Cream stood staring wide eyed at the sakura hedgehog, who was silently planning her escape.
Amy gulped down the large spoonful of ice cream before folding her arms on the table and hiding her face. She groaned quietly and looked up at Sally for help. Sally only smiled kindly and patted Amy's arm gently, encouragingly.
"Amy!" Cream ran over to their table, throwing her arms around Amy in a tight hug that made her wince, but hugged the young rabbit back nonetheless. "What happened to you? Rouge and I called for hours, but you never answered." Cream sobbed. Amy smiled knowingly. Cream always worried whenever Amy was alone. Cream had the most overactive imagination Amy had ever met. But sometimes, it got the best of her. Cream would voice her worries that if Amy was left alone to long, she'd disappear without a trace. Amy had asked why Cream thought that, but the young rabbit didn't know herself.
"It was just . . ." Amy glanced over at Sally, who smiled at her encouragingly, urging her to tell the truth. Amy knew she had to tell Cream, or else the lies would just spread and come back to bite her in the butt. And plus, Cream had to know what Eggman was capable of, to make sure she always had someone there to protect her. "I, uh, had a case of bad luck . . . with Eggman." Amy stuttered, unsure of how to tell Cream without scaring her. So she just told her the way she told Sally, started out gardening, Eggman and Metal Sonic snatching her up, skipping over the horrible details and replaced them with saying "Roughed me up a bit" and then told how Sally had been a great help. Cream was on the verge of tears, eyes bloodshot the entire story. When Amy finished, pulling back the sleeves of her jacket to show the end of her wrapped forearm.
"Oh Amy, that's horrible! We need to tell Sonic!" this is exactly what Amy was afraid of. Cream had grabbed Amy by the arm, gently, but hurried out of the shop and into the moist atmosphere. Amy stopped in her track, turning Cream to look her in the eye.
"No, Cream. Sonic can't know. I don't want this to happen again, especially not to any of you guys. So if you do tell anyone—other than Sonic—you tell them to tell him it was just a freak accident. Okay?" Amy spoke clearly and firmly, but her voice quivered a bit, fear of Sonic finding out. In any other case, Amy would have jumped at the chance to have Sonic become increasingly worried about her welfare, but not this time. She wasn't blaming him, but he would take it out on himself. Dr. Eggman had said it was because of Sonic he tortured her, and she couldn't have Sonic knowing this. "Please, Cream. Don't tell anyone unless you have to." Amy hated this. She hated needing to tell Cream to lie for her, she could feel guilt growing in her gut, heavy like a rock.
Cream threw her arms around Amy into a tightly, caring hug, her tears moistening the shoulder of Amy's jacket.
"I won't tell anyone, Amy, I promise." Cream whispered gently, squeezing Amy gently to assure her. Amy hugged Cream back, nearly dropping to her knees on the ground. This day was so emotional, surprisingly more than Amy could handle. Feeling a comforting hand on her shoulder, Amy looked up into the soft blue eyes of Sally.
"It looks like it might start raining again, we should get you home." Sally said with a smile. Amy glanced at the sky, then at Cream and back to Sally. Nodding, Amy slowly pried her way out of Cream's strong hug and stepped towards Sally, accepting her walking stick from Sally's outstretched hand.
"I'll see you later, okay Cream? Maybe we'll meet up tomorrow for some ice cream?" Amy offered with a small smile
"Okay! Call me tonight!" Cream called as Amy and Sally started back onto the path, then entered back into the store.
The walk was slow and silent for the two females, but not awkward. They were enjoying the silence, something rare for their city. Amy had started to wince as she was beginning to feel the pain in her ankle again, the pain killers stating to wear off more effectively. But she hid it well, keeping her walk as steady as she could. But Sally saw right through it and wrapped an arm around Amy's waist, grabbing one of Amy's wrists and wrapping it around her shoulders. Amy smiled shyly up at Sally, grateful for the relief of pressure on her injury.
"Thanks, Sal." Amy said, squeezing Sally around the shoulder gently.
"No problem, Amy." Sally replied with a gentle squeeze around Amy's waist in return. They both returned their gazes forward, but held their happy smiles; though Amy's was tainted with slight pain. Sally glanced at the darkening sky, clouds moving quickly across the usual blue sky. Just as she had predicted, it started to rain again, only a light sprinkle that would soon turn into another storm. "It's going to get bad again; my house is closer, you can stay overnight with me and then we can go to your house in the morning." Sally said, waiting for Amy to reply, but not a sound was uttered. She glanced over at the young girl, only to see fear and worry on her face.
