Happy New Year, everyone! :D
Hello to all of my loyal fans of the universe!
So, we finally say goodbye to 2017, and I'm starting my 2018 with a Speeding Swing Surprise!
Last year, I became good friends with a British DeviantArt member named, "grimlock1997", and we started writing Sonic Boom stories together, particularly stories which star Tails. We recently decided that I should start posting our stories on my page (since he's not a FanFiction user), so here's one of our creations to start your 2018!
grimlock1997 is an avid train enthusiast, and I had interest in British trains as a kid because I used to watch Thomas the Tank Engine when I was little. This gave me the idea for us to write this story in which Tails develops an interest in classic British steam locomotives!
So, without further ado, here's my first FanFiction entry of 2018, co-written with grimlock1997! ENJOY!
It was a beautifully sunny morning on Bygone Island. The air was calm, and the whole island looked nothing short of gorgeous.
The forest seemed pretty quiet, too, ... until a certain blue blur came blasting through at high speed.
Sonic the Hedgehog was tearing through the forest on his way to his little brother Tails' house. Only one thing was on his mind as he sped down the forest path that led to the fox's home: His admiration for trains.
Only recently, it seemed that Tails was gaining huge fascination towards trains; particularly British locomotives, as he overheard him say to himself one time when he was working in his workshop. It made the hedgehog wonder: What did Tails like so much about those British locomotives? After all, it wasn't like the fox watched Thomas the Tank Engine when he was a few years younger, so there had to have been a different reason than that.
Eventually, Sonic reached Tails' house, after it had taken only two minutes to walk such a long distance from his own place to here, something that virtually no one else could do.
"Breaking records every day," he chuckled to himself, and he walked towards the front door of Tails' house and knocked three times.
"Yeah?" came a voice from inside, and Sonic could tell immediately that it was the ever-familiar voice of Tails.
"It's your big brother, little bro!" Sonic answered with a grin.
"Come on in, Sonic!" called Tails' happy voice, and the speedster promptly opened the door and let himself into his little brother's living room before closing the door behind him.
"Good morning, Tails, my cool little brother!" he greeted.
"Good morning, Sonic, my cool big brother!" the two-tailed fox responded with a chuckle and a cute smile.
"Whatcha been up to?" asked Sonic as he sat down on the couch.
Tails sat down next to him and answered, "Only just finished having breakfast."
"I guess that means we get plenty of time to ourselves today," said Sonic with a devious smirk, and he playfully pulled Tails closer and set him on his lap before hugging him tightly.
"Sonic!" giggled Tails as he blushed ever the slightest, "Stop!"
"Just playin' with ya, lil' pal!" smiled Sonic, keeping his little fox brother in a tight hug, "So, I was curious about something."
"What might that be, Sonic?" asked Tails.
"I came to notice lately that you've become increasingly obsessed with trains, and you never really told anybody that you were," explained Sonic, "I was wondering, Tails, ... what's gotten you to like trains so much these days?"
"So you've finally noticed?" said Tails.
"Well, ... one morning, I was coming over to bring you along for a game of volleyball, and I overheard you say that you really like trains so much," continued Sonic, "I also overheard you say that you really like British locomotives."
"Oh, not just any British locomotives, big bro. I prefer those classic British steam locomotives, from like ... the first half of the twentieth century," said Tails with a grin as he thought about said locomotives.
"Ah, those old-fashioned ones?" commented Sonic.
"They're not just old-fashioned, Sonic, but many people love them, and they've become so famous that they've had an impact just about everywhere in the world," said Tails.
"I see what you mean, buddy," said Sonic, understanding.
"Why don't I tell you the whole story of how I became so passionate with trains?" offered Tails.
"Sure, lil' bro," answered Sonic, briefly tickling Tails' side just to get a laugh out of him.
Tails laughed for a moment as he felt his big brother playfully tickling his side, but he soon calmed down and began telling the story ...
(Flashback to Two Years Ago...)
(This flashback was written entirely by grimlock1997.)
"It was back about two years ago in 2016, just about one week before my ninth birthday, and a few weeks before the Gold Ray incident..." Tails was heard saying in the narration, "I was feeling restless one day in the town, and so I decided to see if anything on television in my house could bring me something interesting."
As Tails began his story, the two tailed fox was walking through the town on his own, feeling a little bit restless, as he went towards the workshop that was on the hill away from the town. The weather was calm and there was hardly a cloud in sight. Everyone in the town was doing their own thing, and all five members of Team Sonic were doing their own thing on this day.
Tails had tried looking for some wrenches, or at least some screwdrivers so that he could fix his plane with, but unfortunately, none of the market stores had any new ones available. T.W Barker had tried to con Tails out of his money by giving him a really rusty and dirty wrench, although the two-tailed fox was much more wiser and turned it down.
"Oh well..." Tails sighed, "I guess the town doesn't have the new screwdrivers or mechanical tools that I need today. So, I guess fixing my plane will have to wait a while, until I can afford to get new ones. Maybe something on TV will be on, when I reach my home."
The fox continued his walk, passing people and residents as he went by. The town at this time had fully recovered from Doctor Eggman's attack on the town, when Sonic and Tails took a brotherly vacation together, and the doctor made his surprise attack when the two were not around. But since Team Sonic managed to stop him, the town was now back to his normal routine of peace and quiet.
A few months later after the events of that brotherly vacation, Tails then met Zooey, where with the help from Eggman himself giving Tails the right advice, after Team Sonic's useless advice proved absolutely ridiculous, he eventually fell in love with Zooey, after Tails saved her from Eggman and his robot, which made her fall in love with the two-tailed fox in return, signifying their new relationship with a kiss on the cheek.
Since then, Tails and Zooey have been in a romantic relationship, and they have been getting closer together since that day.
After a few more minutes of walking, Tails finally reached his workshop, and opened the door to it. Heading indoors, he then went to the kitchen in his home, and put on the kettle that was on a worktop, where he then made himself a cup of tea, using a cup and saucer for it.
