And here's the end. Thank you to everyone who faved, followed, or reviewed. Special Thanks to everyone who faved, and followed me as an author. Extra special thanks to my brother, without whom this story would not exist.
Not sure when or what I'll write next. It's not often that inspiration strikes for me.
The Forces of Hope
Sonic woke to the sound of yelling.
"You could have gotten him killed, you idiot!" That was Shadow.
"I kept him from drowning!" That was his younger self.
"That's not the only way he could have died!"
"You're supposed to support him, not do the same things Eggman did."
"You're an impatient, irresponsible little brat and I ought to-"
"Shadow, it's okay, please don't kill my younger self."
"What have you got to worry about? He doesn't grow into you anymore." Shadow looked at Sonic. "Did you really used to be this stupid?"
"Well, it all turned out fine didn't it?" Younger Sonic asked sullenly.
"That doesn't mean it was a good idea!"
Sonic wandered away from that, and went looking for Tails. He found the fox working on a strange looking device.
"Sonic!" Tails went to hug him then paused. "Is it okay if I hug you?"
"I actually could really use a hug right now."
Tails embraced Sonic. "How are you feeling?"
"Still pretty crappy. But we shouldn't be worrying about me right now. We should be getting everybody else off the Death Egg."
"Way ahead of you. We found some more ships and people and organized them into a relief effort for the prisoners of the Death Egg. Amy's reuniting with Big and Cream right now."
Sonic drew a sharp breath. "Cream was there? But she's just a child!"
"Take it easy Sonic! She's okay. You had it way worse than anybody else."
"Oh." Memories of what he had been through popped up in his head and he found himself tearing up. Sonic wiped his eyes and asked, "Hey, Tails, what are you working on?"
"I'm working on a device that will hopefully send younger you back home. Knuckles and the Chaotix are out looking for the emeralds to power it up."
Tails launched into a technobabble explanation of how it worked, and Sonic eagerly listened, happy to get back to his life.
Omega, Rouge, and Rodger were hanging out outside. Shadow slammed open the door and stomped over to join them.
"The sooner that other Sonic goes, the better."
"So, you found someone stupider than me?" Rodger asked.
Shadow looked at him. "There are thousands of people who are stupider than you. You're first person to ever apologize for your mistakes. G.U.N. still owes me fifty years' worth of apologies. Though I wish their end was a little less violent, I can't say I'm sorry to see them go."
"We were the only effective agents. It's not a big loss." Omega pointed out.
"Well now that we're putting the world back together, we're going to need a new military." Rouge mused. "Perhaps we could form a better one."
Shadow turned to Rodger. "How would you like to be the first new member of our nation's military?"
"Me? Really? I'm just a baker."
"You're also technically a war veteran." Rouge said.
"He has a flamethrower. He has my approval." Omega stated.
"Well, when you put it like that, then I guess I have to accept."
Shadow shook Rodger's hand. "Welcome to Team Dark."
Knuckles and the Chaotix returned with the last emerald. "We found it!"
"Great!" Tails took the emerald and put it into his machine. "Now if my calculations are right, this should send you back home."
"One moment." Rouge handed an envelope to the younger Sonic. "When you go to Prison Island, make sure Shadow looks at what's inside this envelope."
"Because if you don't, he'll try to destroy the world and kill everybody."
"Everybody, stand back!" Tails activated the device.
A vortex opened up. Younger Sonic took one of the Phantom Rubies. "Well, see you all next time I get sucked through time and space!"
He ran through the portal.
"Okay, now that that's taken care of, time to put the world back together." Sonic said.
Vector raised his hand. "I nominate myself to be the next president."
And then everybody laughed and looked forward to the future with hope in their hearts.