Sally followed where her jade eyes held an intense lock and found their attention to be on a certain blue form. Sonic was resting against a trunk of a tree, protected from any rain coming down. As soon as the storm had stopped, he must have gone out running. Sally knew Sonic hated to be stuck in one place too long, and bad weather was usually the only thing that would keep him from going out. From what Sally could see, his eyes were closed, most likely napping, but that wouldn't last long if it began to rain again.
Though Sally really wanted Amy to confront Sonic about what happened, she knew that wouldn't be the best idea right now. So her eyes quickly darted around the park, finding a large patch of trees near the woods, unfortunately, they would have to walk somewhat in Sonic's range of view. But that didn't stop Sally determination. Pretty much carrying the pink hedgehog, they hurried as quickly as they could to the patch of trees.
Sonic peeked an emerald eye open and glanced at the sky after feeling a rain drop hit his cheek. He puffed up his cheeks childishly, huffing out a sigh of annoyance. Stupid weather. It had been keeping him inside all day, and just when he finally thought it was over, it started back up again. Another drop hit him square in the forehead, making him shiver. Why rain? Rain was water falling from the sky, pretty much a personal hell from Sonic's nightmares that haunted him day in and day out. He swore that mother nature made it rain to mess with him.
He sat up stiffly, stretching his arms out slightly. He had been napping for what, and hour? He couldn't tell since the sun was hidden behind the never ending groups of gray storm clouds. Letting out an enormous yawn, he leaned forward to tighten the latch on his red running shoe, but froze when he saw two familiar figures running across the park towards the woods. Sonic could easily make out who they were; Sally and Amy. But seeing them wasn't surprising, but seeing them together is what threw he for a loop. He knew they were somewhat friends, but what would they be doing together on a day like today?
Another little detail confused the blue hedgehog, Sally had one around wrapped around Amy's waist and the other was holding up Amy's left leg. They were speeding away from him at an incredible pace. Though Sonic knew he was on a rather high hill, most likely hard to see from where they were, he knew his color stood out anywhere. One thing that made it increasingly hard to hide from Amy, who always kept an eye out for him. She was using her other leg to help run, but it seemed to be dangling uselessly instead. Sonic got onto his knees and circled his hands around his eyes, trying to see them better.
It sort of helped, but the fact that they were getting farther from him wasn't helping, still, he could see them a little more clearly. He was impressed that Sally was running so quickly, even carrying Amy, who weighed about as much as a loaf of bread. He glanced at the Amy just as she looked over her shoulder, two shades of green eyes meeting. Sonic was positive she would have stopped Sally and ran up the hill to tackle him in a bear hug; but that didn't happen at all. Sonic's eyes narrowed as he saw Amy turn her head to Sally, say something and they seemed to move even faster, Amy finally helping. Sally had dropped her left leg and now Amy was hopping quickly beside Sally—wait, hopping? AWAY from HIM?
They rounded around a group of trees and disappeared behind the thick brown trunks.
Okay, something was up, and he could tell it wasn't good.
Amy glanced over her shoulder and saw that Sonic was on his knees, hands cupped around his eyes and looking directly at them. Her heart nearly skipped a beat. She turned her back so she could speak in Sally's ear.
"He spotted us! Drop my leg, I'll try and help as much as I can!" Amy said. Sally was hesitant, was eventually release Amy's leg and used that arm to wrap around her waist more securely. Amy hopped on one foot in gargantuan leaps, surprisingly making them go quicker. Amy's lungs were set aflame, pain flooding her mind as the bruises on her chest and ribs were being beaten against by her raging heartbeat. Sonic had made her heart speed up before, but not like this! Amy never even considered the possibility that she would fear Sonic seeing her, that she would actually be running from him—which in retrospect seems like a really stupid idea.
They finally made it to the trees and Amy wasted no time trying to climb the trees, Sally somewhat holding her back.
"Amy, you can't hide from him—he's Sonic—he'll find out the truth eventually. What about the next time he sees Eggman, the doctor's bound to ask what Sonic thought of that." Sally said in a hushed, but firm voice. Amy froze for a second, never even considering that the doctor would find satisfaction in telling Sonic that he had hurt her.
