Disclaimer: I do not own Sonic the Hedgehog, or any of its associated characters and lore.
A Hedgehog's Debutant Ball
Robotropolis Ballroom, Planet Mobius
According to the few pre-Robotnik Empire history books a young ward of an aristocrat could find and read, the global capital city of Robotropolis was once known as a peaceful place where civilization co-existed with nature under the name Mobotropolis, but unfortunately for Sir Sonic the Hedgehog, foster child of Lady Windermere, he would have been barely a newborn at the time the old regime fell and as such, did not remember the capital being as beautifully eco-friendly as described in his studies. As he surveyed the city from a balcony adjacent to the city's most prosperous ballroom at night, he was reminded as ever that compared to its previous incarnation, Robotropolis had the appearance of a technologically advanced society, but had no place for water, plant life, or even freedom anymore.
For as long as Sonic had been alive, the majority of the planet Mobius had been under the ruthless sway of Doctor Robotnik, who commanded his robotic armies to force the rightful Queen Aleena from her throne and go into hiding. Upon his rise to power, any rebellious or poor citizen was at risk of being converted into a literally mindless slave through Robotnik's Roboticizer which converted anything organic into a robot. Only those of higher standing in both wealth and influence, such as Windermere, were mostly kept from the same fate so long as they supported Robotnik's reign on the planet, no matter if any of them genuinely liked it or not. Fortunately, Sonic knew firsthand that Windermere and those in her social circle that she introduced Sonic to growing up were kinder than most aristocrats and had no true love for the Doctor, but even then, they had no choice but to comply with his demands.
Every now and then, Sonic had considered being more helpful to the downtrodden and maybe even pit his inborn super speed against Robotnik's Empire as a member of the small yet diverse Resistance against his rule, but even as he stood on his balcony, all he could ultimately do was shrug helplessly. As much as he felt concern for others, he was not some kind of hero chosen by destiny, and even with him being philanthropic or openly rebellious, it would not change much, but would instead bring harm to himself, Windermere, and his friends, especially the one he cared about most.
As he sighed, Sonic soon heard a knock on the door, and he responded. "Yeah?"
"Sonic, it's me." A posh male voice that Sonic knew all too well answered. "I hate to remind you of the importance of punctuality, but it wouldn't be a proper ball if even one debutant missed out."
"Same old Bart." Sonic commented with a chuckle as he shook his head, remembering all the times his unlikely friend, Sir Bartleby MontClair of Dresdin, had reminded him of the importance that came with being an aristocrat in a stern way that ultimately came out as laughably pompous if well-intentioned.
Taking a good look in a nearby mirror and seeing that his tuxedo was worn right and that his most important item was in his pants' left pocket, Sonic then took his leave and met with the even more fancifully dressed Mink as they then walked to the ball itself.
Seeing as they had time until they showed up, Bartleby took the liberty of engaging in conversation with Sonic by saying. "So, do I dare ask what kept your attention for most of the afternoon? Looking at your own reflection for hours on end?"
Sonic laughed as he replied. "Please, that kind of vanity is more your style, Bart. I was just getting ready for more reasons than one." Seeing as he told a half-lie, Sonic felt conflicted and decided to ask Bartleby with a question of his own. "Say, Bart, at the risk of saying something treasonous, why do you think Dr. Robotnik keeps a lot of Mobians, rich and poor alike, non-Roboticized when he probably could just take what he wants whenever and however he wants to get it?" Seeing Bartleby about to answer, he quickly interjected with a knowing smirk. "And no, that old "wisdom of the elite" sales pitch isn't what I'm looking for this time."
While a bit peeved at both Sonic's teasing interjection and the rather questionable question itself, Bartleby nonetheless said. "I suspect it could be one of three reasons, excluding the possibility of it being all three combined."
"Well, I'm listening."
"Well, as I'm sure we've all noticed by now, the Doctor is rather fond of, if I dare say obsessive with, money, so it's likely that he must've had a rather dysfunctional upbringing that affects him to the point he cannot imagine a world without Mobiums to hoard and spend, if he desired to spend at all. Of course, as a result of leaving the aristocracy intact while oppressing the more unfortunate, he's created an environment of both opportunism and resentment which pits the social classes against each other as well as themselves instead of uniting against the Empire as their common enemy. And finally, as I believe a pessimist would point out, once Robotnik can expand his reach off Mobius itself and onto other planets, he would possibly Roboticize us all, anyway."
After a long silence, Sonic said. "Those are some scary reasons, Bart."
Showing a defeated look himself, Bartleby nodded as he replied. "Indeed, which is why we must always present ourselves as useful to the Doctor no matter what."
Eventually arriving at the ballroom entrance, Sonic and Bartleby entered to the welcoming claps of Windermere and the invited guests. As orchestra music was being played, Sonic and the other gathered debutants were either approaching, or being approached by the attending debutantes for a dance, but Sonic politely declined any offers for a dance until he met with the Fox noblewomen he wanted to dance with who graciously accepted.
Mindy LaTour was, like Bartleby, a childhood friend of Sonic and they remained close over the years, even with Mindy's pampered tendency to buy things with her family's wealth and Sonic's budding desire for change, but as they grew older, Sonic began to see her as a lovely girl to spend time with just as his charm rubbed off on Mindy herself. It took some persuading on his part to win her protective father's approval to date his only child, but Sonic and Mindy kept a tight relationship that the former wanted to take to the next level as they slowly approached adulthood.
After enjoying a relaxing dance together, Sonic and Mindy separated from the rest of the party as the music died down, so that the former could talk with his girlfriend about a life changing decision for them both.
