Chapter 1: Avocados Versus Eggs: What Knuckles Knows
Within the first few moments of meeting the lanky human, Knuckles didn’t know what to think about Ovi – the bean-like length of the boy’s entire body in relation to his mainly harmless features, the eyes feeling too… intelligent and posh in comparison to the group’s ragged and rugged nature (Even Rouge and Cream had features that made them more… approachable, but there was none of that on Ovi). The human’s too orange hair was on par with most humans Knuckles met in the past, as well, since there were some humans with an almost similar colour to Ovi’s own. The only thing Knuckles could chalk up to the kid being part of the group was his penetrating red eyes – not unlike Shadow’s own ruby gaze at points.
Even some of Ovi’s habits made Knuckles question if the kid didn’t belong in an all-human prep school – the stainless steel fake claws over his fingers whenever the group was adventuring, the white bandana over his head that didn’t even touch most of his hair, and that weird navy-blue jacket that he carried with him at all times, even when he was currently in the kitchen making breakfast for himself, whistling a tune that Knuckles couldn’t recall at the moment. Over his dumb black turtle neck shirt (which Knuckles chalked to an odd human nature – it barely looked like a neck of a turtle) and blue bellbottom jeans was the apron that Sonic had bought for his birthday – a pink, frilly one with a picture cartoon chicken cooking some scrambled eggs in the microwave.
Suppressing a shudder over the rather morbid picture of a hen cooking her unborn children, Knuckles scrambled (heh) over to Ovi’s side to find the human making an omelette, with bits of random greens and mushrooms in a pan. He looked oddly at the item, wondering where the heck Ovi got the batter to make something like that. When Ovi turned off the heat under the pan, he turned to find Knuckles right behind him – and promptly screamed at the echidna before swearing up a storm.
“CRAPPING HELL, KNUCKLES!!” Ovi threw the cloth he used to keep his hand from burning on the heated pan’s handle, shuffling his hands to free the cloth as he immediately saw a flash of red. “Can’t any of you flocking morons just make noise for your inept partners?” Ovi’s face flushed in the same red as Knuckles’ quills, carefully setting the hot pan down on the cooler burner of the oven – in case he had a distinct feeling of hitting the dumb echidna with it. Knuckles put his arms in a surrender position as Ovi did this, seeing the murderous intent behind his red eyes.
“Sorry, beanpole. Thought you could smell me too.” The echidna tried, with Ovi looking at him in a deadpan expression.
“1. Don’t call me ‘beanpole’ again, else you’ll end up as one of Amy’s beanpoles. 2. I can’t believe I have to explain this again – my species does not have the ability to pick up a high range of smells like any other species. Humans are blind to any smell higher than the smelly socks Sonic leaves out on a regular basis.” Ovi drilled into Knuckles’ head, letting the info sink in as he went back to fixing up his omelette. Knuckles chose to ignore Ovi’s curt response – the human was surprisingly as short-tempered as Sonic could be when he wanted to, just that unlike Sonic, Ovi didn’t have the emotional control over it.
