Ok now, I've been give the privilege to post and write/finish the story started by Az-The-Dragon and Nameless Moonshine, they started it and then lost interest with it and passed it on to me.
Tell me what you guys think, I want to hear it all!
Chapter One - Blazing Fire
It was quiet...
Sonic was never a fan of silence; it seemed to weigh down on things, to suffocate the living things to which noise is natural. The nights should have been getting colder, and with the cold, there should've been more bustle in the streets. The recent warm temperatures had disturbed him slightly, and the hero had become restless over the course of the falling darkness.
His shoes made a light pattering noise on the concrete sidewalk, the only sound reaching his ears in the still air. Most of his favorite places were closed at this time of night, so he couldn't stop for any much-wanted nighttime snacking. A rip off if he'd ever experienced one.
A loud explosion, coming from somewhere behind and to his right lost him his concentration on breaking the sound barrier for sheer feel of doing something, causing him to stumble; he caught himself just barely and pivoted back to his feet in a single movement.
"...the hell?!" In a second his destination had been changed and his feet were directed toward a plume of light gray smoke.
The area where the explosion had taken place was an old part of the city, with buildings that were labeled dangerous to collapse at any moment; there was a shriek of victory as what, or better, who had caused it was preparing to leave the place.
Thick, orange flames were eating one of the lowest buildings, this particular one having once been a factory of major importance to the community. As the smoke rose into the sky, something in it, as faint as a shadow in the deepest blackness flew away from the site, leaving the flames do what it was supposed to do itself.
Sonic swerved his last turn easily, sliding a short distance before bolting forward into the dark alleys between him and the smoke. Suddenly, realizing that the path he'd taken was cut off by a dead-end alleyway, a final building standing between him and the smoke's source, Sonic skidded to a dusty stop. The particles of dirt in the air surprised him, and he knelt to inspect the road beneath him.
The concrete was crumbling away, meaning he was indeed in one of the many abandoned sites of the city. He grinned and backed up, ready to try a stunt he'd hesitated using here, thinking these buildings could be someone's home. Now that he was sure they were not, he sped his feet up and dashed up the side of the structure; what little glass left in the windows exploding outward behind him.
The building couldn't take anymore offense from the savage fire and started to slowly collapse.
Someone might have sighed with relief on seeing that it was only one of the old factories in disuse, but if someone had been there before the fire started, he would have seen a small black shape try to take refuge into it from whatever was pursuing it with deadly intention.
"Oh, THIS is just wonderful." Sonic groaned out through clenched teeth. These places always seemed to have horrid accidents. He could probably just leave it here to burn, but for all he knew it wasn't an isolated event. There could be an arsonist anywhere, or somehow the fire could travel onward into the major parts of town. Either way, it had to go.
He was about to turn away and warn the fire department, since he hated fire almost as much as water, but a small movement caught his attention out of the corner of his eye.
Someone trapped in the blaze?
The arsonist himself perhaps, and as justified as it would have been, Sonic couldn't let someone burn alive. Not without a trial anyway...
He searched the roof for a second, before finding a handy sheet of metal. Placing it halfway off the edge, he took a stance on it and shoved away, skidding down the side of the building with a rush of frictional air and sparks.
Like if it was alive, the fire grew in intensity and hotness thanks to whatever the old building contained in its walls; it was almost like if the fire had a will to keep whoever tried to take its victim away from it as the smoke started to envelop the area like a malevolent mist that wanted to conceal the tragedy that was slowly consuming in its heart.
There was a loud cough as the person slowly collapsed, trying hard to not loose the fight and thus loose his life in the process. As much as he tried, however, the fire was too strong, and the figure just remained in a heap of meat that was slowly getting cooked.
Sonic leapt away from his metal ride seconds before it connected with the ground, tucking and rolling before he met with the hard-packed soil himself, jarring at impact. He uncurled and stood to gaze up at the towering wall of flames; realizing that not only did he have no cover to get in there and pull whoever it was out, it had spread too far to give him room to run up the side of the building he come down, plus it blocked any other escape routes.
'I KNEW I should've let him burn.' Sonic sighed inwardly and inhaled deeply, screaming at himself for the crazy act he was about to commit.