Once the tea was made, using milk and sugar to put into the tea, Tails then went into the living room part of his workshop, and grabbed a TV remote which was sitting on the side of the armchair just opposite where a coffee table sat between the TV and the chair.
"Now, let's see what could be on television today?" Tails asked to himself, "I'll just surf the channels until I find something."
Placing his cup and saucer on the coffee table, Tails then sat back into his armchair and pressed a green button on the remote, which switched the television on. The screen flickered to life, and what came on the TV at first was just an ordinary nature programme, with a narration of this documentary provided by Soar the Eagle.
Although Tails quickly changed the channel over, knowing that he wouldn't want to sit and watch a nature documentary on Bygone Island's wildlife.
"I know Bygone Island has beautiful wildlife and all, but I don't think I'm up to watching any nature programmes today..." Tails said to himself, changing the channel over.
The channel was then changed to a space mission programme, where humans were getting ready to launch in a space shuttle to outer space. Although, space programmes could be a tad boring to the human and Mobian soul. So, Tails only sighed and changed the channel again.
"The TV channel had many programmes that I did t feel like watching at the time..." Tails narrated, "And I almost gave up on it, before a documentary programme on BBC America really took my interest to a whole new level."
As Tails then saw a programme on cookery, he sighed and decided to change the channel one last time, to see if anything good was on, but if there wasn't anything, then he would just turn the TV off. So, taking his last chance, Tails pressed the channel button once again, which changed over to BBC America, and an announcer's voice could be heard on the TV.
"It's just gone twelve o'clock here on BBC America..." The announcer said, "And our next programme is based on both railways and trains from the British side of the world. So, here we are now with our feature length documentary programme, 'The History Of British Railways'.
Tails listened carefully to what the announcer said on TV, and hearing the words 'British' and 'trains', this immediately got his interest sparking to life. He had never seen any trains on Bygone Island, since there were no railway routes at all on the jungle island, but he did see those passenger trains that ran at Station Square, although they were more of a New York based railway system.
"A documentary programme based on British Railways and the trains from Britain then came on the television on BBC America..." Tails was heard narrating, "I became curious on what the trains in the United Kingdom looked like compared to the American trains in design."
As the programme began to start with an opening narration and some maps of railway station locations in the UK., Tails' curiosity was now becoming more intriguing by what this programme was going to show about trains in Britain. Because Tails always spent time with studying planes and jets, he never actually had the time to actually study other forms of transportation.
So perhaps this documentary might just give Tails a brand new interest in something different to planes.
"British Railways?" Tails asked, curiously, "Huh, this programme might just be the one for me. But I wonder what the British trains look like in design, compared to the trains that run at Station Square?"
As Tails sat back in his armchair, the programme then began with a human figure walking on a station platform in Britain, talking to the camera, as he then passed a station sign on the platform, which had the name 'Preston' on it.
And Preston was in Lancashire, England.
"The railways have had a long history dating back to the 19th century..." The man in the programme said, "With the early steam loco 'Rocket' being built by Robert Stephenson in 1829 at Forth Street Works in Newcastle upon Tyne."
A black and white pictured design of the steam loco 'Rocket' was seen on the screen, as a very early design for the railway. Seeing this, Tails was immediately impressed by the design, and he was really beginning to like this programme.
"Then..." The man in the programme continued, "Once 'Rocket' was made, the history of railways then began to evolve within the next 189 years, with newer trains being built in various designs, shapes and forms, where it would then be changed from the classic steam traction power of the 1930s & 1950s, to the evolution of diesel power in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and then diesel evolution would eventually change into the modern high speed electric powered Hitachi trains of the future."
"Wow..." Tails said, feeling fascinated already, "Sounds like this programme is going to explain a lot about British trains! I'm really glad to have changed over to this now! This is going to be interesting to watch!"
The programme then went on explaining about the first passenger-carrying system was made in 1807, with carriages being pulled along by horses. Around that time of the early 19th century, the horses would pull the carriage along an existing tramline.
Then, five years later in 1812, the first successful steam locomotive was built by John Blenkinsop and Matthew Murray, which was named 'Salamanca'. This little steam loco was a commercially successful engine built by these two men in the early 1800s.
The programme then went on explaining about the railway lines being built and the stations that were made to go along the routes of Great Britain, with locations being shown like London Paddington, Carlisle, Derby, Glasgow and Portsmouth Harbour, which are all real railway stations in the UK.
There were also a number of different steam locos being built in the 20th century, which was the 1900s. The steam locos that were being designed were Black 5s, Pannier Tanks, A1 Peppercorns, A3 Pacifics and Austerity Tanks.
Tails sat in his arm chair watching the programme with interest. He was slowly becoming more and more interested in the trains, which were first built in Britain, dating back from the early 19th century. The programme even showed the workings of the engines and how they were powered and how they moved on the rails.
A little later in the documentary, there was a section on the evolution of diesel power in the late 1960s, with diesels like the Class 20s, the Class 37s and the Class 55 Deltics being built, and then running along the national railway network, while some of the steam engines were sent to be scrapped and cut up into pieces.
"Whoa..." Tails thought to himself, a bright smile on his face, "So that's what the British trains are like on the other side of the world! They look really cool and well designed!"
On the programme, the Class 125 HSTs (High Speed Trains) were then introduced in 1976, as the main passenger service trains going along the Great Western mainline from London Paddington to Swansea. Then, transitioning to 42 years later, the Hitachi High Speed Bullet Trains from Japan were then seen running along the western mainline, with five carriages connected together to make a ten carriage Super Express.
There was also a transition of a classic bridge from the 1980s, where it then changed into the modern present day of a green bridge with much higher walls and wires running beneath the bridge, as an electric powered Virgin Trains Pendilino passenger service passed through a great speed that was much faster than the 125 HSTs.
Thankfully, most of steam power still ran in the present time, although while some of the tender engines ran for mainline railtours and specials across Britain, most steam engines like the tank engines were preserved on heritage railways like the Severn Valley Railway and West Somerset Railway.
