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The Water God's Son

Chapter Text

The sun rose and sank. The wind blew and ceased. The earth shifted and settled. And Chaos gave life through rain, rivers, and tides.

These things were constants. To all those who would walk the earth, they knew of the God Chaos.

Chaos, meanwhile, was content. He was surrounded by Chao, the emeralds sparkled on their pedestals, and he could simmer happily in the pools of the temple made for him eons ago. He would play with the Chao, listen to them sing, and watch for danger as they played and played. And this would be how he spent his days. These things were constants.

Every decade, entire tribes of Mobians would come to the mountain his temple was on, and they would sing, dance, and pray for his mercy and his kindness to provide good weather for the coming years. Hardly any of them would venture to the temple themselves, as the powerful chaos energy kept them at bay. The ones that did would kneel for hours at the temple’s base, praying for good rain and plentiful harvest. This would happen every decade. These things were constants.

But Chaos, powerful as he is, is not the ruler of everything. And nothing is ever constant forever.

One day three bumbling, curious Chao floated down the mountain, a day after the festivals had stopped and the tribes had gone home. They laughed at silly faces painted onto old bowls, and admired the jewelry that had slipped off of someone’s unsuspecting person. They went from place to place, playing hide and seek, looking through rubbish and offerings left behind, until one of them heard a low, weak crying in a bush.
The Chao gathered around the bush in hushed tones, and gently moved aside the leaves.

Chaos felt three of his precious Chao call for help, and immediately he was down at the base of the mountain, standing over the Chao gathered around a bush. The Chao cried and pointed, and Chaos peeled back the leaves to reveal a small, dusty brown hedgehog infant. The infant was making small choking sounds, squinty eyes unable to open, tiny limbs flailing weakly.
Chaos was confused. Why had this child been left behind? It was too young to play, so it couldn’t have gotten lost. Had its caretaker forgotten it? Had they abandoned it on purpose? Chaos felt anger—He wanted to track down its parent, and demand why they had left it behind. But the child whimpered again, and Chaos looked down. The infant had opened its tiny milky eyes, and was looking blindly around with fear and uncertainty for its parent.
The child did not have a home. Even if Chaos returned it, there was no guarantee that the child would be safe or loved there. The only way that Chaos could guarantee that the child would grow up secure would be to raise it himself.

Having made his decision, Chaos shoved his anger down, picked up the infant, and cradled it in his arms. Chaos leaned down and kissed its wrinkled forehead, transferring Chaos power into the little baby. At his touch, The babe’s quills began to turn a bright baby blue. The baby squrimed as the power filled its weak lungs, strengthened its crumpled muscles, and drove all sickness away. When the baby opened his eyes again, they were a bright, shining green. The baby looked around, clearly this time, then took one of Chaos’ fingers in his paws and giggled when Chaos moved it.
Satisfied, Chaos began to walk back up the mountain, the three Chao in tow.

Because Chaos was loving, Chaos was kind, and Chaos was protective. These things were constants.

Chapter Text

The first few days of the babe’s life at the temple were calm ones. The Chao were instantly enamored with this small, noisy creature, and they would constantly be by his side, chittering and chattering at him. He would stare at them with wide, curious eyes, but he was too young to begin to understand what they were saying. He would laugh when the Chao played with him, and he would snuggle with them when they rested.
But as the days passed, he seemed to like Chaos the most out of all of them. He would cry to be let up into his arms, and bap Chaos’ nose and babble at him. Whenever the babe could, he would be in Chaos’ arms, and rub Chaos’ massive thumb in his tiny paws.

The typical day would go like this: Chaos would slip himself out of his pool, and splash his way sleepily over to his babe. His babe would usually be sniffling and squirming in his makeshift crib, but would settle as Chaos lifted him into his arms. Chaos would transfer enough chaos energy into his babe as the Chao began to stir, and then the day truly began. The Chao would spread out far and wide across the mountainside, scavenging for fruits, nuts, and berries, while Chaos would sit at his temple, babe in his arms, on alert for any negative energy from any of his kin. The Chao would come eat, and then Chaos would find himself sitting under the sun, his babe right beside him, as the Chao ran circles around them. The Chao would giggle as his babe would try to put anything they gave him in his mouth: anything from sticks and leaves to one of the Chaos Emeralds (which had ended in a scolding that the Chao were too busy laughing to listen to).
Around noon, the Chao would begin to sing, and his babe would be curled up in his arms again, too tuckered out from the playing: then it would usually be naptime, which his babe took as a time to do anything but sleep. Chaos had to keep him from toppling off his lap as the babe tried to go after a cream butterfly, for instance: then it was playtime, round two, and this time Chaos was more involved. His babe would watch from the ground as Chaos would take his Chao on imaginary flying adventures, would pretend to be a giant beast that they could slay, or, more often, become a surface to climb upon. At evening time, whatever food that had been saved from that morning would be consumed, and the Chao would begin to nod to sleep, as Chaos had his babe in his arms again, his tiny paws rubbing circles on Chaos’ thumb.
And so two months passed.

