I've been wanting to do a story based on this particular subject for a long time and eventually, I got to it. I've been at this story for a while now (since just before Christmas in fact!).
I really hope this story gives the effect I've been trying to create as I've spent many hours studying this particular style in the hopes I can pick up on the knack. Hope I succeeded :D And as always, read, review and enjoy :)
Disclaimer: Why we need this I don't know, but it makes Sega happy (I think) so... Anyway, neither Tails or Sonic belong to me, nor anyone else in the franchise. (I'll be really annoyed if it turns out this isn't needed.)
Long Forgotten Scars
If the dull skies wasn't rubbing it in enough, the already heart-fallen, yellow-furred fox felt rather under the weather. For days, months even, maybe even the whole year, he had felt like this, and for good reason too. And not because he was just suffering some odd depressive state or illness – not the case in the slightest. He was perfectly fine, both mentally and physically, if a second tail didn't count.
As he walked along the pavement towards the crossing at the front of the school gates, he watched as families waved and kissed their children good bye. He watched as some of the older children that were trusted by their parents enough to walk to school by themselves. Walking in groups with friends that they met with on their way there, sharing stories and the like.
Of course, he had neither. No one to wave him good bye, no one to wish him a nice day, no one to talk to on the journey to and from home, no one to even look at in the eye without having a sense of fear that the eye contact meant something sinister, something foreboding, something unwanted. The orphanage he lived in expected the children to arrive by their own means (with one or two exceptions of the delinquents). It was a poor system he lived in, but he had no other choice. His voice was never heard, no matter how loud he screamed, not ever.
But why was it like this? Why was it, every time he enters a crowd, he's singled out? Singled out as if – well, he knew the answer. Because he was different. In a good way though, surely? Really, he was the same, just as ordinary as any. It was just because he knew more than most and had one extra appendage that made him stick out. If anything, it should be him as the superior one – he could perform feats that no one else even dared to attempt. He could do things in hours that most adults spent days, even weeks, bustling over. He had out-witted the vast majority of students and managed to dodge physical contact with ease because of his second tail. He could take to the skies whenever he liked. There was nothing wrong with that?!
And why did his attributes seem "out of the norm"? Fair enough, two tails was an oddity – but his high level of intelligence was a different matter. They were both useful, and both of them was something most of them didn't have at all - although, that thought he kept hidden away. Telling classmates they had little or no intelligence couldn't be a good move, especially when most were twice his size or obsessed with becoming the strongest. Everyone is different in his eyes in their own ways, and, to the fox, there was no real definition to the word 'normal person' because they differed so much. Some had physical restraints; fears of things that seemed ridiculous to most – the list goes on. But because his was unique, a 'one-off', he was treated like something unpleasant on the bottom of somebody's shoe.
Still, life was life and pretty soon he would be out of here and joining the ranks of the rich and wealthy, away from the children around him at the school and Orphanage (who treated him just the same).
He rounded onto the road, across the zebra crossing and straight through the large metal gates, quickly becoming intertwined with the other students around him. It would become very easy to get lost in this crowd if someone was hunting for you, no matter what you had, and Tails had quickly taken this to his advantage. And if the unlikely event that his disappearing act failed, he could simply take to the skies and hide elsewhere, although he hadn't needed this tactic thus far. He didn't want to test it either because of the consequences it might possible hold for himself – flying wasn't against the school rules, but he doubted the teachers would agree with him nonetheless.
He shrugged his shoulders sharply, thrusting his rucksack upwards and adjusting the straps slightly to make it more comfortable. Keeping both tails pressed to his back so no one trod on them, he weaved through the students around him and headed towards his classroom. He turned a corner onto the courtyard, where the other children stayed in larger groups, talking about recent events. Ignoring the gatherings, he navigated around each of them, heading across to the other side of the courtyard, avoiding knocking into anyone. He was just about to round the second corner and -
BANG! A solid object collided heavily with the side of his head, knocking him to the ground, landing on his right shoulder and sprawling his body across the floor. Momentarily stunned, Tails quickly opened his eyes to see a few people watching and someone rushing forwards. A ball rolled away from him, no doubt the culprit of the sudden attack.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, I didn't -" began somebody, a blue hawk, who was now helping him up, no doubt the one who had caused the accident. Miles brushed himself off and looked up at the other student. "Oh," the hawk then said, changing tone from a concerned one to one of disgust, even adding a look that was meant to make Miles feel like filth. "It's you," he simply said, in the same tone. And at that, he turned on his heel, picked up the ball and headed back over to where he came from without another word.