Later on, the programme finally ended with a look back on the very early steam engine designs like 'Rocket', which then showed the evolved A3 Pacific steam locos, which in turn then switched to the power of diesel locos like the Class 35 'Hymek' diesels, which then changed into the 125 HSTs, before finally changing into the modern Hitachi Bullet Trains.
By the end of the programme, Tails was really impressed and intrigued by the whole history of the British Railways and it's trains from the UK. It had really kickstarted a brand new hobby for the young two-tailed fox.
"I was so fascinated by this whole programme of British trains, that I was starting to become more intrigued about them..." Tails was heard saying from his narration, "It really gave me a new interest, and I wanted to learn about the mechanics of British trains even more in the library."
Tails, feeling excited and no longer restless, and wanting to learn more about the British trains and the railway network, immediately got up from his armchair, and headed outside once again. He then closed the door behind himself and ran from the workshop and down the hill back into the town centre, where the village was just as quiet as it has been for the last hour.
He was going to head for the library, to see if he could read up any possible books on British trains in there.
"I wonder if the library has any books on trains from the UK?" Tails asked to himself, as he ran into town, and passed the buildings and markets of the village.
In no time at all, Tails reached the library, and thankfully it was still open too. So, slowing down into a walk, Tails entered the library and went to the reception desk, where the grammar-correcting mammal, Fastidious Beaver, was standing behind the desk, with his usual plain and bored looking expression seen on his face. However, this did not bring down Tails' excitement at all.
"Hello there..." Tails said to Fastidious Beaver, "I was wondering if you had any books on British trains, please?"
"Hmm..." Fastidious Beaver said in response, "Actually, we might just have one book of that topic left. Eggman's robots burnt all of the other books on trains after his surprise attack about a year ago."
Tails nodded and smiled in response, before Fastidious Beaver walked to one of the book shelves and looked at them, one by one, until he finally found one book, which had the words 'British Trains' written on the side of the book spine. He then brought it over to Tails, and put a stamp mark on it, showing the required time to bring it back.
"You must bring this book back within two hours, please..." Fastidious Beaver then said, giving the book to Tails.
"Thank you..." Tails replied, nodding, "I'll be at one of the tables in the library anyway. I'll bring it back in two hours."
Tails then carried the book over to a nearby table in the library, where he then pulled out a chair and sat down into it, all the while placing the book of trains onto the table. And on this table were some paper and a pencil, which had most likely been left behind by someone else who used this table.
Perhaps Tails could use some of this paper in case he needed to write down any notes based on the book he was going to be looking through.
The book looked a bit dusty, but Tails quickly blew the dust off it and waved it away from his face, to prevent himself sneezing from the dust. The front had the same name as it did on the spine of the book. He then carefully opened up the book, and inside the book was the index, which showed the chapter selection, including sections like 'Class 17', 'Flying Scotsman', 'Metropolitan 1' & 'Blaenavon Railway'.
"I got the only book based on different trains in the library..." Tails narrated, "I then looked into it and I read up quite a lot of different trains in it, including some history of the Big Pit in Blaenavon."
Tails turned to the first category in the book and the first section was based on the former Brynmawr and Blaenavon Railway, which was once a railway line that transported coal when the Big Pit mines were operating at the time. The whole line from Brynmawr was then pulled up in July 1961, while Big Pit was closed on February 2nd, 1980. The Blaenavon Railway then became a heritage railway in South Wales, and it was opened as a visitor attraction in 1983, three years after Big Pit closed down.
As for Big Pit itself, it became a Mining Museum, as visitor attraction in Blaenavon. To the present day, it continues to have people visiting the museum.
"Huh..." Tails said quietly, "A heritage railway in Blaenavon, that was once a railway line that went from Newport to Brynmawr in South Wales? That's quite an interesting g piece of historical information. I'll keep this info in mind if I ever do a history project in the future."
Tails then wrote down the info on the paper that was sitting on the table. He then turned the page in the book, and the next section he came across was about the 'Class 17' diesel locomotive.
"Hmm, let's see..." Tails thought, reading through the next page, "The Class 17 was a diesel locomotive built in Britain in the 1960s, but they were deemed unreliable, due to their consistent teething troubles with their cooling systems overheating. While most of the Class 17s were eventually withdrawn in 1968 and then scrapped in 1975, only one Class 17 remained and it continued to work at three industrial areas in Britain, before it then became preserved to the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway, in Oxfordshire. The Class 17 is numbered 'D8568', which is the only one of its kind seen in Britain today."
A picture above the page showed a picture of the Class 17 (D8568) in preservation at the heritage railway that it was seen at in the present time.
Tails then wrote down the info on the second piece of paper on the table, as he found this Class 17 very intriguing, as it was the only one of its kind left in the world, seeing that the rest of the class had short lived lives on the rails.
"Now, let's see what kinds of steam engines are in this book..." Tails said to himself, turning a few pages of the book.
He then came to a page in the book based on steam engines, which showed a picture above saying 'Metropolitan 1', and this was a famous tank engine that was painted in maroon red London Transport livery, with black and yellow lines seen on the sides of the loco. This tank engine was an E Class Tank Engine, and it was the only one in preservation to the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, after it was fully restored in 2001, while the reminder of the class was scrapped years ago.
Like the Class 17, this tank engine was the only E Class Tank Engine in preservation.
"Now this is a very smart tank engine..." Tails thought, grinning, "Painted in London Transport colours and being the only one left in the E Class group while the rest of this class were scrapped. It's a good thing 'Metropolitan 1' is still around today in the UK. And the fact that it ran a few trains during the 150th Anniversary of the London Underground Railway in January 2013, it's definitely worth the read to know this information!"
Tails wrote down the info on 'Metropolitan 1' on the paper with the pencil, and he decided to take a look at the last section of the train book. And this next section would give the most interest and excitement in all of the book.
