XII.

Sonic had to ask the doctor to repeat what he had said to him, and even as he raced to Amy's room, carelessly pushing past patients, he still could hardly believe his ears and replayed the message over and over again in his head.

"Your wife is bleeding severely. We don't know if she or the baby will make it."

Sonic knew it was too early for Amy to have the baby, but he had not thought for a moment that something like this would happen. Of course, as an expectant father he would naturally have fears of complications in the birth, but he had hoped beyond hope that his fears would never become a reality. He was wrong. He had never been so downtrodden to be wrong in his entire life. Figures passed in a blur; white, grey, there was not much color. All Sonic knew was that he had to get to his wife to make sure that she was all right, which he knew she was far from being.

There was a lot of movement coming in and out of the hallway near where Amy was staying, again, all blurs. A young nurse asked him a question, but Sonic had to ask her to repeat it. Why were his ears ringing?

"I said are you Sonic the Hedgehog?" she asked again patiently. Sonic swallowed and nodded. The nurse took his arm gently and urgently pulled him into a hallway. He could barely grasp what was going on as he was dragged down the dark corridor.

"How is she…?" Sonic's voice was raspy. The nurse did not meet his eyes.

"She is…not doing as well as we had hoped," she said finally as they turned another corner and pushed open a door just as a doctor rushed out of it. "Too much blood for a normal pregnancy, and the baby is coming out crooked. If it doesn't turn in the correct position soon then…" Sonic could understand completely why she did not finish the sentence.

When they had reached the room a few minutes later – or was it hours? – Sonic did not rush in ahead of the nurse. He allowed himself to be dragged into the doorway. His feet were numb, and he felt his heart being squeezed as he hesitantly looked over to the hospital bed to where he knew his wife was lying. Amy did not look like herself. Her hair has straggled out of her ponytail and hung in wet strings over her face, which had drained of all color. She looked absolutely worn out, but the anguish twisting her face made Sonic want to cry out to her. He averted his eyes from the bloodstained sheets and was by her side in one swift movement. He took her hand in his and squeezed, not even sure if she felt it or if she was even aware that he was sitting there. She let out one high-pitched, distressing groan that tugged at Sonic's heartstrings, but he did not look away from her face. Her chest moved up and down rapidly as though she had run a thousand miles. He finally stood up, his jaw set and his face determined, as he turned to the doctor.

"What do you want me to do, doc?" he asked.

It was the longest night of Sonic's life. The doctors had no trouble convincing him to stay by Amy's side and comfort her, which is exactly what he did without complaint.

"Talk soothingly," they advised. "Don't make her stress out more than she already is."

The blue hedgehog averted his eyes from the blood-ridden doctors at the edge of the bed, swallowing a lump in his throat as he did, and brushed the stray hairs out of Amy's face. He squeezed her hand. "Everything's fine, I'm here," he said to her.

It made Sonic's throat go dry the way Amy turned her head and looked at him with her shimmering jade eyes; hanging on to his gaze as if he was going to make everything all right. Sonic blinked back tears. He had never really remembered crying before; he just was not that emotional. But Amy's life was slipping, he knew. He could not let this happen again. She had to be all right. She just had to. For him. For the child.

Suddenly, the pink hedgehog wrenched her gaze from Sonic's face and let out a bone-chilling cry, hot tears streaming down her face.

"The baby needs to come out with it's head first!" someone screamed. "It cannot come out crooked!"

A fire was burning in Amy's eyes that Sonic had never seen before. As fatigued as she was, she squeezed her husband's hand so it lost circulation. She turned her face towards his and stared at him, piercing daggers into his orbs.

"Sonic…" she whispered.

"Push, Miss Amy!"

"Yes, Amy?" his voice was unnaturally calm.

"Can you hear me, Miss Amy? Once more!"

"Amy!"

Amy squeezed her eyes shut, summoned all of her strength, and gave one final try. Sonic had no idea that tears were pouring from his eyes until one fell in his open mouth. He clenched his teeth.

"Please!"

And then…

A high sound echoed in the silence. A baby cry. A beautiful sound.

"A girl," the doctor said calmly. There was a smile in his voice as he carried a bloody, furry bundle over to a table, with three or four nurses assisting him. Other men and women in white coats hurried over to clean up the mess and to check on Amy. She had her eyes shut. Sonic's heart stopped beating. Had he not noticed…? Had she…?

He touched her face.

"The baby is healthy," a nurse said to Sonic, having trouble suppressing a smile. "She's beautiful."

"But…Amy…" Sonic's vision had gone out of focus again. Was he really crying again?

"I want to hold my baby."

Sonic nearly jumped out of his skin. Amy's eyes were wide open; showing more vigor than Sonic had ever seen anyone have. In a few moments, the doctor came over, handing a bundle of blankets to the new mother. Amy took the delivery carefully and stared into the bundle for the longest time. There was no sound but the heavy breathing of the mother. A faint smile suddenly twitched at Amy's lips and a few crystal droplets escaped her eyes. She finally noticed Sonic gaping at her and nodded, reading his mind. The blue hedgehog reached out his shaking hands and took the blankets afraid he might drop them.