Miles blinked, left absolutely incredulous. How could somebody accidentally knock someone else to the ground, come half way through an apology and suddenly walk off? What was even worse was the tone and the glare that he was given. At that moment, the only sense he could believe was touch as the throbbing pain was still pounding on him. All others had abandoned him as he tried to find the answer as to why he was given this kind of behaviour – yet again. I better get outta here, before I attract too much attention, and at the thought he dashed to his right where the corner was, towards his awaiting class.
The one he dreaded most.
"Eric," the teacher called in his usual gruff voice, reading out the register. Eric, a brown wolf, answered back with a simple grunting "yuh." He was sat with his usual group, chatting annoyingly loud, giving no heed to the teacher's pleas of silence.
"Miles," he then called, not looking up from his registry book.
"Yes sir," Miles called back, not looking up from the picture he was drawing. At a first glance, one would think that this drawing was just a doodle, a page full of senseless lines and numbers, not something that had any meaning. But if a closer look was given, then it would be realised that the drawing was detailed. It was accurate; it was precise; there were measurements and everything and it made sense to him and him alone.
And it was a plane. A biplane. A biplane that he hoped he could one day construct and fly around the whole of Mobius, going anywhere he wanted to without a care, getting away from those surrounding him at that moment without looking back, other than to watch them bite his dust. He knew he had the knowledge and the skill to create something so complex, but it was acquiring what he needed that was the problem. He had been slowly working towards this, but it would be a long time before he was even close to completion. If only there was a way to speed things up, he had thought sadly to himself many times, sighing once more. The plane would have to wait. But the waiting was making Miles impatient.
For now, the people around him would have to stay there, with no dust biting whatsoever. Instead, he would be forced to occupy an isolated corner as always.
He felt something lightly tap the side of his head, right where it was still giving an occasional dull thud from the ball earlier that day. He blinked at the surprising touch and looked down at what had caused it - and he found a scrunched up paper ball. He looked to his right to find out who threw it. Eric sat there, snickering, looking in the opposite direction, as were his friends that surrounded him. Eric suddenly turned towards Miles and, after 'accidentally' catching the fox's eye, mouthed 'what?' and looked away. Miles rolled his eyes. He couldn't understand why they found throwing scrunched up paper at people was so funny. He couldn't understand why they pretended it wasn't them, even though the way they went about it was so over-exaggerated that it couldn't be plainer on who the perpetrator was.
Miles, ignoring the rude interruption, continued to draw his biplane, the 'Tornado' he called it, ignoring what was around him. He heard his name mentioned somewhere in the distance. But it wasn't Miles. It was something that everyone else knew him by. What was said was what caught his attention. He didn't catch it word for word, but he heard the words "the two-tailed freak, why can't he do us a favour and get outta here". The words, sounded so far away - yet so close - seemed to echo. Every word, every syllable, reverberating across his body. Although it didn't look like it bothered him on the outside, yet another scar was forming up in his heart. Today had only started and Miles' sporadic imagination was already coming up with depressing images – certainly not a good day for him.
After they had been dismissed, they headed off to their next lesson: science. It was a simple case of moving form one building to another, but even that proved a daunting task for the young fox. Not physically though. As he crossed the courtyard to the other side of the school, he was met with several dirty looks, murmurs with his name mentioned within them and yet another projectile. Eager to get away from all of this attention, he slipped through the double doors and up a flight of stairs, once again becoming engulfed in the swarms around him and almost becoming invisible. Miles then turned left, headed to the other end of the corridor and waited at the bottom, next a blue door, where his classroom was. He stood patiently waiting for his teacher, watching the world go by him. When he was at this end of the corridor, it was like he was in a blank space. It was almost as if no one could see him as they walked straight passed him, without double taking. Here, he was completely isolated, in a positive aspect. No volatile objects, no names, no staring, no nothing. Just complete, wanted loneliness.
For a short period of time, at least.