"The final section I read in this book was about a steam locomotive that is the world's most famous steam engine..." Tails narrated, "And this steam locomotive then gave me my new hobby of trains."
Tails then looked at the last section of the book, which had a picture of an apple green liveried LNER Class A3 Pacific steam loco, which was numbered 4472 and famously named 'Flying Scotsman'.
"Flying Scotsman?" Tails questioned curiously, "I wonder how famous this steam locomotive is to the world?"
In the book, the 'Flying Scotsman' is the world's most famous steam engine, which was first built at Doncaster Works in February 1923, with the engine designed by Sir Nigel Gresley. The engine had a corridor tender, which would be used for a driver and fireman swap, without stopping the train on the long journeys to Edinburgh.
It was famous for travelling from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh non-stop for eight hours, and it was the first steam engine to officially run at 100mph, which was a record set by steam driver, Bill Sparshatt, on November 30th, 1934. This record was held by 'Flying Scotsman' for four years, before its record was eventually eclipsed by the Class A3 Pacific 'Mallard', which was another engine designed by Sir Nigel Gresley. The new record was set in 1938 with the 'Mallard' setting the new and current steam speed record of 126mph.
As Tails looked more into the section, 'Flying Scotsman' then went on becoming world famous, for its many times of being saved by different people. After hauling its last passenger train in January 1963, it was going to be scrapped by British Railways. A group of people which was called 'Save Our Scotsman' tried to buy it, but they couldn't reach British Railway's required purchase amount of £3,000, which is now £50,000 in today's money.
"Wow..." Tails said, quietly, excitement bubbling, "This 'Flying Scotsman' is certainly the most famous engine in the world. I wonder what happened to it next?"
Tails then soon got his answer, as he then read a section from the book on a man named Alan Pegler.
Just when things seemed to be grim for 'Flying Scotsman', a wealthy businessman and entrepreneur named Alan Pegler, bought the loco and restored her to its former glory, returning her to its apple green LNER livery with her original numbers, 4472. During this time, a second tender was made for the loco, which was used to store the water inside of it. When 'Flying Scotsman' travelled along the line, water troughs would be seen in the middle of the tracks, which would provide the water for the steam loco, and it would be scooped up in a special compartment under the loco, which would then give it water without the need of stopping.
Alan then ran 'Flying Scotsman' for special railtours across Britain, and he even had her sent on a tour of America. For this tour, the loco needed to have a cow catcher placed on the front of its buffer frame, a side whistle by its boiler and a gold bell sitting on the top of the boiler by the funnel.
Then, in the summer of 1972 in America, Alan was declared bankrupt and he no longer owned the world famous steam loco. 'Flying Scotsman' would then be stored at an army base in Boston, but she would soon return to British a few years later, and then from there, three more people would own 'Flying Scotsman' and run her on the rails of Britain again.
"Wow!" Tails said, trying not to be loud, "'Flying Scotsman' went on tour to America between 1969 and the early 1970s? Now, that's so cool! I would love to see this engine right now! A famous engine like this spending three and a half years in America is incredible! Although, you've got to feel sorry for someone who goes bankrupt in 1972. That's definitely one troubling thing to deal with in life is bankruptcy."
In the book, a picture of Alan Pegler was seen, with a dedication on it saying, "Alan Pegler OBE FRSA. 1920 - 2012." The man had died about four years ago at his home in London, and so sounds of 'Flying Scotsman' were played at his funeral to remember him by.
Tails then looked at another section of the 'Flying Scotsman' category in the book, where it had some information about its trip to Australia in 1988, and a new record that it set in Australia, in 1989.
On the 8th August in 1989, the world famous steam engine made a world record of travelling over 422 miles of a non-stop journey with a steam engine. Now, that is definitely a world record to be impressed by.
So, in its life time, 'Flying Scotsman' had made two world records, one for being the first British steam engine to travel over 100 miles an hour in 1934, and then travelling over 422 miles non-stop in Australia, in 1989.
Then, as Tails was about to close the book, there was one more thing that he began to read that would really get him surprised about this famous steam engine.
In 2004, 'Flying Scotsman' was then bought by the National Railway Museum, in York. Then, in January 2006, it went into the museum for restoration, but the process of this would take about 10 years to complete from 2006 to 2016, with the estimated cost of £4.2 million to restore the legendary locomotive.
"Whoa! £4.2 million?!" Tails exclaimed loudly, in surprise.
"Shh!" A nearby person said in the library.
"Sorry..." Tails whispered in response, realising he wasn't alone.
After a decade of restoration, and around the cost of £4.2 million, in January 2016, 'Flying Scotsman' returned to the rails, where she then underwent test runs on the East Lancashire Railway. Then, in February 2016, the world's most famous steam engine was then painted in BR-Green livery with the numbers 60103 painted on, before 'Flying Scotsman' went on her 'Inaugural Run' from London Kings Cross to York, where it was accompanied with a Virgin Trains Class 90 passenger set on the journey.
After her return to the mainline, 'Flying Scotsman' has since been running steam railtours around Britain in 2016. And to this day, this engine remains to be the world's most famous steam locomotive.
"This famous steam engine then made me feel so inspired, and it made my interest in trains sky rocketed!" Tails narrated to Sonic, "And you wouldn't believe how excited I was to have read up about 'Flying Scotsman' being this famous to the world!"
Tails looked up from the book and he was just bubbling with excitement over his brand new interest, just as well as feeling inspired and amazed by the world famous 'Flying Scotsman' steam engine. Just one steam engine could be world famous and this British legend was the one to be famous. And now, thanks to the history of this brilliant steam locomotive, Tails had now become fully interested in both 'Flying Scotsman' and in the hobby of trains.
"Wow..." Tails said, quietly, "This book has given me a whole new interest in trains. And 'Flying Scotsman' has really taken my interest to all new level. I've got to see what the railway museum has in this village."