"So, Sonic, what's got you all serious for once?" Mindy asked with a slight tease in her voice.
Sonic, on his part however, played with his hands nervously as he tried to get his words out. "Well, Mindy, I have something I want to give you, but depending on how you feel about it, you'll probably won't want it now at least."
"Excuse me?" Mindy asked with a confused look.
Sonic raised his hands up reassuringly as he continued. "Well, it's not a bad gift, it's just that it represents, well…" Sighing exhaustedly, he muttered. "Man, I'm not good at this." Taking out the small box in his left pocket, he presented it to a still uncertain Mindy and gestured for her to open it.
When she did, Mindy let out a surprised gasp that drew attention from the other ball attendants as she brought out a gold ring encrusted with diamonds with a pearl at the center from the box. "Sonic?" She let out with an awed yet happy smile. "Is this really what I think it is?"
Nearby, Mindy's father was compelled to approach the scene closer, but Windermere, with her knowing smile, kept the concerned Mister LaTour at bay with her arm stretched out as many other attendants, including Bartleby, looked on with expectant smiles.
"Well, yeah." Sonic replied to Mindy's question embarrassingly as she cradled the wedding ring on her finger while he rambled. "I know we're still kind of young for the big responsibilities and all that, but there is a thing called consorting, so I was thinking that maybe, well, if you wanted to, we could try to see about getting, um, married ourselves some-"
His proposal was cutoff at the end when an excited Mindy kissed him which the surprised Sonic tried to reciprocate before Mindy broke it off to properly reply. "Yes, Sir Sonic the Hedgehog, I will marry you when we're ready."
"Okay then." Sonic said with an eager smile.
As the engaged couple kissed again, Mr. LaTour was the first of many others to clap eagerly or toast respectfully to the romantic sight before them when a single clap of flesh meeting metal brought everyone to a standstill. As that particular clapping continued, the aristocrats gasped in surprise, and in some cases fear, as Dr. Robotnik himself appeared to chuckle. "Oh, I always did know how to steal away the attention, even when it's not really my goal."
Gathering enough courage to clear her throat and approach the dictator himself, Windermere greeted. "Dr. Robotnik, sir, I didn't expect you were to be coming. Not that any of us would be against it, however. We are all just surprised, is all."
"Is there something wrong, Doctor?" Mr. LaTour could not restrain himself, but question nervously.
Robotnik shook his head negligently as he replied. "Oh, have no fear, my good nobles, I was only passing by on my way back to my headquarters, and figured that I should at least see the promising young Lords and Ladies in their debut." Making his rounds over the debuted nobles, he stopped to fiendishly smile at a cautious Sonic, who could not help but grab onto Mindy's hand in concern for her. "Sir Sonic, I have heard much about your talent for super speed from some reliable sources. You honestly strike me as a good asset to bring into the fold, but for now, please allow me to congratulate you on your engagement."
Seeing Robotnik bringing his left, Roboticized arm hand out for a shake, Sonic, not sensing imminent danger, held his own hand out as well as he replied. "Thank you, Doctor, that's really kind of you."
As soon as their hands touched, however, Sonic pulled back after a shock with an audible. "Ow!" That drew concern from Mindy among others while Robotnik, to his credit, merely looked nonchalant.
"Oops!" The Doctor uttered with an innocent-sounding laugh as he added. "My apologies, young Sonic. The problem with those kinds of shocks is that you don't know when they'll strike."
Forcing a small smile, Sonic said. "Uh, it's no problem, Doctor. It barely even hurt."
Robotnik then took his leave while Sonic and the others tried to get back to the celebration.
As Doctor Robotnik exited the ballroom and went to his airship, he examined his left hand with a satisfied grin as he brought it upon a console that instantly beeped and spoke with a computerized voice. "DNA inserted. Scanning. Analysis complete. Genetic match to Queen Aleena Hedgehog confirmed."
"Excellent." Robotnik commented with a malevolent smile.
I was getting some exercise on the morning of the last Saturday in July when I had a thought of how Sonic Underground could have been different if Sonic's siblings in the show, Sonia and Manic, were not created. I do not mean to judge too harshly, especially since some plot lines and episodes required Sonia and Manic, but one could argue Sonic did not really need siblings in his age group to balance him out when he could have had other characters in the show or from the games making more appearances, and while I can understand giving the spotlight to other characters every now and then, it just does not feel like Sonic is the main hero if he has to share that same central role with a brother and sister that were made just for the cartoon.
Still, I am not really interested in rewriting the whole show to fit my point of view, but I do indeed to write a composite story featuring Sonic as nobility/royalty while still being related to his Uncle Chuck. Rather or not I will add his manga little sister, Tania, in my own works is to be decided, so I would not mind opinions for that.
Anyway, for the sake of argument, you can consider this an Underground AU where Queen Aleena swapped which foster family each of her children would go to. In this case, Sonic was raised up by the aristocratic Lady Windermere, who would have raised Sonia instead, and as a result, Sonic shares a similar friendship with Bartleby that he does with the SATAM/Archie character, Antione, and, since Bartleby and Sonia have an on-off relationship in the show, I figured I would give Sir Sonic the Aristocratic Hedgehog some romance in the form of Mindy LaTour for the sake of argument.
I could have thought of something if Sonic was reared by the thief, Ferrell, who looked after Manic, but aside from some practice thieving and maybe a skirmish with the bounty hunting Sleet and Dingo, I figured it would not have enough character interaction compared to what I depicted here. I might just do it, but I cannot make any promises.