Miles felt his heart drop slightly as he watched his peers begin to approach him. He glanced to his side, hoping that the door had opened up, but it remained shut. His ears drooped ever so slightly as he turned to face Eric striding towards him, with his usual posse, composed of Sam, a deep red Gecko with his usual serious expression that never seemed to shift; Ryan, a tall jet black mouse; and Sarah, a much smaller cream-coloured cat in a light blue dress, who was always fidgety and quiet and never really seemed to be able to look Miles in the eye. Miles felt himself unconsciously back up against the wall as Eric approached him with a sneer.
"So," Eric said with his evil grin. "You gonna do that thing for us then?" Miles just looked away quite lazily, pretending the wolf didn't exist. "Hey!" The wolf shouted. "Look at me when I'm talking to you!" Grabbing Miles by the chin and rotating his head, he forced the kit to look him in the eyes – trying to tell him he meant business. Miles just glared at him, emotionless, not shifting his eyes even slightly and trying not to blink, keeping eye contact for as long as he could. There was no chance he was going to give this wolf any form of satisfaction. His stone cold expression just stared back at Eric, unmoving. It was ironic that Eric was actually slightly shorter than Miles, but the wolf clearly failed to acknowledge it. He was physically stronger than the fox, so challenging him would not be a wise decision, despite Miles bested him in most other aspects. No resistance was given from Miles – he didn't want the attention seeking wolf to feel like he had any form of power over him.
It was but a few tense moments, but Eric eventually averted his hazel eyes elsewhere and let out a short laugh. Letting go of Miles' chin, he wandered through the door that had just been opened by the occupying teacher. Miles waited a few seconds, waiting until the rest of Eric's group had entered before entering himself.
The 'thing' Eric wanted him to do was that day's experiment. Because the wolf was too lazy, he had 'asked' Miles to carry out the experiment for him. Miles had never actually agreed to this and no threats had really been made, so Miles felt no real reason to actually do the wolf's work for him. Besides, they weren't in the same group, so how could he possibly do it?
The class split up into their usual groups, Tails once again staying on his own. But this wasn't a case of isolation from everyone else towards him – actually, completely the opposite. That's how he preferred things. On his own. He was normally ridiculed when he was in a group, and they always seemed to get in the way as they just sat by, talking amongst themselves and leaving him to do the work. So he had taken it upon himself to always be by himself unless it was absolutely necessary he was in a group. Miles heard his name called from the direction of Eric and the others, but he glanced it off. Instead, he carried on with what he was doing.
The teacher let the class go as the lesson drew to a close and the students dashed off to their next lesson, Miles attempting to leave sooner than everyone else to escape the group that would no doubt be hunting him down right about now.
So it came to the next lesson. Physical Education. Once again, Miles was picked last out of the group. And once again he was left on the sidelines. And once again he had nothing to do. Once again, he watched as a ball was kicked about from one side of the pitch to the other.
He didn't really mind sitting here – in fact, he enjoyed the solitude. Left to float around in his own world and pretend to take notice of what was going on, it was almost Miles' favourite time of the school day, since he was never actually required to do anything. The teachers knew full well he lacked in physical prowess and never shown any interest in any sport presented, so they let him be. The students, being who they were, never asked him to do anything, regardless of their situations.
Miles' head, although metaphorically elsewhere, idly followed the black and white ball as it was kicked from one side to the other of the artificial grass. A place of solitude, of rest, of thought, of complete relaxation. This was what this seat was to him. Not one of isolation or derision.
His pencil was held limply between his fingers, with only just enough grip to stop it from falling to the floor. Miles rarely put his trusty writing tool away, keeping it on hand at all time (normally in the sleeve of his glove) incase a useful idea came to him, so he could quickly put it down on a piece of paper before he forgot, which had become a tendency seeing how active his mind already was.
The class returned to the changing rooms where the students changed out of their sporting gear before heading out for the usual break time. Miles headed to his normal secluded spot in the library where he was given freedom to think. There were no distractions as no one ever followed him here. Being a library, it was quiet, so he could think. And since there was not many people there, there was no one looking over his shoulder (and stealing his work) and making him discomforted with remarks and the like. There was no other place for him anyway – outside, he would only get more projectiles in his face (not of the paper kind and most certainly not accidental).
Of course, break was only a short fifteen minute event, so when the bell rang, Miles begrudgingly picked up his belongings and headed to his next lesson.