Yes, Hedgehog Village now had a railway museum built in the town, after the events of Eggman's attack on the town just over a year ago at the time. It was opened when Mayor Fink had actually stopped being so tight with his money for the town, and opened up the railway museum just a few months ago, as a sort of visitor attraction.
And this museum offered a history on many British trains, like what stations were currently in Britain, and what stations used to be there, before they were taken away, along with the lines they used to run on. Although, when the museum opened its doors, no one in the town really took any interest, and so it was left in the town centre, in the hopes that someone would visit the museum one day.
Picking up the book and closing it over, Tails then gave it back to the reception desk in the library, and he walked off back into the town, on his way to visit the railway museum. As he walked through town, Tails' mind was still bubbling with excitement, as the 'Flying Scotsman' section he had just read about in the book had really inspired him to get into British railways and trains for the first time.
But he was so busy thinking about his new found interest, that his foot then got caught on a stone in the ground, which caused him to trip up and fall onto the ground.
"Whoa! Oof!" Tails groaned, as he then fell to the floor, and clutched his foot in very little pain.
"I then tripped over a stone in the ground, which I didn't see at all, and injured my ankle..." Tails narrated to Sonic, "But thankfully, Zooey was around at the time I fell over that stone."
As this happened, someone seemed to have been around in the same area of town as Tails was in. This person was Zooey, Tails' girlfriend who always wore a red dress, crimson slippers and bracelets on her wrists. She really cared for Tails as his girlfriend, just as much as Sonic cared for him as his brother.
She was just walking in the town, when she just so happened to see her boyfriend tripping up and falling over himself onto the ground. Running over to him, Zooey became a bit concerned that Tails might've hurt himself when he fell over.
"Are you ok, Tailsy?" Zooey asked, kneeling down to him.
Hearing the familiar and loving sound of his girlfriend, Tails looked up and saw that Zooey was looking down to him on her knees in concern. Seeing her made him smile up at her, knowing how much these two loved each other, ever since their romantic relationship was started a year ago.
"Hey Zooey..." Tails said, groaning, "Yeah, I'm ok. I just tripped over a stone in the ground is all."
"Need a hand up?" Zooey asked, offering him a kind hand.
Tails looked at the offered hand from his girlfriend, then smiled and took her hand in his. Zooey then pulled Tails up onto his feet again, although when the two-tailed fox was once again standing on his own two feet, Tails could only stand straight for a few seconds...
"Arghh!" Tails exclaimed...
... before he felt a sharp pain on his foot, which caused him to loose his balance and almost fall back onto the ground again. Luckily, Zooey was quick to catch Tails in her arms, before he could even hit the ground.
"Tails, are you alright?" Zooey asked, concerned for her boyfriend.
"Ugh... Yes, I'm alright, sweetie..." Tails replied, groaning, "But I don't think my foot is alright, though. I think that stone must've hurt it."
Seeing Tails was in a bit of pain at the moment thanks to his foot, Zooey then gently lied her boyfriend down onto the grass gently, and took off his shoe carefully. She then gently ran a finger over Tails, which made him giggle a little bit, which made Zooey smile a bit, and lightly pressing her finger on his foot, to see where the pain was.
Zooey finally found the pain on his foot, when she gently touched the top of Tails' foot with her finger, making Tails yelp a little in pain.
"Ow!" Tails yelped, feeling the pain.
"Ooh, it looks like you've sprained a muscle in your ankle, Tailsy..." Zooey stated, "That stone must've pulled a muscle in it."
"Is it... broken?" Tails asked, worriedly, fearing he may have broken his ankle.
"No, Tails..." Zooey responded, gently looking into his eyes, "Thankfully it's not broken. It's just a sprained muscle is all. It'll take a bit of time for that to heal. But don't worry, I'll take care of that for you, sweetie."
And before Tails could even ask about what his girlfriend was going to do next, Zooey then got out a small roll of bandage tape out from a pocket in her dress, and then used to it to wrap a bandage all around Tails' foot carefully. Tails did wince a bit from the slight pain from his injured ankle, as the tape was wrapped around his foot, but he calmly sat still as Zooey treated to his small injury.
"Zooey then wrapped my injured ankle in a bandage with some tape she had with her..." Tails explained, "I did wince a tiny bit, because my foot hurt a bit, but I didn't cry at all."
"So that's why I saw you lying in your armchair with that bandage on your foot about two years ago!" Sonic was heard saying.
Zooey then finished wrapping the bandage on her boyfriend's foot, and placed two small pieces of sticky tape on it, to stop it from unravelling. Turning back to face Tails, the female vixen smiled kindly to Tails, and brushed her hand gently across the left side of his furry cheek.
"There you go, Tailsy..." Zooey said, gently kissing her boyfriend's cheek, "Your foot's been wrapped in a bandage now. It'll take a few weeks for your foot to fully heal, so you may want to keep it on."
"Thank you, Zooey..." Tails replied, grinning, "You're so sweet to me."
"Anything for you, sweetie..." Zooey said back, winking at him with a bright smile, "So, where were you going before you fell over, Tails?"
"Well..." Tails began to say...
... but he then faulted a bit, feeling unsure if he should mention his new found interest in trains to Zooey. He didn't know what his girlfriend would think of him getting into trains, when he normally does his work on inventions and machines, just as much as he flies his plane around the island.
Tails then felt Zooey place a hand on his shoulder, giving him the gentle smile she still had on her face, showing the care she showed for him in her eyes.
"You can tell me anything, Tails..." Zooey said, politely, "I trust you, sweetie."
Nodding, Tails then gently held her hand in his, and he began telling his girlfriend about his new interest in trains and railways.
"Well, Zooey..." Tails began to say, "Today, I was just returning home from this town, feeling all bored and stuff. I then turn the TV on and find that there are not many shows on today. I was about to turn it off, until this programme on British Railways and its trains came on BBC America. So, I sat down in my chair and watched the whole programme about how the trains were first brought up in the UK, which started off with horse-drawn wagons on tramlines, and then the railways were evolved into steam and diesel engines, along with some old footage and modern video clips of trains in Britain running on the rails. It also showed some old and new railway stations in Britain too. I was so fascinated and interested by the whole programme on trains, I decided to go and look for some more history in the library."