'I'm crazy. I've gone insane. Been hanging around Mr. Honorable Knucklehead for FAR too long...but...here goes nothing!'
And with that, he dove into the barrier of flames, hating his good intentions.
The fire wasn't going to give its prey away that easily and it started to eat at the old columns that supported the roof; unfortunately for the angry element, the columns were pretty big and hard to eat away. So, meanwhile it was somewhat focused on them, the fire set up a large curtain of flames around its meal, in a last effort to temporize and have two meals instead of one.
Sonic shuddered in the heat, his fur singed and his senses distorted by the stifling heat. He fell to his knees, eyes blurred and head aching, but pressed himself forward and forced his legs back under him, struggling to see clearly. He couldn't risk running, for fear of missing the victim in the fires. When he found whoever this person was, then and only then, he could get out of here.
What made him turn, he wasn't sure, but he did so, his eyes meeting with a dark shape amidst the flames.
Debris? Or the person in danger?
Not wanting to take any chances, and lose a life or two in the process, he pushed forward and his hand took hold.
The black shape vaguely resembled a hedgehog, but since his quill were all black and gray from the ashes and extremely messy, it was impossible to recognize him.
As a last attempt to fight back the oncoming death, the person twitched before unconsciously coughing up blood.
Yep, definitively the victim.
Sonic wrapper his arms around the limp form, wincing at the contact of burnt flesh with his own fur. The heat radiating off the lifeless mass of fire fodder was unbearable, but Sonic could see the building from here, so, without much more thought, he cradled the figure close and motored his legs straight for his best bet out of this.
What he felt, was just being lifted from the hard ground, being cradled in the arm of someone and then shoot away from the fire at an impressive speed; he was just able to formulate the beginning of a thought of who could be, that he fell back into uneasy consciousness.
Sonic tore out of the fire, incredibly pleased with himself, and up the building's side, grinning in victory as the roaring of the fire was replaced by his own two feet moving rapidly beneath him and the ragged breathing of the half-dead creature in his grasp.
Which brought him back to his current situation: what to do with this... whoever and whatever he or she was. Obviously they were injured, but they were probably also whoever got that nice little blaze started back there.
Roasty, toasty pudding pie and melted marshmallows, though he doubted that the fire had been started for s'mores.
He paused as soon as he reached the opposite side for the building, putting enough space between him and the fire for the moment he felt, and laid the limp creature on the ground before him, brushing at some of the ash and burnt fur, trying to see the extent of the wounds.
The creature coughed up blood again, smearing his muzzle with the red essence; his eyes twitched a little, as if he wanted to get back to reality and just run away from the city to get a hideout in the most receding place of earth and wait till he was fine again, or better, till the Thing was wiped out of the face of the planet.
Sonic wiped the blood away with his glove and peered closer, trying to place the familiarity of the injured form in his current care. He shook it's shoulder as gently as possible, trying to see if he could wake them up. Maybe just get they to say something, or see their eyes, so he could tell who they were.
The chances of him knowing this person were... insanely slim, but he felt something, like deja vu...
The creature was surely a male hedgehog, but his quills and facial features were too deformed from burns, ashes and all to understand who he was. And neither the careful shaking helped as the creature just kept staying in unconsciousness.
Sonic gave a frustrated sigh before gathering the prone figure back up, and making his way back home, planning on calling the fire department when he got there. The thought struck that he should drop this hedgehog off at the local hospital, he needed the attention, but Sonic felt... compelled, almost, to take whoever this was home with him.
'Listen to me, I sound like a little kid. I'll prance up to Tails with this guy and say 'Can I keep him?'.' He rolled his eyes, and unconsciously clutched the injured hedgehog a little closer.
The badly burnt male cuddled up a little in the gentle warm as the wind added cold and more pain on his already battered body; there was another cough, more blood that splattered on the unconscious hedgehog and a pain filled moan.
It was like he was pleading for someone to put him out of his misery with a quick kill.
Sonic looked down at the complaining, unconscious hedgehog with profound concern, but didn't stop until he had reached his hoped to be final destination for the night. A piece of paper on the wooden frame caught his attention as he fumbled with unlocking the door and holding up the hedgehog.