And thus, it came to yet another lesson: English. It was a subject that bored Miles substantially. Although he was quite intrigued by some of the works they had studied and analysed, the majority of these novels held no slimmer of thrill to the kit. He supposed it had something to do with the modern day's literature, but the thought of talking about a play written several hundred years ago had quickly become unbearable to him, almost driving him to the point of falling asleep with his eyes open. He had taken the subject only to a semi-interest – being interested enough to want to excel in the subject for the extra grades, but dreading the times when he picked up the age-old scripts.
Miles was sat at his desk, writing down notes and quotes and explaining why this worked and how this was significant to the storyline and so many other things that would bump him up a mark or two.
A soft tap met the side of his head once again. The third time this lesson, he glanced it off, knowing it was yet another paper ball from Eric, situated directly behind him. He needn't check the projectile – the previous two incidents were enough to tell him what it was by now. The teacher, reading out in his monotonic voice, was completely
oblivious to the scene.
Once again, the kit continued with interpreting the text in front of him, ignoring the delinquent behind him. However, he could not help but notice his pencil was quivering slightly in his grip. Glancing it off as just being a case of the cold (considering the room had no heating whatsoever and the chilly winds outside was seeping in through a window that wouldn't shut), he continued to write without delay. The tapping of paper balls continued throughout the lesson and, although it didn't distract him entirely, it became steadily more annoying and eventually caused him to make constant scribbles as he tried to correct mistakes.
Then, it came to the fourth lesson of the day: yet another lesson of Science. It was the only day where any lesson was repeated throughout the week, but it bugged everyone that they had to 'suffer' the same thing twice without sleep in between. Still, it was seen as a 'oh, it's only once a week' thing and the students had quickly, although begrudgingly, learned to deal with it. So this second lesson was spent doing the theory side of the practical work from earlier.
Miles, as usual, had secluded himself from the main group.
"Psst," someone whispered to him in his ear. Miles turned behind him to find himself face-to-face with Eric. Once again. "What's the answer to this one?"
Miles groaned and closed his eyes in frustration. This was the umpteenth time the Wolf had asked him this question. "You should'a paid attention this morning, it was right in front of you!" Miles whispered, snarling. "It's not even a hard question!" Idiot he added to himself.
Miles turned his tails to face Eric and continued with his work, hopefully undisturbed this time. The wolf glared at the swishing appendages, wanting to grab and twist them together, cause an excruciating amount of pain to the fox. Turning back to his paper sourly, he pretended to try to figure out the question by himself, but in actual fact he was deciding on a way to entertain himself. But he was tempted to throw his pen down and blank out refuse to do the work – despite being warned at the start of the lesson. So he decided he would look interested, but in actual fact be concentrated on something that 'fitted his needs'. And his target was sat in front of him, idly swishing two tails.
"Twerp," he muttered in Miles' direction. The fox ignored the feeble comment, wondering if the wolf could come up with something more constructive. "You're not wanted here, ya two-tailed freak!" The wolf muttered yet again with much more aggression in his voice. Miles was doing the tactic (that he thought was a tried and failed way of dealing with this) of 'ignore them and they'll get bored'. So Miles did just that – blocked out the annoying voice from behind. "You're worthless! Nobody wants you here, can't ya see that?!" Miles' grip started to tense slightly on his pencil, but he continued to try to keep focused on his work. "Just run away and go back to that little orphanage of yours, back into your little room. Just crawl in a corner and never come back!" Miles gritted his teeth, his hands becoming unsteady, but still concentrating on his work. The years of torment were slowly creeping into his mind, showing him everything that Eric had done to him. "You're worthless!" Eric was now muttering his words in a growl, grinning as he did so. "You're just a freak o' nature! You've got a freaky name and two freaky tails! No one likes anything about you!" Miles' clutch continued to tighten on his pencil, the wood bending slightly under the pressure, his teeth gritted against each other.
But he wasn't going to react. He mustn't react.
"Go home, will ya?! Go back home and cry to someone who cares! Go home and cry to mommy!" Miles' grip on the pencil was now at a point where it was impossible to control the tool. His teeth gritted against one another, it was beginning to hurt his jaw.
"Oh wait... You don't have one, do ya?! So I guess no one cares!"