Zooey listened carefully to Tails' story about his experience in watching a documentary film on British Railways and trains. She was surprised a bit to see that Tails was taking an interest in Trains, instead of the usual planes and jets. She did manage to smile however at the thought of Tails liking something new based in mechanics, such as trains.
"I then went to the library to find some history on locos and the former Brynmawr and Blaenavon Railway..." Tails continued, "And after reading about that, along with the only Class 17 diesel in Britain, and 'Metropolitan 1', I then read about 'Flying Scotsman', the world's most famous steam engine. I was so inspired and excited to read up history about a famous steam engine, that I then became fully interested in trains and railways. I then decided to go and see the railway museum in the town, before I fell over on the floor."
At first, there was a silence in the air, as Zooey took in all the info of Tails' short story. At first, Tails began thinking that Zooey might've found his interest in trains boring or uninteresting. But the response that Tails got was a surprise indeed.
Zooey then surprised Tails with a loving hug and some sweet giggles that sounded like music to Tails' ears, while his girlfriend's hug made him blush.
"Aw, that's so adorable, Tails!" Zooey then complimented, giggling, "It's so sweet of you on looking up on railways and the trains. It gives you a brand new interest in your life."
"Heh, it sure does..." Tails agreed, "Say, would you like to come with me to the railway museum in town? Since I need help getting to there?"
Smiling, Zooey then helped Tails up back onto his feet, while putting an arm around him, to help support her boyfriend and making sure that he doesn't go falling back onto the ground again. Tails carefully stood on his one good foot, while keeping his bad foot off the ground slightly, while he had his one shoe in his left hand.
"Sure, I'd love to help get you there, sweetie..." Zooey then said, "Can you manage to move your legs while I'm helping you?"
"I think so, yes..." Tails replied, making a steady and careful move of his legs, "Though limping won't help me at all."
"Let's get going then, Tails..." Zooey smiled, as the two then began their slow and steady walk to the railway museum.
For the next few minutes, Tails and Zooey walked together to the railway museum in town, where the two-tailed fox would then explain to his girlfriend that before they got together, a museum based on railways had been built and opened by Mayor Fink himself, after the town was restored to normal following Eggman's attack on it three years ago. Though, nobody really bothered to visit it, as not many people liked trains at the time, so it remained open in the hopes someone would visit it.
When they got there, a staff member stated that they were the first people to enter the railway museum, and so they were given a special tour around the museum, free of charge. This surprised the two foxes, but they were honoured to have a free tour as the first people to visit the railway museum.
"So, Zooey and I looked around the railway museum together, and we see all kinds of history and pictures of British trains and the railways together..." Tails narrated, "There were also some American trains, which are more bigger and longer, but I just did t like the way they were designed to be honest. The British trains looked more like actual trains than the American ones, although that's no offence to those who made the American ones of course."
"Hey Tails..." Zooey said, pointing to a picture of an Australian tank engine, "This one looks pretty interesting. It says that these tank engines were built in the UK and Ireland, before being transferred over to use on the Australian rails."
"Huh..." Tails said, smiling, "Those Australian tank engines don't look too bad. At least we can see that they were built in Britain first."
The two continued their trip around the museum, where they eventually reached the end of it and went into the gift shop to see if there was anything that they could buy with their money. Although Zooey found nothing, Tails did find something that would really make him feel happy, and it would also be based on his interest in trains.
As Tails was about to turn away, he then spotted on a nearby table of what looked like a model train of the 'Flying Scotsman'. It was painted in apple green livery, with white stripes on its boiler, the numbers 4472 on the side of its cab, the letters 'LNER' on the side of the tender, two tiny model lamps on the front of the loco, and the 'Flying Scotsman' nameplate on the side of the boiler on both sides.
The loco came with two LNER carriages, one was a passenger carriage and the other being a guard's carriage, and there was also a flatbed truck that came with the coaches. Tails looked at this model in wonder and joy,as he had just found the model of the exact same steam engine that was world famous to this very day. Just looking at it already made him feel really happy.
"Wow!" Tails said, quietly, "A model engine based on 'Flying Scotsman'! And it comes with two coaches and a flatbed!"
Zooey walked over to see what Tails was looking at, and she couldn't help but smile at how happy her boyfriend was feeling at finding a model of one of his new favourite British steam engines.
Tails felt like this steam engine was just the one thing that was keeping him feeling happy and excited today, and it helped get rid of the boredom in his mind from earlier. Trains were really starting to grow on him, and they started to be a part of his life as a new hobby of interest.
He then looked at a price tag on the side of the loco, which said:
"'Flying Scotsman' loco with carriages and flatbed - $46.51".
"$46.51?" Tails asked, surprised, "That's quite expensive."
"Mmm, it certainly is..." Zooey quietly agreed, "How much money have you got for it, Tailsy?"
Tails looked at the pocket on his tool belt and opened it up to look inside it. Digging inside of it with his hand, he then pulled out what looked like a short amount of $10.51 in his hand.
He was unfortunately about $36 short of the amount required to pay for the model train and other things. What a bit of a bummer for him to be short on mo eh at this time in the railway museum.
"Ohh..." Tails said, ears drooping a bit, "I've only got $10.51, Zooey. I'm about $36 short of what I need to buy this model train."
"At first, I thought I wouldn't be able to afford the model train and the carriages..." Tails narrated, "But it wasn't until my sweet girlfriend gave me a generous share of her money, which really surprised me."
Zooey saw that Tails was a little short on money, seeing the $10.51 in his hand. She then smiled gently to her boyfriend, as she then got out her purse and looked into it. Then, she bought out what looked like $36 from her purse and showed the money to Tails.
"Here, Tails..." Zooey said, smiling and showing the money, "I'll give you the extra money to help you buy the model train."