When the click sounded, he shifted the suffering furry into a more comfortable position for them both, and eased inside. The couch was far nearer to the entrance than the bedroom, so Sonic settled for that. Plus there was the fact that the couch was more comfortable than his own hammock, and Tails' cot was off in the workshop buried under gadgets.
The sapphire hedgehog deposited his load onto the sofa as gently as possible and returned to the door, tearing off the note, kicking it closed and turning on his heel to move toward the closest phone and meal, both in the kitchen, as he read.
The note had been written by Tails, and it said that the vulpine would come back in two hours, max three, and that he was out to test a device for planes during night time flies.
Sonic grimaced and crumpled the paper slightly in his fist. So, he couldn't rely on Tails' superior knowledge when it came to wounds, the kit having learned well from when Sonic had stumbled into the workshop from some of his more treacherous 'saving the world' exploits.
He could always call Knuckles, but the echidna would demand a favor in return, most likely something utterly demeaning, and it would take him at least a day to arrive, the Island having floated to practically the other side of the world at this time of year.
Luckily, Sonic still had that First Aid manual and kit, which both Tails and Knuckles had blackmailed, threatened, and practically broken bones to get him to buy. He retrieved it from the top shelf above the fridge and, in an act most honorable he thought, decided to forgot his meal and grabbed the cordless, dialing the fire department.
As it rang, he plopped down in front of his self-appointed change and began flipping through the thick book, searching for the section on burns.
Meanwhile Sonic was concentrated on the book and the phone, the hedgehog laying on the couch coughed up blood once more; it seemed that he had sustained more damage that an arson could do...
The creature twitched and tried to roll over on his side in an attempt to breath better as his own blood was partially suffocating him.
Sonic finally hung up on ring number twelve, his ears picking up the faint ring of sirens in the distance. Guessing that someone else had already reported the fire, he scooted closer to the couch, and, laying the book on the floor nearby, began to follow the instructions in it, starting first with gently, and cautiously, moving the hedgehog more onto his side then he had already shifted, and making sure he didn't curl into a ball and hurt himself.
His gloves were quickly stained with blood, and in the end, he discarded them. Soon he sat back, feeling somewhat relieved and proud, since the injured hedgehog seemed to be breathing much easier, and didn't look quite as pained to him.
As his body felt that it was in a better position to survive, it relaxed and started breathing somewhat normally albeit the occasional cough to free his lungs from the blood. Unfortunately, however, the mysterious hedgehog was far from safety as some large cuts were almost everywhere on his torso, arms and legs.
It seemed like the poor guy went through hell itself, and not just because of that intense fire...
He winced sympathetically as he examined the various incisions crisscrossing the torso of his current patient. Hurriedly checking the content table, he flipped to the correct chapter and dug through the kit to bring out the necessary equipment, such and antiseptic. He knew the devilish stuff far too well, and looked to his charge with pity, before gently bracing him as he got the cloth ready.
"This'll sting..." He warned, though he was rather sure the other couldn't hear him.
Pressing the cloth down onto one of the more prominent gashes, one lining across his chest, he began the difficult task of cleaning the ash and filth from it, as well as dead, burnt fur and skin.
As the cloth passed several time over his chest, slowly but surely a small patch of white fur started to appear. As much as the body that owned it was full of wounds, the white patch was miraculously untouched.
Sonic smiled as some of the fur began to show through the gunk his charge had been covered in. He was a rather quiet patient, much better than Sonic himself, the hero knew. But as he moved onward, through the cloth cleaning and revealing, Sonic started noticing that most of the fur left on the injured body was pitch black, despite the white tuft on his chest.
Moving away from the chest, Sonic traveled to the closest arm, steadily unearthing a brilliant splash of red across the black. By the time he had finished the arm, he was looking at a slashed midnight black limb, streaked with blood red.
'Either he was white or red and got burned this way, or he's got a serious affinity for depressing looks...' Sonic mused, trying to pull the other arm out and away from the shielding torso.
The arm was carefully pried away from underneath the hedgehog's torso, and once into the hands of the other, it's own twitched once or twice, almost as if he was trying to get a sense of what, or who, was moving him around albeit he was plainly unconscious.