Snap! Miles' pencil snapped clean in two, the graphite splintering on his paper. At the same time the fox spun around on his stool to face the wolf, using his tails for extra momentum. In one swift movement he placed on foot on a foot rest welded to the stool legs and the other on the table. His fists clenched, his pencil abandoned, teeth bared, fists clenched -
His whole body shaking with wild anger. The anger that had been bottled up for so many years, the anger that he had kept control of until that very moment, all unleashing itself now.
All of it on Eric.
Every little ounce of it, all of the rage that Miles had kept within himself, now all unleashing itself on an unsuspecting wolf.
As Miles launched himself over Eric's table, in that one split second, Eric seen the emotions the fox was showing. The unrelenting fire in his eyes, the thousands of scars now showing their colours. As the enraged kit was about to strike Eric's eye with his raised fist, all the wolf could think was "what have I done?".
And Miles echoed the thought in his own head.
Rubbing a black eye, Miles stood in front of the head teacher of the school, a tall monkey by the name of Mr. Price. The fox waited impatiently, a dark glare upon his face, focused at the teacher as Miles watched with increasing annoyance of the monkey pacing up and down the small office. The motion was making the angered fox all the more irritated – not helping his mood in the slightest.
"So," Price finally began after much pondering. "Why did you do it?"
"Do you think I need to explain why?" Miles retorted immediately and bitterly, holding his gaze. Price looked at him with his body still facing the window.
"You attacked a classmate for absolutely no reason whatso-"
"NO REASON?!" Miles intervened at the top of his lungs, his fists clenching tightly. "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT HE'S DONE TO ME?!"
"There's no need to shout Miles."
"No need to shout?!" the fox scoffed. "No, of course there isn't! There's no need to get rid of my anger, is there? No need to express my feelings to you all. No need to tell you what's been happening, 'cause it'll all just blow over if I ignore it." Miles gave him a very sarcastic smile. Who does he think he is? Miles wondered.
"Listen Miles, we're doing everything we can to sort this prob – don't you roll your eyes at me!" Price said, disgusted at the fox's latest action.
"I rolled my eyes because this 'problem' should have been resolved when this all started five years ago." Miles glared at the monkey intently, refusing to blink, trying to vent his excess anger before something other than a pencil was broken.
"And you're trying to resolve it now? When it's too late to do anything" When the damage was dealt long before now?"
"What damage?" Price asked. "Have you ever heard the phrase 'sticks and stones may break my bones-'"
"But words can never hurt me," Miles finished. "I've heard it a thousand times already and it's all a complete lie! All of it! Words can get where no stick or stone can ever reach. The scars left by sticks can heal over and be forgotten about, but words embed themselves so deeply and so thoroughly that the wounds stay open for ever – you can never forget about them, never get rid of them and the memory will keep repeating itself over and over again! Words bury themselves so deep, no amount of medicines or operations can get rid of them! Physical attacks are nothing compared to what all of this can do!" Miles' voice was trembling and cracking, the flashbacks he was talking about began to replay themselves in his head and forcing tears into his eyes, blurring his vision.
"So instead of asking for help, you decided to take care of it yourself instead?"
"You sure weren't going to, and neither was anybody else!"
"Well, maybe if you told us-"
"I HAVE!" the distraught kit yelled at the top of his lungs. "I've told this school so many times what's happened that I've lost count! I've told the people at the Orphanage hundreds of times, but not a finger has been raised! Nothing has been done about anything! They only got worse 'cause I 'snitched' on them! It just gets worse and worse and no one does ANYTHING about it!"
"Surely someone -"
"No! No one has EVER done ANYTHING about it! Why are you going to start now? Because there was a fight? 'Cause someone's bleeding? To make the school look better than it actually is because it's dealing with 'major issues'?!" Price groaned, becoming slowly more irritated.
"Miles, please calm down. If you let us help you, we can stop this now."