“Look, Ovi. I have to ask…” Knuckles started, before trailing off. How was Knuckles going to ask this question? Would it sound a bit insensitive, especially after learning that Ovi really didn’t belong as a human too? But if there was one thing Knuckles hated about leaving things, is leaving a conversation hanging over doubts. “Why’d you decide to join us? I mean,” Knuckles flinched at the look Ovi gave before clarifying, “I just want to know if – erm, if you felt… okay with being a human more than being part of our group.” Ovi looked at Knuckles like he grew a new head in that moment, before placing the now-empty pan into the sink. Ovi then took the omelette over to the couch, not doing much but staring at his creation. Knuckles freaked out for a moment, feeling like he overstepped his boundaries – after all, wasn’t he keeping secrets, too? “You don’t have to talk about it, I mean –”
“Nah, I’m not mad.” Ovi muttered, almost inaudible to the echidna if he didn’t stop in that moment. Ovi then looked up, looking at Knuckles with a determined expression. “Really, I just couldn’t stand the human’s obsession with overpriced vegetables.” Ovi smirked, looking at Knuckles like the cat that caught a bird – his newly enlarged canines taking precedence in his smile. Knuckles blinked at the response, allowing Ovi to continue without interruptions. “Truthfully, I just felt I didn’t belong with humans – well, besides dad and my sister. I mean, avocados are effing awesome – good source of protein and all – but a fruit that people enjoy isn’t my major concern over humanity.” Ovi couldn’t help but laugh at Knuckles’ expression of puzzlement. “No matter how much I tried to fit in with everyone, I didn’t… feel like myself with other people of my species… Though, I think I might not fit in that category anymore…”
“But – if you didn’t feel as if you fitted in with humans, why are you here with us?” Knuckles asked, feeling a bit off-put – after all, the anthrons were basically furry humans in their mannerisms, right? Ovi couldn’t help but smile at Knuckles’ question, eating a bit of his omelette before answering.
“I guess… I guess it’s a feeling I’m getting from her.” Ovi couldn’t help but blush, taking his hand up to his chest to rub at it, feeling a sense of love coming from the pit of his soul. “I just… look at all of you and I can’t help but feel safe with you guys…” The smile became more genuine, and Knuckles couldn’t help but smile as well. The kid did feel like a piece of home that Knuckles couldn’t identify, and he wondered, too, if it was the work of the Ancient’s souls in all of them… But, in typical Knuckles fashion, wondered immediately about the thing unrelated to their conversation.
“Ovi, what’s an avocado?”
Chapter 2: Fashion and Homesickness: Cream and Amy
In which we see Ovi's effect on Cream, and Amy's attempt to cheer him up.
If Cream were to say one thing about Ovi, it was his kindness that caused her to pause. In the time she had since meeting the rest of the heroes, it was he, Amy and Rouge who took her under their proverbial wings (well, in the case of Rouge it was literal). She couldn’t help but look up to the human, even if she had to do it in a way that she could see him better – she and Tails were the smallest for a reason, after all. And Ovi was the only one with Actual Sibling Experience ™ out of the group, so it made him the more logical of the group to leave the kids with him.
Amy, on the other hand, couldn’t help but feel that Cream was adopting Ovi’s more… unsavory habits – the swearing was a major issue, but at least Cream understood why Ovi swore at points. It was his ‘I’m a bad boy’ fashion sense that Amy wasn’t too pleased with – the one with the dorky bandana and the fake steel claws and that over-the-top jacket that he wore continuously, with his hiking boots and silly bellbottoms and the two belts that are being held on his waist by a dragon emblem. If it weren’t for the jacket plus the silly black turtleneck, Amy would have thought Ovi to be a middle-class gangster trying too hard.
And it was Amy’s own reluctance to not see Cream as anything more than her baby sister – something that Ovi saw in her, as well.
“No, Ovi. You can’t buy her that tacky jacket!” Amy growled, pointing to the said item in question. It wasn’t a bad jacket – black with patterns of butterflies embossed into the arms of the thing. The thing was, it was a leather jacket – one that had spikes on the shoulders, and the butterflies were coming out of human skulls. All in all, something that Amy knew Vanilla wouldn’t like.
Ovi scoffed at the response he got from Amy. “Come on, little rose, I wasn’t the one that picked this out for her.” Ovi deflected, pulling Cream out from behind him. “Besides, the girl has excellent taste.”
“Not the point, Ovi.” Amy sighed, before bringing herself to look at Cream – who was carefully holding Cheese in her arms like a teddy bear. The poor chao was struggling to move out of his master’s grip, as she felt that she was going to be yelled at. “Cream, sweetie, you know your mother won’t like this kind of jacket –”
“But – but Ovi said I needed something to protect my body with when we ride…” Cream said sadly, knowing how Amy was going to turn the conversation back to Ovi immediately. The rabbit didn’t look up as she said this, knowing Amy would explode in any minute. To the trio’s amazement, Amy instead sighed through her nose, keeping herself calm as she was about to address Ovi.