Sonic took the hand in his own now bare one, pulling it gingerly out so that he could clean it, finding it to match the other. Placing it back where it hand come from, he finished up with what was left of the cuts and brought out a roll of soft gauze, wrapping it around his patient's outside limbs first, but coming to a halt at the chest, unsure of how to go about dressing the wounds without moving the injured hedgehog and making him uncomfortable.
Feeling that the one that was taking care of him stopped, his body relaxed and tried to move around in search of a better position than the current one.
He felt a little more relieved that the hedgehog was moving himself, and began to use slight nudges and such with his free hand to get the battered body to move how he needed it to so as to get the gauze all around his chest, tight, but not so tight as to cut off his charge's breathing. Finally finished, he placed his supplies back into their place.
With an exhausted sigh, he slumped against the couch, resolving to never become a nurse or doctor of any kind, ever. He cast a tired glance upward to the still sleeping hedgehog, and grumbled softly to himself. With a plan to remain awake until Tails returned from his errand, Sonic never realized he was falling asleep until he was too deep in a dreamless state to rouse himself out of it.
When the black hedgehog opened his eyes, even if barely, he saw a total different surroundings than the one provided by the old factory in flames; the first tough was that he was dead and maybe in heaven, but when he found that his body was covered in bandages and that it hurt like hell, he shoved it away.
Unable to move much, he settled on spying the new room with only his eyes, and caught the sight of a blue hedgehog dozing on the couch at his feet.
Sonic gave a sigh in his slumber, head lolling slightly towards the couch, and his unnoticed watcher. He shifted and for a moment was still, before sliding away from the couch and colliding with the floor, a faint 'thunk' resounding. Instead of awaking however, Sonic rolled over to sleep on his chest, face still toward the couch, and breathing steady.
The black hedgehog watched the other sleeping, and with a mental consent, he drifted back into unconsciousness, grateful to feel less pain than before. The last thing that he noticed was a faint click and a door that was opened.
He growled softly as he was shaken awake, his name urgently repeated as his annoyance demanded he rise. Sonic's eyes blearily opened, and he rubbed at them, glaring up toward his newfound enemy, but instead finding his best friend.
"Finally. You sleep like a rock." The kit stated, as-a-matter-of-fact. Sonic was on his feet almost at once, blurting out the entire story to the small fox, slightly deranged due to the fact that he was still tired, and hadn't tended to his own burns yet. It took the young vulpine a good while to calm his best friend down, and get the entire story.
During Sonic's telling, Tails' busied himself mussing over the injuries Sonic had gotten and forgotten to dress, and the straightening out of the bandages, as well as an added in question here or there to make sure he'd cleaned the wounds as well as possible.
The black hedgehog opened his eyes by a crack as he heard a pair of voices talk near his resting place; he felt so drained of energies that the only task of staying awake was almost impossible; but he was too stubborn to fall back asleep and slowly and quietly glanced at the two people next to him.
"So, you're sure he was the only one in there?"
"The only one I saw, and if I'd stayed any longer, I'd had been served in the bucket with those extra crispy chicken wings you're so fond of." Sonic felt overly grouchy, having been woken up like he was, and pretty much ordered to not go back to sleep until he had been fully inspected and treated.
And even know Tails' had told him that he probably would have to stay up a while longer.
"I only came back to grab a few more supplies, but I have to head right back to the base." The small fox gave a dejected sigh. "They need to pay me more for these late night fixes. I mean, what are they up against?" He ran a gloved hand through his tuff of hair on his forehead and muttered. "This whole world is beyond paranoid."
Not wanting to interact with the two creatures near him, the black hedgehog just limited himself on looking at the blue one, which was almost his look alike.
Sonic complained a little along with his friend, and walked the kit to the door, making him promise to demand higher pay and better hours, as well as to get some sleep. Let alone again, Sonic cast a weary glance toward the sofa, not able to make out much more than the white bandages on the hedgehog there, and held his head.
"Well," He mumbled, "I might as well stand guard on a full stomach." He walked briskly into the kitchen, snatching up the phone as he went, but deciding to leave the kit and manual in case of something, anything happening.