"It doesn't matter, Sally. I'll hide from him until I'm pretty much healed, if Eggie says something about it, I'll deny it. Sonic can never know." Amy said, continuing to attempt the climb the tree on her own. Sally always knew Amy was a stubborn, determined girl, but she didn't think that she was this persistent. Who was she kidding? Amy's been chasing Sonic for four years, of course was persistent.
Sally huffed out an exasperated sigh and wrapped in one arm, and the other she used to help climb. They reached the lower branches that would be sturdy enough to hold them up, Amy pulling the high branches down to hide them. She did it just on time too, since Sonic came rushing around the trees and skidded to a halt below them. He stood with his legs slightly apart, arms out like he'd take to the sky, head wiping back and forth, searching the forest in front of him. Then he stood up straight, crossing his leg over the other and balanced the toe of his shoe on the ground, scratching behind his ear in confusion.
"I could've sworn . . ." he muttered, barely audible. Amy was holding her breath while Sally was questioning why she was hiding. She had nothing to hide from Sonic, and was considering jumping down to say hi since she hadn't seen the blue speeder in a while. But one glance at Amy's pleading eyes made her instantly change her mind. Sonic had seen Sally carry Amy, and if he saw her, he'd wonder what where Amy had gone off to. Sally didn't like this, she didn't like hiding from Sonic, and if she were to run into him, she didn't want to lie. She's always been an honest person.
Amy had her eyes locked on Sonic's blue form, but her mind was elsewhere. She was thinking of possible excuses of why they were in the trees if he were to spot them up there. Sally blended in with the trunk, but Amy's vibrant pink was sure to be spotted instantaneously. She backed a little bit more down the trunk, losing sight of Sonic, and hopefully, making herself a little harder to see. Only, her bad ankle got caught in a tree hollow, pain shooting up her leg like electricity. She held back a cry of agony, but jolted awkwardly on the branch, making it quiver violently. Not only that, but Amy lost her grip on the branch, her hands had shot down to grip her ankle instead. She let out a surprised squeak when she slid sideways on the branch, reaching her hands out to wrap around the branch again. She was hugging the branch for dear life, hanging upside down like a koala, her legs and arms holding onto the branch tightly.
The shaking of the branch had caught both Sonic and Sally's attention. Sally's head shot back to see only Amy's arms and legs on the top of the branch, the rest of Amy was snuggly pressed against the bottom. Her eyes widened as she crawled towards Amy, reaching out to help her, but Amy shook her head. This confused Sally but then caught Sonic moving towards their tree. Sally wanted to groan. This was becoming a little too much to deal with. Sally grabbed a branch above them and yanked it down to cover Amy, hiding her from all directions. Then she position herself on the branch in a laidback, lazy position, legs crossed and hands folded in her lap with her eyes closed.
"Sally?" Sally pretended to be really surprised to see Sonic and threw on a big smile, sitting forward to look down at the blue hedgehog.
"Hey Sonic, what's up?" She said nonchalantly, throwing her legs over the side of the branch and swung them slightly. Sonic looked completely puzzled, like he didn't know what to make of the girl.
"Um, I was just . . . you do realize that you're in a tree, right?"
"So, you sleep in them. I was just trying to get out of the rain."
"Riiiiiiiiigggghhhht. So, um, where'd Amy go? Wasn't she just with you?" Sonic's eyes searched the branches, his eyes running right over the branch that was bent awkwardly down to cover Amy.
"She was, but she really wanted to get home. Said something about a cake she was going to make for you." Sally felt horrible. She was lying when telling the truth would be better. "Why so worried?" Sally said, smirking playfully and arching an eyebrow. She could see Sonic's nervousness hitting its climax
"N-no reason! It just seemed like she was, uh, hopping away with you."
"She was, she hurt her ankle earlier so I treated her to some ice cream."
"Look Sonic, if you want to know what's up, go find Amy. I don't know everything, ya know." Though she was happy to be talking to him, she had to hurry this up, Amy wouldn't be able to hold herself up for very long.
"Right, well, uh, get home, and mind making sure Amy got home okay? It's gonna start storming again, and I'm gonna get out of here while I can before hell rains down. See ya, Sal!" and he was off.
Sally waited until he was entirely out of view before turning back to the branch blocking Amy and lifted it back up, only to see that Amy was no longer hanging there, but on the ground, lying flat on her back.