“Why, pray tell, were you planning on taking Cream for a ride?” Amy asked the human, twisting an eyebrow up at him. Ovi’s sheepish look couldn’t diminish his aura of mischief, and Amy could tell that the human was planning on doing some pranks with Cream at some point.
“I… I wanted to take Cream over to meet Harold, honestly.” Ovi sighed, his orange hair suddenly glowing as he thought over his answer. “I… I thought I could bring her about to help me patch relationships with my dad – he’s still the number one parent of my life – I just…” His eyes took on a sombre look, one that Amy couldn’t help but feel upset over the idea.
“Ovi! Really? Sending Cream to fix your family issues?” Amy half-yelled at Ovi, not believing the human for a quick second. She was too young to handle something like that! There was no way Vanilla would –
“I… I talked with Mom about this before I left.” Cream’s timid voice started, shutting Amy up from her anger about the situation. “She agreed… that Ovi and I should bring Mr. Kintobor over, and show him the work we do…” the rabbit carefully stroked Cheese, releasing her death grip on the chao gently, yet keeping the Chaos Angel Chao in her grasp as she talked. Unlike before, her face was dead on Amy’s own, making the pink hedgehog wonder where this girl came from. Quickly, Amy took a quick look at Ovi – only to find his mouth agape and eyes rimming with unshed tears at Cream’s proclamation.
“I – I guess you guys have some of a plan…” Amy said carefully, unable to understand where this side of Cream came from – certainly didn’t come from their time together. She looked back at Ovi – with his too big canines and his red as blood eyes – and wondered if Ovi was a positive influence on her best friend…
Ovi and Amy strolled through the mall of Bygone Island, not bothered by the jeers and glares of hatred by the citizens of the island. While a bit upset that they skipped helping the island initially, Amy was relieved that this mindset wasn’t a common occurrence – after the first time the Revived Ancients helped the citizens of Bygone Island, it became clear the reason why most other groups avoided the place. Too many of the people had not given them the appreciation they thought they deserved – which at first, wasn’t much… Then, the next hundred things the islanders made them do on top of fighting any bad guys trying to take over – from getting one’s groceries to finding someone’s pencil that was on top of their head. Also didn’t help that nobody wanted to take over a backwards village.
Really, it was better that they escaped when they got the chance.
“Amy, do you feel bad about leaving your only home?” Ovi asked carefully, looking through some of the more expensive items while the beaver glared at his back. Taking out a few clothing options for himself. His face didn’t betray any emotions now, though he looked about the area with a shifty notice.
“…No, actually.” Amy said after some thought, taking a red dress with a white lace – Would Sonic like this? – to try on later. The hedgehog pondered the question over her head. “What’s brought this up, Ovi? Usually you’re not too melancholy about staying.”
Ovi bit his lip as he paused, the sharp canines piercing through the flesh as he thought about his answer. “It’s just… I find myself wanting to go back home; wanting to live back with my father--and be coddled like I used to be.” Ovi blushed as he thought about it, licking his lips to keep the blood from flowing onto his chin. “But… Then I’m reminded that wasn’t my home life for most of the while, and I wonder where it came from…”
“Oh? You think it might be from your soul?” Amy asked carefully, knowing Ovi’s reluctance at accepting the Anthro Faith of reincarnation. With the human’s nod, Amy instantly lit up in happiness. “Oh~! We should probably set up a spot where she’ll feel happier, then! Lady Thorn tells me that always helped out Kaguya when she felt homesick!” Ovi blanched a bit at the idea, but softened as Amy gently took his hand to the front of the store – having to double back suddenly when they both realized they took clothing without paying for it – and headed back to the docks for the oncoming ferry back to mainland.