"IT SHOULD HAVE STOPPED YEARS AGO!" Miles yelled. Both his voice and lip were quivering, his whole body was shaking with rage and fear and the thoughts still streaming across his vision were bringing tears to his eyes. "If you all just l-listened, this would never have happened! There's been so many times where I n-needed help and so many times when someone could have done something! But you're all completely o-oblivious to it all! You j-just turn a b-blind eye, hoping that if you d-didn't watch, it'll just blow over, j-just disappear in the b-blink of an eye! I don't even get help for s-school work, let alone all of this b-bullying!" His knees buckled and he fell onto them, his azure eyes buried into his hands as he let everything go. His bruised eye protested to him, but he thought nothing of it and glanced off the pain as easily as the teacher before him glanced off the fox's emotions. All he could think about doing was running back to the Orphanage, lock himself away in the private confines of his room and block out the rest of the world for eternity.
"You have... No idea... What it's like," Miles muttered, just loudly enough for Price to hear, but his tone was deep and filled with a foreboding darkness, sending a shiver down the monkey's spine and ending at the tip of his tail. Every nerve in Miles' body pulsed, shaking his body like a baby's rattle -
But the anger still not releasing itself. Droplets were streaming down his muzzle against his will. "You have no idea what it's like... Dreading every waking moment... Because one person takes joy in making your life miserable. I've waited for so long for someone to help me, but all the people I see just shun me away like I'm NOTHING!" He pushed against the ground (which, to him, required a surprising amount of strength) and lifted his body off the floor, just enough so he could sit on his knees. "I played the Good Samaritan for years, I helped those that needed it and I tried to do my best to keep everyone happy. And all I got in return was being stabbed in the back! It wasn't just once, but they did it again and again, so many times that now, I don't even know the difference between friend and enemy! All of my cries for help fall on deaf ears! I blame you and the others I've told for what's happening to me! I blame you more than I do the bullies!"
The kit opened his bleary eyes, the rage in them showing like a roaring fire. To Price, he looked ready to kill anyone who came too close without a second thought. But to the monkey's relief, there was a surprised knock at the door.
"Come in," he called, turning towards the door, grateful that he didn't need to see the kit's blazing hot expression – but to his demise he could still feel it bearing down on him like a two tonne weight. Another teacher came in, tailed by a very beat up and scared Eric. At the sight of Miles and his diamond-slicing stare brimming with a lust for blood, the wolf instinctively flinched and looked away, his eyes growing wide. But Miles just stared at him, checking over the extensive injuries he had inflicted. Bruises everywhere across his body, one eye closed completely due to the blackening Tails had given it and there were still markings of tears on his muzzle.
Miles felt both happy and sad about the wolf's reaction to the sight of the twin-tailed vulpine. Now, Eric was feeling the dread of just sighting a specific someone, a curse Tails had lived with for most of his life. No matter who this 'someone' was though, Tails blamed it all on this one person as much as he did the teacher standing between them. Because of Eric, Miles was tormented beyond belief. Every bully Miles had encountered was in relation to the wolf. Miles owed it all down to the wolf before him, every ounce of fear and anger that had befallen the fox all made its way onto the canine. But the fact remained that Miles had hurt somebody, severely at that. Even if they deserved it, he regretted hurting so much as a fly. Eric's nose was still bleeding, both his eyes much blacker than Miles' one eye and he seemed to have most of his weight on one leg.
It was never Miles' intention to do any of this to anyone – but the anger towards Eric was still rising. The thoughts of what torment the wolf had put him through were still storming through him like a whirlwind, every single moment of what he had had to endure all rushing through in one big mess. The result meant only more tears to the fox's eyes.
"So no one else was hurt?" Mr. Price asked the other teacher, a stout lemur. The question broke through to Miles and he looked up.
"No. Everyone is ok." Both Price and Miles (however more silently) sighed with relief before Price lead the lemur and wolf outside for a private chat. As he was about to close the door, he looked at Miles and said "stay here."
Of course, Miles had no intentions of doing anything of the sort. His first and foremost plan was to escape to the Orphanage at the first chance he got. Wiping away the tears in his eyes so he could see where exactly he was headed, Miles looked around for some sort of escape. Luck seemed to turn for him as he spotted an open window. He would have opened it if it were shut, but all the school's windows were locked to avoid just this – escapees. Wasting no time, the fox quickly rushed over and clambered through. Twirling his tails, he took to the skies and headed for the only place that came remotely close to home.
Bleary eyed and ready to break down at the first moment, he flew over the small town, constantly blinking to keep his vision clear. His mouth was forcing its way down into a droop, but he was holding it all together just enough to keep in the air.