A girl. Sonic's mind was blank. There was white all around except for the blue of his fur and the pink of the little child's in front of him. She had his shade of green eyes and Amy's pink fur. She had angel hair: wispy and curly. Her button nose made him smile, and when she sneezed he thought he would never stop laughing. The baby did not cry, she only looked on him with wonder shining in her emerald eyes. Sonic sat down next to Amy and kissed her forehead softly.

"You were amazing," he said to her. Amy just sighed.

…..

"So, what have you guys been up to lately?"

Amy poured Rouge some more tea and sat down next to her friend, popping a piece of popcorn into her mouth and chewing, darting her eyes to the playpen a few feet away where the girls were lying on their backs and picking up blocks, studying them carefully. Amy smiled slightly.

"Oh, not much," Rouge replied, sipping her tea and turning in her chair to watch her daughter play with Rosie. "Maddie's already chewing on just about everything she…Maddie! No!" Rouge jumped up from her chair with the speed and agility of someone half her age, reached into the playpen, and yanked something small from the little white bat's mouth. Little Madison looked startled for a moment before bursting out in tears. Rouge rolled her eyes. "Oh for…" she scooped up the little bat and patted her back. "Honestly," she said. "All she does is cry, and the next minute, she's perfectly…"

Maddie stopped crying.

"…fine," Rouge finished. Amy laughed and picked up her own little hedgehog, wiping Rosie's mouth with a napkin before joining her friend at the table again. She bounced the curly-haired girl on her knee and added some sugar to her tea.

"Seriously, I think I'm just getting fatter every day," Rouge pouted and looked herself over. "I swear I've gained like two pounds this week."

Amy shook her head. "No way. You look fine, Rouge. I'm the one who out on a ton of extra weight. I just can't seem to get rid of it!"

Rouge nodded vigorously.

"How's Knuckles doing?"

Rouge laughed and pulled a pacifier from her pocket and stuffed it into her daughter's mouth. Madison chewed contentedly.

"You would think he just gave birth," she said, reaching for the cinnamon pop-tarts and biting into one. "I'm serious, he's still in shock, even though his kid's three months old now. But Maddie loves her daddy, don't you, pumpkin?" Rouge nuzzled her daughter's nose. Maddie gurgled.

"Same with Sonic," Amy said, trying to get little Rose to eat some applesauce but to no avail. She put the spoon down, but Rosie reached for it at once, and Amy was forced to pick it up again. "He loves his daughter, though. It's adorable to see them playing together. She knows who he is, too!" she added excitedly. Rouge cocked her head.

"She knows who he is? Of course she does, he's her dad."

Amy stirred her tea thoughtfully. "I know, but…it's just exciting."

Rouge shrugged and pulled out Maddie's pacifier and tried to feed her daughter some mushy peas. Maddie took one bite, then stuffed the head of the spoon in her mouth and refused to let go. Rouge did not even attempt to try anymore. She sighed and looked out the window at the rain pattering against the windowpanes.

"I can't wait for Mel to come visit," she said. "I know he's busy and everything, but the girls need to see their godfather sometime, you know?"

"Yeah…" Amy met her friend's eyes, and they seemed to exchange a thousand words in that one glance. The months of pregnancy together, the talks of encouragement and complaining and eating, the childbearing on the same day, sharing hopes and fears, and finally, days like this where they could sympathize and watch their kids together, simply sipping tea like their problems were only little insignificant specs in the universe. So much had happened in such a short amount of time, and Amy could not have hoped for a better ending.

Finally, little Maddie interrupted the quiet moment with an impatient groan, snapping Rouge out of her trance. Rouge stood up.

"She's fussy," she said, motioning to her daughter. "I'd better get her home and to bed. But you know what…" Amy stood and listened. "It is so nice not to be nauseous all the time."

Amy could not help but agree.

"Come by tomorrow – we'll order pizza and the girls can watch VeggieTales," Amy called after her friend, who was sprinting to her car through the rain.

"I miss that show!" the bat replied before waving and getting into her car, turning the corner, and disappearing down the street. Amy closed the door.

Little Rose tugged on Amy's hair and whimpered softly.

"Time for bed," Amy said automatically.

As she tucked the little, fragile hedgehog into her crib and kissed her on the nose, she could not help but suppress a smile when she imagined Sonic coming through the door and bursting into his goofy grin when she showed him the adorable picture she had taken that morning of Rose fast asleep on the floor.

Amy sat by the door and waited.

The End.

AUTHOR'S NOTE

Ta daaa! And there it is! The big finale! Thank you everyone for sticking with the series this far and for all the encouragement whenever I was in a slump! This chapter took a while because I wanted it to be perfect for you guys, so sorry for the wait! Thank you for sticking with the hedgehogs until the end!

Truly,

Elizabeth Black

P.S. I am working on a picture of this last scene with Rouge and Amy chatting and sipping tea, but it might not be up for a week or two because I will be on vacation. So every so often, just look for ElizabethxBlack on deviantart .com

P.P.S. Check out the other stories I am working on! It would mean a lot!