Tails turned to Zooey, and when he saw that she had $36, this really took him by surprise a lot. Just how could she afford money like this in her purse?
"Where did you get that kind of money from, Zooey?" Tails asked, surprised.
"Oh, well..." Zooey responded, smiling, "For the past few weeks, I've been working part time at the local fruit market in town. My hard work on handling the fruits there have earned me some money from the manager."
"That's great to hear, Zooey!" Tails said, smiling, "I'm pleased you're earning money by working for the fruit market."
"Thanks, sweetie..." Zooey replied, smiling cutely.
"But... are you sure you want to give me your money to help me buy this model train?" Tails asked, feeling unsure, "It is your money after all."
"I'm sure Tails..." Zooey said, politely, "I want to help you buy this model train, and I don't have any plans to use my money for anything else yet."
A little bit unsure at first, Tails eventually smiled at Zooey, before hugging her quickly in appreciation, then the two picked up the model train pieces and went over to the counter, where the gift shop owner was a male rabbit with a conductor's hat and uniform on him.
"After we bought the model train and the things to go along with it, Zooey helped me back to my home..." Tails narrated, coming to the final part of his story, "I wanted to repay her for helping me out on that day to the museum. And she knew just how I could repay her."
In the workshop, Zooey had just helped Tails sot down into his armchair in the fox's home, and was now once again checking over his bandaged foot. Tails was now currently looking at his new 'Flying Scotsman' model train, admiring the design that whoever made it did a great job with it. He then placed it on the side of the coffee table next to him, before looking at his girlfriend checking over his bandaged foot.
"Your bandage is holding up well, Tails..." Zooey said, checking it over, "Though like I said earlier, it's going to take a while for your ankle to heal. So, if you just rest up here in your home for a few days or maybe a week, your ankle will become better in no time at all."
"Thank you so much for helping me today, Zooey..." Tails then said, grinning, "You're the sweetest girlfriend I've had in my life. How can I ever repay you?"
"Aww, it's no worries, Tailsy..." Zooey replied, before she walked over and smiled romantically to her boyfriend, "But I know how you can repay me."
And before Tails could even register or even think about what his girlfriend was going to do next, Zooey gently placed her hands on Tails' face, before leaning in quickly and kissing him tenderly on the lips, making him blush deeply and close his eyes and kiss her back.
Zooey then pulled away from the kiss, where she soon saw her boyfriend was almost in a dreamy state thanks to the kiss she had just given to him. Giggling, she gently ruffled Tails' head and walked off towards the door, but not before turning back to look at him, where she then watched Tails wave to her, before picking up his 'Flying Scotsman' model again, and resuming to look at it.
Smiling, Zooey looked at her boyfriend with his new model train, before blowing a kiss to him, and opening up the door.
"I love you, Zooey..." Tails called to her.
"I love you too, Tails..." Zooey replied back, before closing the door and heading off for the town.
Tails sighed and looked back at his model of the 'Flying Scotsman', smiling brightly to himself. He was certainly going to love using this model train and its carriages once he could find an idea on how to run it.
"And that's how I became interested in trains..." Tails concluded to Sonic in the present time, "Both the railway documentary on BBC America and the world famous 'Flying Scotsman' had really helped me become so passionate about British trains."
"Wow. That sounds like quite the adventure, Tails," said Sonic once Tails had finished his story.
"It was a nice personal adventure, I'll agree," replied Tails.
"Say, buddy, speaking of adventures, there's one kind of adventure that I can consider a favorite when I'm not alone," grinned Sonic.
"And what kind may that be, bro?" asked Tails curiously.
"The adventures of brotherhood," answered Sonic with a mischievous grin, and he wiggled his fingers on Tails' cheeks.
The fox instantly felt the ticklish sensations on his cheeks, and cute giggles came pouring out of his mouth.
"Sonic! Stop!" giggled Tails.
"Nah. I don't think so," teased Sonic.
Before Tails could respond, the hedgehog pinned the fox down on the couch, and he started tickling him all over. Tails could only laugh hysterically as the sensations drove him into an uncontrollable fit.
"No! Sonic! Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha!" laughed Tails, "Pleeheeheeheeheeheehease! Nohohohohohohoho!"
"This is more like it!" said Sonic playfully, "This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy our adventures of brotherhood!"
Tails couldn't respond. Sonic's tickling had turned him into a simple laughing poodle. Sonic looked down and saw an adorable smile on his little brother's face as laughs continued to pour out of the fox's mouth. He thought he looked so adorable whenever he looked like this.
Eventually, Sonic decided that Tails needed a break, and he pulled his hands away from him. The fox panted for nearly a whole minute before his breathing became stable again, and he looked up at his big brother with a playful glare.
"You call that one of our adventures of brotherhood, Sonic!?" he said sarcastically.
"Well, as far as I can remember, tickling helped you quite a lot whenever you were down," recalled Sonic.
Tails' expression turned into a mischievous, evil grin, and Sonic could immediately tell what his brother was up to. The hedgehog was about to scoot back, but Tails managed to time his attack right, and he pounced on Sonic and pinned him down on the couch before aiming for his neck.
"It's payback time!" chuckled Tails as he started tickling his brother's neck.
"No! Hey! Tails! Stop! Naaahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!" laughed Sonic.
"You tickle me, I tickle ya right back!" giggled Tails, finding this to be hilarious, "You really asked for it this time!"
"Tails! Pleeheeheeheehease! Get off me!" Sonic begged in between laughs.
"Do you promise not to tickle me when I stop?" smirked Tails.
"Yes! I promise!" replied Sonic, prompting Tails to stop tickling his neck.
"Good!" said Tails, and he sat up and allowed Sonic to sit back up.
"Man!" the hedgehog panted, "That was ... quite a brotherly adventure in itself, wasn't it?"
"Yeah!" chuckled Tails in agreement, "That sure was."
"So, we cool?" asked Sonic.
"We're cool," answered Tails with a smile, "I love you, big bro."