Just enough to reach the only thing that came close to what he could call 'home'.
Slamming the door shut and barricading it with a chair rammed under the knob, he quickly abandoned his original plan to fall onto his bed and instead slumped into a yellow fur ball on the floor. Tear after tear streamed down his muzzle as he crawled up into a foetal position. The memories of the years still a flurry of images, striking up so many emotions that it was all impossible to follow. Fear, anger, frustration – all of it rushing through every vein, every nerve in the poor kit's body.
He ignored the voices and just carried on crying loudly, not caring if anyone could hear him, just crying to his heart's contempt. Damn the carers, damn the other orphans – there was nothing they could say to make things worse! Tears continued to dampen his fur, the white fur on his belly and muzzle sticking to his skin.
The pain just got worse and worse and worse for the poor kit.
He couldn't take it anymore!
WHY?! Miles screamed to himself. WHY, OUT OF EVERYONE THERE IS?! WHY IS IT ME?! He could hear banging on the doors, someone shouting for him. He punched the floor again and again, hoping it would help, that it would bring some form of comfort.
His body shook uncontrollably, his fur now drenched in his own tears.
"Tails!" He didn't care what the carers had to say to him – all he wanted was to be left alone.
Alone in his room.
Alone where no one could touch him.
Alone in the only place he considered he was 'free' in.
Because the other places were a different kind of alone, weren't they?
Because the outside was the blackened corner of the room.
To him, the whole world was a dark alleyway -
A dark alleyway with someone waiting to pounce -
To strike -
To maim -
To kill -
To do horrible, unworldly things to him -
And to make every moment of it unbearable -
So unbearable, he would commit the unthinkable -
And they didn't want to stop.
They didn't want to stop because of how it made them feel.
But they never considered others.
They never thought of what their actions could do.
And now Miles was on his own -
Once again -
In that dark corner of the world -
That dark corner with no light -
No guidance -
And all he could do in this corner was weep into his floor, staining the carpet and himself with endless streams of tears.
"Tails! Wake up!"
And his eyes flickered open.
And all he could see was blue and white, all of it blurred together. His entire vision was completely blurred, all meshed up into one big heap. Flashes of what just happened, flashes of his whole life, all flying through the bright blue in front of him.
And within that blue, within the white, within the vast blasts of the past, there was two spots of green. Two emerald green ovals staring at him. Something that he recognised immediately, and something he had become used to associating with as 'friendly'.
And they looked scared – very scared. Something he wasn't used to seeing. And it was a sight that only made him more worried.
But he knew what these green objects were.
And he launched onto them, around a neck, clinging to a body tightly.
"Sonic!" he screamed, crying into a shoulder. "Don't let 'em do it, Sonic!"
"Tails? What's up with ya bud?!" a concerned voice asked him.
"Don't let 'em!" he whimpered. "D-don't let 'em do it again! Make 'em stop, please!"
"Tails, calm down," the voice said in a soothing tone. The fox felt a hand rub softly on his back, and another around his neck. As he cried loudly into a cobalt furred shoulder, the voice whispered soothing words into his ear, softly stroking his back and rocking him gently back and forth. Tails kept muttering "don't let 'em" constantly between his anguished sobs.
The two brothers continued this until Tails' tears ran dry and were reduced to mere sniffling. He clung to his adopted brother Sonic's neck, fearing that letting go would only bring the pain streaming back. So he just held on, however more loosely. Sonic had taken Tails camping for the night, and the fox was momentarily surprised to find he was sitting in the middle of a field with a small camp fire. There were no tents because of the warm, clear night that they had been (correctly for once) predicted by the News.
"That must'a been a pretty scary nightmare ya had there, huh?" Sonic asked, patting the fox on the back. Tails nodded his head in response... then shook it. Quickly giving up on trying to make a decision, he shrugged his shoulders. Did a recollection count as a nightmare?
"Wanna tell me what happened? You were really scaring me there ya know."
"Well..." Tails started. Where to start? Eight years was a long time to recollect. Was it even safe? What if repeating it all would just break him down again?! He couldn't risk getting upset like that again! What would Sonic think of him? Would he think he's just a cry-baby, like the others did?