The smell of food coming from the kitchen set the black hedgehog's stomach in motion and he vaguely remembered that the last time he had set food under his teeth was more or less than two days ago. In an effort to reach the food, the injured creature rolled on his belly and tried to push himself up, but ended only in coughing up more blood.
It appeared that his lungs had suffered quite a damage from the last swing from his enemy, and he cursed himself for not being able to move out of the way in time.
Sonic was back in the living room the second the coughing reached his ears, a sandwich and a glass of water in hand; water only because he had discovered they were out of soda. He saw the hedgehog trying to stand, or at least sit up, and the blood he was hacking up and bolted for him, setting the food aside and helping him to sit upright.
"What the hell were you THINKING?!"
With the help of the blue hedgehog, the black creature managed to sit up albeit his discomfort on breathing; with hungry eyes he gazed at the glass of water, but even before he could raise a hand to get it he started coughing again the once again pooling blood in his lungs.
However, he noticed that the quantity of blood coughed up was not that big, so from this he guessed that the internal wound was already healing or that it was rather small.
Flinching at the haggard coughing fit, the sapphire hero set the wounded creature against the couch back, sitting up so he could breathe properly, looking him over in concern. Noticing the hedgehog wasn't looking at him, Sonic's gaze followed that of the hedgehog in his care, and blinked when he realized what he was looking at.
The water sitting on the table nearby...
'Of course.' Sonic could've kicked himself. 'I'd be thirsty too if I was almost cooked alive.'
The black hedgehog tried again to reach the glass of water, but the fact that he was almost unable to stir prevented him from moving even a hand. To say that his body seemed to weigh a ton was saying little; not to say that if he even moved he was going to have another coughing fit with consequential blood spilling.
Sonic sighed and placed a hand against the hedgehog's shoulder, and, with a short command of 'stay', left him just long enough to grasp the glass of clear liquid and bring it close the hedgehog, letting him see it. Though he was fairly sure that was what the injured furry had been trying to get a hold of, Sonic wanted to be certain before he handed him something he didn't want.
The black one nodded slowly and then shakily managed to raise his hands and get the glass of water in his weak grasp. With careful movement, as to not spill precious water around, the hedgehog started to slowly sip the liquid, savoring the fresh sensation that it gave as it went down his throat between the occasional cough.
Sonic kept his hand over the other hedgehog's, holding the glass in his patient's grip as he drank, the hero's other hand still lingering at the furry's shoulder to keep him upright, watching carefully so that the hedgehog wouldn't suddenly start trying to inhale the drink or something and choke, and keeping him from falling or dropping the glass.
Even with the small sips the injured animal was taking, the water didn't last as long as Sonic felt the hedgehog wanted it to. Wordlessly, he took the glass from the dark creature's hands.
The black hedgehog fixed his ruby eyes in the other's green ones and slightly nodded in gratitude for the glass of water; however, he was still far from being satisfied with water. He needed more; his mouth and throat were still somewhat dry.
Sonic looked at the glass for a moment, and then toward the appreciative, yet pleading eyes of his new companion. A small smile twitched in the corner of his muzzle. He didn't think that half full glass would help much. He patted the shoulder in his grasp gently.
"I'll go get you some more if you want, alright?"
The black creature nodded with thankful eyes at him, then leaned on the back of the couch trying to relax despite the pain that the wounds all over his body gave him.
Sonic was as quick as his name practically, going into the kitchen with the glass the moment he was sure the hedgehog could sit well enough by himself. Checking the tap water to make sure it was cool enough, he filled the glass almost all the way and set it aside, filling a kettle as well. Tails had warned him that with the extensive burns and wounds, he shouldn't allow the injured hedgehog to eat foods that were mostly solid, and to stick with soup and grains.
Setting the pot onto the stove and turning the heat on low, he turned back toward the kitchen with the glass of water, feeling somewhat lighter now that the fire victim was awake.
The black hedgehog closed his eyes; his body was not only tormenting him with pain, but it also couldn't decide if it would feel cold or hot... and concentrating to forget about it was out of the question as he was too tired to do that. He just wanted to eat something, drink as much water as he could and then go back to sleep and forget the whole mess he was in.
'Wow, he looks miserable...' Sonic mused absently as he once again aided the hedgehog in drinking down the clear, rejuvenating liquid. He seemed far better already, at least enough so that Sonic could see small flicks of discomfort and something akin to fear.