"I love you, too, little bro," smiled Sonic.
The two brothers hugged each other tightly and nuzzled each other's faces to express their brotherly love, and Sonic playfully pinned Tails' arms down again and kept him in a tight brotherly cuddle, making the fox smile broadly and giggle happily.
"So, Tails, whatever did you end up doing with that special 'Flying Scotsman' model?" asked Sonic.
"While my ankle was healing, I started thinking of ways to not have to keep walking to the front door just to get the mail, and that was when I thought of the Mail Express," explained Tails.
"So ... while Zooey and I were caring for you after the Gold Ray incident, ... the locomotive I saw was ... the Flying Scotsman?" Sonic tried to recall.
"Yup!" answered Tails proudly, "Once my foot had fully healed, I made a small underground tunnel beneath this nice area and got to work on building a mail train route. I was inspired by the Underground Railroad. It was during the American Civil War, and Harriet Tubman used the Underground Railroad to help slaves escape from their masters and ensure their freedom."
"Wow," said an astonished Sonic, "You must have studied quite a lot on trains."
"Hehe! Yeah!" chuckled Tails.
Just then, the two heard the sound of a miniature train whistle, and Tails immediately knew what it was.
"And here comes my Flying Scotsman now!" said Tails happily, and the two brothers got off the couch and ran over to the counter between the living room and the kitchen.
The duo watched as two holes in the wall opened, and the center piece of the counter lowered itself and rose back up a moment later with a miniature railroad track and a station. Less than two seconds later, Flying Scotsman came puffing out of the tunnel in the wall and gradually slowed to a stop at the station. Behind it was a long flatbed with Tails' mail on it, along with a caboose.
"Always right on time with the mail, Flying Scotsman!" beamed Tails as he took the mail from the flatbed, "Carry on, little one!"
Flying Scotsman whistled in response just as the station's light turned from red to green, and a few seconds later the mail train rounded the hairpin bend and puffed into the second tunnel in the wall. Once the train was gone, the tunnel holes closed, and the counter lowered and rose again, looking completely normal again.
"You never cease to amaze me, Tails!" chuckled Sonic.
"Thanks, Sonic!" giggled Tails, blushing a little, "That means so much coming from my big bro!"
"Oh, Tails, my little bro!" beamed Sonic, giving the fox a playful hug and a noogie on his head.
Tails laughed happily before he checked his mail. He received a love letter from Zooey, which made him blush, some recommendations on future town events, and the latest edition of Sidekick Magazine.
"So, Tails, you were saying you made an underground route for that train?" said Sonic.
"Yep," answered Tails, setting his mail on the counter for later, "If the mail comes and I'm in my workshop, the Mail Express will take the underground route to my workshop, and I'll receive my mail there."
"So, ... what exactly happens when the mail goes through the slot on your front door?" asked Sonic, feeling confused.
"After I finished building my underground train loop, I extended the door slot down so that the mail lands on the train's flatbed," explained Tails, "The train will first stop in my living room, but if it detects that I'm not here, then it'll continue on towards my workshop in that long underground tunnel."
"I'm kinda interested to see what you got for your workshop, bud," said Sonic curiously.
"I'll show you," beamed Tails, and he grabbed a recently-read magazine and ran to the front door, with Sonic following close behind.
Once the duo was outside, Tails closed the door and slid the magazine through the mail slot, then he ran towards his workshop with Sonic right behind. The two entered the workshop, and Tails waited patiently for his mail train to arrive.
A moment later, a hole opened in one of the walls, and a model suspension bridge emerged from the floor, stretching from one of the wall desks to the large work table in the center of the workshop.
"Whoa!" said Sonic in amazement, "That's very impressive."
Within seconds, Flying Scotsman emerged from the tunnel with the flatbed containing the magazine Tails had slid through the door slot, and the caboose. The train traveled across the bridge and stopped at another station on the center table. The fox promptly grabbed the magazine, and Flying Scotsman whistled before leaving the station and puffing into a tunnel at another end of the table. This tunnel sloped downward until the train was underground again and on its way back to its stopping point below the house's front door's mail slot. Then, the bridge lowered itself back underneath the floor, and its slot closed, along with the tunnel hole in the wall where the train had emerged from. The tracks on the table also slid back in to make the table look bare once more.
"Miniature railroads," smiled Tails, "Aren't they fascinating?"
"You've sure shown me you're quite a conductor, Tails, if I don't say so myself," joked Sonic.
"Aw, Sonic!" beamed Tails, blushing at his big brother's comment.
"And you built that whole route?" added Sonic.
"Yup!" beamed Tails proudly with a big grin, "I spent a day away from my usual work, and it took me all day to build the whole route, including the stations, the bridge, and the sensors that reveal the tracks when Flying Scotsman approaches them. I will admit, I kinda kept it secret because I wanted to surprise whoever happened to see it in action."
"I was very surprised when it revealed itself to me and Zooey that one morning," said Sonic, "Even now you've surprised me with this amazing train of yours."
"Thanks, Sonic," said Tails.
"I've said before and I'll say it again, my little Tails. You really are ... one real genius," said Sonic with a smile.
Tails blushed and smiled at his big brother's comment, and the hedgehog responded by pulling the fox in for a hug while lifting him off his feet. Tails giggled as he felt his feet no longer touching the ground.
"Wanna go for a ride for old time's sake, little buddy?" offered Sonic as he placed Tails on his back.
"Oh, Sonic!" chuckled Tails, wrapping his arms around Sonic's chest and leaning his head next to his, "We haven't done that for a long time!"
"Well then, hang on tight, Tails!" said Sonic, and with that, the hedgehog left the workshop and journeyed into the forest at supersonic speed, with Tails clinging tightly to his back to enjoy the piggyback ride.
Well, I hope this story gave you winter warmness on this New Year's Day, and I'd like to again give big thanks to grimlock1997 for his contributions to this story!
Until next time, goodnight to all of my loyal fans of the universe, and Happy New Year!