This idea came to me when I was writing something on my profile. It's gone now, but that's where I got the idea from. This is just a short one-shot. Probably a bit out of character, I know, but... yeah. I didn't really try that hard with this story, so it isn't particularly good, and probably quite appauling compared to my others (I'll let you be the judge of that).

By the way, Tails is actually phasmaphobic (fear of ghosts), I didn't come up with this for the sake of irony or anything, it's an actual, if very little known, fact. It's only actually evident in one episode of SatAM, somewhere in Sonic Heroes and near the start of Sonic Unleashed. Probably more times as well, I'm not sure.

Disclaimer: Seeing as this is 'fan-fiction' it is owned by a 'fan' which means it's not owned by the people that make the franchise, meaning the characters belong to them and not the author of the fan-fiction. Sorry for spoiling your hopes and dreams by pointing out the blatant obvious. :P

Internet ghost

He didn't want to do this. But Sonic had somehow convinced him to. But he didn't feel it right. Was it really okay to move on so swiftly? Sure, it had been a few months now, but he didn't feel as if finding someone else to love would ease the pain. He had barely got over Cosmo, after finally pulling himself out of a depressive state. Now, love seemed an even touchier subject than ever. Still, it was worth a try. Maybe he could turn it into a joke and really annoy someone. It would get him banned, most likely, but at the very least, he would enjoy himself. And have a reason to not meet anyone in person.

He logged on to the dating website Sonic had been so kind as to find for him. The left side was blue, the right in pink and the middle was a light purple. He presumed the purple part was the fusion of the two colours, trying to give the impression of the two genders coming together. Tails groaned. Already, he was beginning to hate this, and he hadn't even tried anything. He looked through his profile that, again, Sonic had taken the liberty of writing. It said that his interests were, typically, mechanics. The blue hedgehog had described him as 'a lovable, two-tailed fox that can make anything he set his mind to and that the things he could make would make anyone rich'. Tails gaped at this sentence. He had not once sold an invention since he had met Sonic. He wasn't about to start now because of Sonic's ideas.

Browsing through the rest of his profile, he had only come across a few things that were actually true. His ability to fly both himself and planes, his aforementioned mechanical genius and his dislikes. There was Eggman (no surprises there, who does like him? Tails had thought) and his phobias. One was brontophobia, a fear of thunder, which Tails never could understand where the name derived from. And also, phasmophobia, the fear of ghosts. This lesser known fact was what annoyed Tails the most out of this, if there was a bit that didn't annoy him anyway. It was like Sonic was giving out information about him like there was no tomorrow. This was his privacy, and Sonic had senselessly put it on the internet. Who does he think he is?! Tails thought to himself as he sat upright, beginning to remove what he didn't want people to see.

After deleting countless amounts of information and finally being happy with what was left, Tails was now stumped as to what to do next. Was he meant to browse, or wait for someone or... what? He couldn't decide.

A ting sound came abruptly from the speakers, followed by a message that came up on screen. Catching the kit's attention, he clicked the envelope icon and viewed the message. It said:

Hey, I read your profile and you seem like the right kind of guy to me. I think you look cute too and I want to get to know you more. Okay if I talk to you?

Tails shifted in position. The thought of ticking off someone on the internet was now easier said than done now that he was left in this situation. He looked at the person's user name, but all it said was Fall. Confused and suddenly curious, Tails wrote a message back saying 'sure.'

Now in a conversation with this mysterious Fall character, Tails was now scrambling all of his brain cells to make sure he said the right words instead of going into techno-babble.
'Hi' said the person he was talking to on the instant messaging system the website had going. 'Hi' Tails typed back. 'What's your name?' He added. But the reply was 'I won't tell you... yet. :)' Tails, confused, tried to figure out what the last part meant. What...? he thought to himself. Thinking that a colon followed by a closed bracket wasn't accepted in the rules of grammar, it made him wonder whether this person's intellect was tolerable. So, instead of inquiring about the confusing grammar error in case he ended up offending her, he responded with 'so what do you like doing?'

The chat went on for half an hour. Tails had gotten to know this Fall person very well. He had discovered that she liked star gazing and became an orphan at a young age. She was confident too and didn't seem to be too afraid to express her feelings. It made Tails oddly comfortable with converging with his own thoughts and feelings and soon he was having a civilised conversation as if they had been friends for years. He was much more light-hearted about this now. Even though he had no intentions of having a serious relationship, it was always nice to have a friend like this one.
'Where do you live?' the girl asked. Tails thought about this for a moment. Remembering what he had deleted when first logging on flashed in his mind. He wondered whether it would be okay to tell her where he lived, or was that information too personal? So he responded 'I'm not sure if I should tell you.'

He waited for a few moments for a response. Then 'why?' came up on screen.
'I don't think I should be giving it out on the internet just yet.'
'Okay :(' came up on the screen. Again, with the colon-bracket thing, Tails thought to himself. What does – oh! It suddenly sprung to him what the grammar error was as he tilted his head to one side. It's a face! The first one must have been a smiley one because this one is a sad one! Now I get it!

After the short revelation was over, he then turned his attention to the disappointment in the other person. He flexed his fingers, trying to think of what to say. But then, surprisingly, another message came up. 'I think I've met you before. You sound like someone I knew once.' Tails, completely bewildered by this statement, wrote 'what do you mean?'
'I mean that you seem a lot like someone I once knew. He was a really good friend of mine.' The young kit pondered for a few moments, thinking this over. Then he wrote back 'what was his name?'. But the response he received was 'I don't think I should tell you.'
'Why?' The question remained on the screen for a good ten seconds as he waited for a response. He began to doubt that he had said the right thing and started to twist his tails around each other as he started to become anxious.

But then 'I think it'll upset you.' Rather than helping however, he just became more anxious. Now unsettled and determined to get the answer, Tails said 'I promise it won't. Please tell me. That's if you want to anyway, if you don't want to tell me for a different reason, then you don't have to, but if it's only because you think it'll upset me, then please just tell me.' He hoped he had said the right thing. If he spoiled it now, that would be another person he had deeply upset and he couldn't do that. To anyone. He never had been able to.
'Okay,' the person wrote. 'That person was you. And it's me. Cosmo.'

Tails stared at the screen for a few seconds, eyes wide. How... how can... that be possible? Images of Cosmo started to blast through his mind at intense speeds. His mistake of almost saying that Cosmo was beautiful before embarrassment had quickly overwhelmed him, save only for the fact that Cosmo had thought he had said the stars. But the most striking image was pressing that red button on the controller, which had pen-ultimately ended Cosmo. But here she was, just as lively as he remembered, on a – wait? Dating website?

So he wrote 'Wait, if you're Cosmo, then what are you doing on a dating website for Mobius?'
'I found out that Sonic had talked you into going onto this so I decided that, maybe, I could come back as a ghost and talk to you again.' At the word 'ghost' Tails clutched to his desk. Now, not only was he talking to someone presumed dead by his own hands, but now also knowing that the same person was an internet surfing ghost. Trying to keep his calm, he wrote 'I'm glad you did that Cosmo. It's brilliant to be talking to you again!' Before pressing enter, he added the smiley face onto the end of the comment. He thought he was catching on to this internet language now. She responded with a 'lol, I'm glad to be talking to you too!' Never mind Tails thought as he tried to figure out what the first word meant. Too embarrassed to ask, he untwisted his tails, sat back and relaxed a little. Cosmo... good to see you again. The image of Cosmo walking beside him as white as his chest suddenly made him jolt. No matter what she was or who she was, he would never be able to get used to the fact that she was, in the end, a ghost.