, the one he considered a brother, and poured all of his grief and hate of the situation at him for not being able to save her. Sonic had given him a seed, the last remaining part of Cosmo herself, and all he did was cry at him. Sonic just stood there and took it. He didn't hate Sonic, no. Sonic probably blamed himself, also. Realizing that, he felt more guilty than ever. When they finally returned home and mourned officially, he avoided the blue hedgehog, and went straight to his workshop and buried himself in what he did best. After planting Cosmo's seed, he worked fervently on project after project, some failing, others succeeding. A couple of days later, Amy stopped by and tried to cheer him up. When she saw his workbench, and the small, wooden chair he used to use, she promptly left and later returned with one of her comfortable chairs from her house. She told him to replace his old, small, wooden chair, and wouldn't take no for an answer. He didn't argue - Amy was, in a sense, trigger happy, and he knew that, distraught friend or no, she would use that hammer if he refused her. It didn't matter. He was grateful, and her visit did cheer him up. He asked her to tell Sonic that he was sorry for blaming him. He remembered what she told him.
"Tails, we both know that Sonic doesn't hold grudges and that he will forgive you...but you need to tell him yourself."
She was right. He did need to tell Sonic himself. But, he felt like he probably should give himself, and Sonic, some time. After thanking Amy, he went back to work, sitting in his new comfortable chair as the seed sprouted a small, green bud.
The next visitor, a few more days later, had been Cream and her mother, Vanilla, with Cream's chao friend Cheese tagging along. Cream for some reason, remained cheerful, and she smiled every time she looked at the growing plant. Cream was an avatar of all that was innocent and pure, or so her mother said. But Tails wondered if she understood the grief or not. Tails asked this of her mother. Vanilla had smiled at him warmly.
"I think Cream understands a lot more than you think, dear." She said. "She knows you're hurting at any rate, and she was the one who insisted we come to visit you today."
"But...does she really know...how I feel?" Tails asked her.
"Do you remember Emerl?" She said, putting a hand on his shoulder.
"You see, dear Tails, she talked with me afterwards. It hurt her dearly to do what she did. It broke my heart to see her so sad. But it was a lesson she learned well about life, and...death. And even through that tragedy, she managed to stay as she is now."
"So she does understand. Probably better than anyone."
"Hmm. But it is a bit strange."
"What do you mean, miss Vanilla?"
"She's never felt sad about Cosmo. In fact, she seems almost hopeful."
Cream afterwards had given him tips about raising a plant. Cream was a prodigy at caring for plants, accounting for how much she loved flowers. Vanilla told him that she grew her own garden of flowers, and would care for each of them until the time she plucked them from the ground to make into her famous flower crowns. She didn't know much about the proper soil, but Cream did show him how to water a plant, and how to pay special attention to how it grew. All while smiling a broad, hopeful smile. After they had left, Tails definitely felt better. But even so, despite knowing that Cream knew at least a part of how he felt...it didn't stop him from feeling guilty, and it didn't stop him from throwing himself so headfirst into his work, to try to take his mind off of his guilt. He took Cream's advice to heart, and cared for that plant daily. He would even converse with it, and imagine that the plant was Cosmo, sitting there in the windowsill, smiling at him, and blankly staring at him when he began to ramble on about technological stuff. By all the stars...he missed her dearly.
There was a knock at the door. A very heavy knock.
"Just a minute."He answered as he stood up and limped painfully to the door. Opening it, he immediately fell on his rear, startled. The figure in the door was huge, more than twice as tall as Tails himself was. He was bovine in appearance, long, black horns jutting from his head on either side and curving forward. His fur was a dark shade of grey, and his body wide and strong. His muzzle was furred, and a long, grey beard, neatly braided, hung down to his waist. His eyes were dark, and in them shone the wisdom of long years. He appeared hunched, but there was something about the straightness of the rest of his body that suggested that his "hunchback" was completely natural to his form. He wore what appeared to ne a heavy leather robe, and in his hand was an old staff. He looked tribal, ancient almost. Taking a step back, the creature bowed deeply.
"Greetings, young fox." He said, his voice ponderously slow, and very deep. It was a voice that seemed tired of its long years of use. "I did not mean to startle you."
Tails stood up as best he could on his sore foot. The old man had no ill intent, so he dismissed any early suspicion.
"That's Ok. What can I do for you?"
The old creature thought a moment. "I came to you because there was the sound of an explosion coming from here. I thought that I would come to help. Has something happened here?"
Tails shook his head.
"Nope. Just a project going badly."
"Are you injured, young fox?"