But he plucked up the courage and slowly explained. Explained about the vile wolf that had treated him so cruelly, his posse that followed suit and everything in between. It all brought fresh tears to his eyes, but he was determined to fight it.
And Sonic just listened. He didn't inquire, he didn't interrupt – he just listened. Listened to each word that the fox spoke, taking it all in.
When the young fox had finally finished, his eyes were bloodshot and his white furred muzzle was turning into a creamy colour from the dampness. He looked up at Sonic, who looked back. The hedgehog simply stated, "I guess that it really hurts ya? You've never mentioned all of this to me before."
It was true. Every moment was painful, all eight years of it. It hurt the poor kit more than slamming a steaming hot iron onto his forearm and leaving it there for a good while. It hurt more than anything he could possibly even begin to fathom, and what he could imagine would stun most.
"I just thought... if I told you... you wouldn't like me anymore," Tails stated as he looked at his feet.
"Why would I do that?" Sonic asked, raising an eyebrow. "You thought I wouldn't like you because a bunch of low life sc – bullies treated you like that?" Inside his head, Sonic was already beating himself up for nearly slipping into vulgarity. To him, bullies were just as bad as Dr. Eggman – if not worse.
"Pretty much... I thought that if I told you, I'd start crying and then you'd think I was a cry baby or something and then you wouldn't want me anymore and leave me and then I'd be on my own and I can't go through that again, Sonic, I just can't!" He took in a deep breath from his lack of pauses and fiddled round with his namesakes and looking down towards the floor. There was no way he was going to let Sonic think these thoughts – no way!
Sonic sighed as the fox started to sniffle again. It seemed to him that Tails' long forgotten scars were returning with a price. As his older brother, he couldn't just let him get over. He had to do something?
"Tails," he started. "I'm never gonna do that to you. I'm your friend -"
"Brother," Tails corrected with a weak smile, trying to cheer himself up. Sonic chuckled slightly, mostly for forgetting how Tails seen him as – and how he seen the kit. And to raise their moods.
"I'm your bro', I'd never do anything to hurt you. No matter what happens, we'll always be a team." Sonic lightly thumped the fox's arm and reached over for a nearby flask filled with orange juice. He poured the liquid into two cups – one for Tails and one for himself. He handed Tails his and drank from his own.
The two of them sat silently drinking and once they were finished, they set about cooking breakfast. They poured a mild amount of water into a pan, added some sausages and left them to cook. Tails was left to tend to them whilst Sonic set about sorting out the buns – and of course, the chilli sauce.
"Please don't leave me Sonic," Tails said over the fire as he idly watched the sausages boil in the water. Watching them just sizzle away, the bubbles of air constantly popping on the surface of the steaming water.
"I just said I wouldn't," Sonic stated as he looked over. "What makes you think I would?" He watched the fox's ears droop slightly and bit his lip. Had he said the wrong thing?
"Is this about the envy thing?" The cobalt hedgehog asked. Tails curtly nodded. Both of them knew full well that, no matter what they did, Tails envied the way that Sonic could handle things with ease and the things Tails struggled to grasp and build, like courage and self confidence. "Tails bud," Sonic started. The fox looked up, his azure eyes gleaming from the light of the Sun and the small fire below him. "You're the kindest person I've ever met. Forget about those buffoons, they're nothing to you now. Don't let the past bother you, or it'll mean they won. If you let that happen, then... well, you get the picture right?"
Tails nodded. And smiled his sad smile, the one that told Sonic he was once again awed by the hedgehog's words. "There's a million to one chance that someone would meet someone like you – you're the kind of person everyone should be like. Whatever those guys did to you, it made them lose out on their chance to be someone useful to the world. Don't give up on yourself – you could change the world if you wanted to -"
Before he could finish his sentence, Tails abandoned his post and dived right on Sonic, wrapping his arms around his waist and squeezing tightly (at the same time, making sure the hedgehog could breathe). "Thanks, Sonic," he muttered into his chest, this time leaking tears of joy. "Thanks for everything you've done for me. Thanks for saving me from them; thanks for helping me through all of the troubles; thanks for giving me a life I thought I'd never have..."
Speechless, Sonic could only smile, his heart hammering against his chest from the fox's words. He returned the gesture, wrapping one arm around the fox and the other was used to softly knuckle betwixt his ears.
"Thanks for everything, Sonic..."