“A-Amy! Stop!” Ovi yelled out, not entirely resisting Amy’s enthusiasm. The pink hedgehog was notorious for throwing herself – and by extension, everyone else – into things head on. Something that she had to learn with Sonic and Ovi as friends, at the very least – not that Ovi himself would admit immediately.
“Don’t worry! I know a great way to fully relax a homesick spirit!” Amy yelled back, picking up the pace with Ovi behind her.
While Amy couldn’t see Ovi react much due to her dragging him about, she could feel the grip tighten in her hand with reassurance.
Rouge gets a sleep partner. (And a bat cuddle, too)
This was HARD to write, mainly because Rouge I can't seem to pin down. Hopefully her inner monologue is a justice to her.
Rouge wasn’t a big practitioner in the whole belief system her people believed in – the constant cycle of rebirth and death as the great Goddess of Life places them back into the world, remaking their bodies from the ground up. In fact, the bat felt it was a silly little fairy-tale about how the world worked to her – meant to teach little children that they’d turn into something ugly if they didn’t listen to their momma’s.
Heh. Ugly. Like bats were ever considered that, once.
Once upon a time, family was never something that Rouge found to be in her vocabulary – since becoming a gem thief, her entire coven ended up dumping her once she got too invested in the gems she took – fearing their safety over hers. She didn’t mind then, not when the government picked her up not a few minutes later to take her in as their anthron spy. She didn’t mind the job – being paid in jewels helps a lot – but it was always a professional thing; no relationships, no friendships, no nothing. Kind of boring for an eighteen-year-old woman to be near. Ah well, beggars can’t be choosers.
Rouge knew at some point that she’d be leaving the little group Knuckles and his pals had made when they first fought against Eggman’s robots. But, over time and several misadventures with them, the bat found it hard to consider the thought of leaving the group. It was… not right to her, having lived so long without love. Was she developing something for this little rag-tag group? Rouge certainly hoped not, but the bat was sure she’d be proven wrong…
After all, was it not nature’s intent to prove her wrong so many times?
If there was any one reason why she stayed, Rouge would point to Knuckles, and the echidna would probably laugh while blushingly agree with the agile bat… but the truth was, Shadow – one of the few ‘acquaintances’ she could truly call a ‘friend’ – had been fixated on the two ‘leaders’ of the Revived Ancients: Sonic the Hedgehog; a boy that Rouge would not care at any moment in her life, but loved to slip into banter with… and the rich human brat that suddenly became a vampire, Ovi Kintobor.
Really, it was the idea of the kid being a reincarnation of an ancient vampire that made her stay… Not just for Knuckles (Though, she admitted that Knuckles was the one to convince her to stay…)
It was night-time at Empire City, and Rouge had been dragged to Ovi’s own ancestral home to stay the night. Each person was given a grand bedroom – a large poster bed lavished in magentas and blues, the room having warm browns to offset the cool tones of the bed. A large window was to the side of it, showing the serenity of the ocean beyond Empire City’s harbour.
Really, Rouge thought it wasn’t posh enough, considering who the owner of the place was.
Rouge was about to fall asleep on the reins of the poster bed – the posts connected to one another – when Ovi himself came in; his sweet smile marred by the large, vampire-bat fangs poking out of his mouth. Wearing an ordinary sleep shirt with a grey pair of sweatpants, the boy looked ready to sleep, only to end up not doing it for one reason. He shuffled anxiously, looking like the cat that pulled all the toilet paper off the roll. Rouge sighed and opened one of her wings to invite Ovi to sleep upside down. When the human got adjusted enough, Rouge finally started to speak to him.
“You know, we really need to get you your own bed.” Rouge yawned, bringing Ovi closer to herself. The boy yawned as well, before bringing himself closer to the bat.
“Nah, they don’t like cuddling like you do.” Ovi muttered, before falling asleep in seconds.
Yes, Rouge thought to herself as she drifted to sleep. Because you can’t stop snuggling like a bat in your sleep.