"Well..." Tails started, rubbing the back of his head. "Nothing that wasn't stupidly self inflicted."
The old creature laughed. He bowed again. "I just thought I could be of some help. It is a lonely area that you chose to...work in."
"Yeah...but it's better this way."
The old creature nodded. "Quiet here." He said.
"Yeah...say, would you like to come inside?" Tails offered. "I was going to take a break anyway."
"How can I refuse?" the old bull accepted, smiling.
"By the way...what's you're name?" Tails asked.
"Ah, yes. I had forgotten. Young fox, you may call me Sage. I am honored to meet you." The old bull, Sage, bowed deeply again.
Tails smiled. "My name is Miles Prower. But everybody calls me Tails." He swished his twin tails to demonstrate why. Sage bowed, and stooped to enter the small doorway.
Sage showed an interested curiosity as Tails went through his workshop, showing the old bull all of his various projects. There was a small land vehicle Tails had designed partially on his nemesis Eggman's Egg-O-Matic machine, a failed project involving a power source, another failed rocket booster for the Tornado, and the project he had been working on: A robotic assistant to help. That project failed, and Tails explained that it was because the power supply it used was apparently unstable. However...he had no idea it was going to burst quite like it did...until the robot grew very hot.
The old bull chuckled at the story. He looked over the young fox kindly, almost as if reading him. After a while, they came back to Tails' workbench. Tails looked up again at the potted plant sadly, and the old bull stared at the young fox.
"Does that plant have...significance to you?" He asked.
"Yeah..." Tails replied, his voice cracked. "That plant is all I have left...to remember a very close friend, who gave her..." Tails didn't finish. His eyes burned again, and tears formed. The old bull knelt down and put a hand on Tails' shoulder.
"If you wish...I will bless this plant, to honor her memory." He said sincerely.
Tails' eyes grew wide at this. "You can do that?"
"Young fox, I can and will do it. I cannot read your mind, but even given what you told me...though you didn't finish it, then her memory is deserving of a blessing. Young fox, I am a druid, a caretaker of nature."
"Yes." The old bull bowed.
"Then please...bless her."
"I would be honored." The old bull stood up and took the potted plant in his hand. He whispered to it a moment, and there was a sound like a small, beautiful bell. The bull stroked the bud with his other hand...and his eyes suddenly flew wide.
Tails, surprised by his sudden reaction, forgot the pain of his foot and hopped onto his workbench. "What's the matter!?"
The old bull smiled. "Come with me, young fox."
"Ok..." Tails, confused, followed him out the door.
After a moment, the old bull suddenly set down the plant and began digging into the ground. Tails, growing worried, began to shout.
"What are you doing!?"
"You'll see, young fox." The old bull replied, smiling. To Tails' shock, the bull suddenly smashed the pot. Tails leapt at him, but was stopped when the old bull put up a hand. The old bull quickly set the plant into the ground and quickly buried the root. The plant seemed to shiver, and the old bull stroked the bud again.
"You...transplanted her into the ground?" Tails asked.
"Watch, young fox."
The old bull's hands began to glow a bright green. His eyes shone brightly at his work as he set his hands on the bud again. He spoke clearly and loudly this time.
"Spirits of Nature, please, grant the spirit within this plant the breath of the world again. Spirits, help this spirit, to grow again."
The plant reacted suddenly. In a moment, the stem thickened to five times its width, and the plant grew nearly twice as tall as Sage. The bud grew large and opened up a large, pink flower, much bigger than Tails himself. Inside was a small figure clutching a ruby red jewel The figure tumbled from the flower, and Sage caught it. The figure was humanoid, with bright green hair, laced with the buds of small, pink flowers. The figure, obviously female, wore an outfit that resembled a white flower, the petals trimmed green. Her skin was a cream colored green, and her eyes and mouth were closed. She appeared to have no nose on her face. Tails' jaw fell open as he searched for words. Finally, he broke his silence.
"C-C-COSMO!" He screamed, enormously joyous. He bolted to the bull, who set the female figure down gently. Sage spoke quietly to the small creature.
"Breathe freely again, young one."
The creature, Cosmo, suddenly and violently sucked a large gasp into her newly restored lungs. Her breath only came in gasps, like the breath of a newborn, as she struggled to gain her breathing rhythm. After a few moments, her breath became regular and she slowly opened her eyes. After her eyes adjusted to the light, she stared at her hands.
"I...I..." She noised, voice cracked and grated. She coughed a moment as her eyes fell on the twin tailed fox. Tails, overcome with emotion, suddenly threw his arms around her as tears poured freely down his face. She immediately returned the embrace, and cried in response.