But what did he have to be afraid of? The fire was gone, and Sonic... well, he didn't plan on doing anything more than helping him drink and keep from losing any more blood for the moment. And perhaps getting some food into him, but the soup wouldn't be ready for a while...
The thought of food brought his gaze over to his own BTL sandwich, minus the bacon, because he hadn't wanted the wait and cook it. His stomach gave a silent rumble, but he resolved to not touch his food until he was sure the patient was comfortable. Or at least as much as he could be.
The black one looked at his improvised caretaker "You... can eat... if..."
His voice came out extremely hoarse and feebler than a whisper and it was interrupted by a few loud and almost uncontrolled coughs.
Again, he felt his own blood in his mouth.
Sonic hurriedly tilted the hedgehog's head forward slightly, setting the glass aside, and cradling the frail form gently. He suddenly felt parental toward the injured furry, and worried.
"You shouldn't try to talk, don't bother with it until your throat's a little better, or at least until you can do it without me having to worry that you'll bleed to death..." As he spoke, he ran his fingers over the hedgehog's back in lulling circles, remembering that Knuckles had once tricked him into sleeping by using this trick.
The black hedgehog relaxed under the caressing of the other furry and leaned into it, barely holding the fit of coughs that were threatening to come back and swallowing the blood that came up them.
Sonic smiled gently as his charge relaxed, rocking the hedgehog as carefully as he could, shifting him so that they would both be slightly more comfortable, moving the injured furry's head onto his own chest so that he could lay back slightly. He'd felt ravenous a second ago, but now he felt only the weighty blanket of slumber pressing down on him.
He leaned back into the couch's soft, overstuffed interior, his smile still making its presence known on his muzzle as his eyelids drifted open and closed. Sonic didn't even happen to notice he was purring, lightly though, and while it wasn't a true purr, it was as close as he could get, a content rumble from the back of his throat.
'I REALLY haven't been sleeping enough as of late,' was his last fully made thought before his eyes drifted closed.
The black one was quite confused abut the behavior of the blue hedgehog, especially the 'purr' that he could faintly hear coming from him; his ear twitched as he felt another faint rumble coming from the kitchen; guessing that it was boiling water, he started to slowly shake the furry that was holding him in his arms.
Sonic's arms, his grasp loosened by his sudden sleeping state, fell away from the hedgehog with much fight. The hedgehog uttered a small moan, but was already caught in sleep, and wouldn't wake soon, unless provoked again. The tan muzzle folded into a thoughtful frown, and the blue ears twitched, but there was not much else in the way of response.
Sighing, the black hedgehog slowly crawled out of the other's embrace and managed to sit up on the couch; he needed food as soon as possible. Two days without it made him want to do even the impossible to get something to eat.
With a deep breath, the dark furry pushed his battered body on a standing position and bit down a fit of coughs. Little by little he managed to reach the kitchen's door and lean on it's frame to take some needed deep breaths.
One of Sonic's ears pivoted to face toward the kitchen, as though it was homing in on the intruder. Sonic was muttering something below his breath, about how he should've done something or some such topic. Most of it was mindless chatter, to be ignored on all occasions, especially when the hero was speaking it in his sleep.
Glancing back at the sleeping hedgehog on the couch, the black creature wobbled to the stove, keeping himself upright by grasping the table or whatever was enough firm to keep him up. Quietly looking around, he noticed an envelope of instant soup on the counter next to the stove.
Sonic, well known for his tendency to roll and squirm in his sleep, tumbled out of his sitting up position and sank into the plush of the sofa with a gentle 'whump' and short exhale. For a moment, his eyes blinked open, but then, with a groan, fell closed.
Not hearing anything but the boiling water and the occasional grumble of his stomach, the black hedgehog poured the instant soup in the kettle and turned the envelope around to read the time needed to cook it.
10 minutes on low fire.
Setting the fire on low, the black creature went to sit on a chair, but ended up coughing up blood halfway to it; slowly, he sank on his knees and started freeing his lungs from the blood that had pooled once again.
He inwardly cursed his conditions and not being able to be independent enough to make a soup.
REVIEW Shadow demands it!