Of course, change only brings more change. One day Chaos discovered that the babe wasn’t with the Chao. Looking around, Chaos discovered a new energy down the mountain, just a little into the woods. He traveled there swiftly, only to discover an Orange Echidna looking down in shock at his tiny little babe.
Chaos moved to take his child, when the Echidna smiled and pulled a fruit from her tiny knapsack. Chaos watched intently as she tore a piece from the soft fruit and squashed it between her fingers, then gave that tiny piece to his babe. The baby mimicked her as she began to chew her own piece of fruit, before freezing and looking at his piece in wonder.
The girl laughed as he finished off the fruit quickly, and made grabby hands for more. Instead, she picked him up and began to walk into the woods towards the temple, saying something softly to the baby.
Chaos was intrigued. No one had ever been so bold around his temple, so instead of showing himself, he quietly made his way back and slipped into one of his pools at the temple. The Chao began their daily singing as the girl broke the treeline, and Chaos watched as she stopped, looking up in awe.
The Chao seemed to really like the girl, gathering around her as she spent the day with them, playing and listening to them with ever mounting confusion over where their caretaker was. When the sun began to dip below the horizon, she finally asked who was looking after them.
So Chaos stepped out from his pool, and the girl gasped as he towered over her. But before she could even take a step back, his baby yelled in happiness. Chaos bent and picked him up, and his eyes crinkled when his babe began to rub his thumb.
When Chaos looked up, the girl was watching them with uncertainty in her eyes. Suddenly, she turned away and ran back into the forest.

Chaos was surprised when she came back the next day, and the next, and the next. Tikal, her name was, and his babe was so excited every time she came back. He would alternate between her, Chaos, and the Chao, bubbling with joy. Tikal would teach Chaos about the things his baby needed, like food and clothes and toys: even if chaos energy could keep him fit and healthy, she told him, he needs to know how to eat in case Chaos wasn’t there for him one day.
Chaos humored her, although he would never be away from his baby.
Chaos didn’t fully trust Tikal, even if his baby did. She carried a heaviness on her shoulders that she hid well, but Chaos could feel it. When the Chao turned their attention away from her for a second, her face would fall, only to slide right back on the moment the attention was back on her. She would sigh at the end of the day, as if dreading going back home.
It wasn’t until one day Tikal didn’t come that Chaos resolved to confront her about it. The Chao kept stealing glances towards the woods, and his babe was caulicky for the entire day. Tikal didn’t come until the evening of the next day, and then she came face to face with Chaos in the setting sun.

“Father… has become colder than he was before. He keeps warring with other tribes, and…” Tikal said softly, kicking her legs. They were seated at the top of the temple, with the Master Emerald glistening behind them, and Chaos was rocking his babe slowly in his arms.
“When I came here, everything was so peaceful and so… not like it is at home. I couldn’t stop coming back when everything here is so happy, and everyone back at home was… War is all they can think about.”
“I’ve talked to my father, the Chief. He refuses to back down, and he says it’s because we’ve never seen such prosperity before he started doing this, and while I guess that’s true, I…”
Tikal fiddled with her golden necklace, guilt and remorse twisting her face,
“I… don’t want it. Not if it comes like this,” she finished softly.
Chaos patted her back, content with her explanation. But she had more to say.
“Father… actually sent me up here to take the Chaos Emeralds. He heard a rumor that they contain great power and he...wants them.”
Chaos looked at her. Tikal gave him a watery glance and laughed.
“Don’t worry. I’ve told him I can’t find them, I’ve even got an excuse: ‘This mountain must be enchanted to not let anyone close to it,’” she said mockingly. She looked back at him with a steely glint in her eyes.
“I’m not going to let him come in between you and your little Dewdrop.”
And she smiled at him, and he smiled back, and neither of them noticed the Red Echidna at the edge of the trees, listening in, glaring holes into the back of Tikal’s head.

Chaos watched Tikal fade into the night. He held his baby in his arms, as his baby rubbed circles onto his thumb in his sleep.
His ‘Dewdrop’...
Chaos liked that name.

Chapter Text

The days went past, and Tikal seemed to grow more and more weary. But she wasn’t weary enough to stop teaching the Chao songs, and she wasn’t weary enough to not talk to Chaos for hours, and she wasn’t weary enough to not cheer wildly as his Dewdrop took his first steps. Chaos was happy. Tikal’s father was miles away, and he was a god.
Tikal, however, seemed more and more drained. Eventually, she could barely muster up a smile, and sometimes she would take breaks to go into the forest to cry. Chaos tried his best to cheer her up, but he was ill equipped to understand how to lift her spirits.

Then Tikal didn’t come to the temple. Chaos hoped she would break from between the trees sometime, but she never did. Chaos sat with his Dewdrop in his arms, rocking him as his Dewdrop ate pieces of his favorite fruit. Chaos couldn’t decide what to do. He rarely left his temple anymore, but Tikal could be in real danger. Chaos felt responsible for Tikal now, and the thought of her being hurt when he was right there…
Anger was forgien to Chaos: it only came sometimes, once in a century. But now it was a threat looming over him, what he would do if his family was hurt, because Chaos was benevolent and Chaos was kind, but those kinds of people are the ones who take down the sky when they lose everything—
“C-Ch—”
Chaos looked down in surprise. In his lap, his Dewdrop sat, tasting his first vowels on his lips. His Dewdrop looked back up at him, frustration and strain on his face.
“Ch-Cha—”
His Dewdrop sucked in one big breath of air as Chaos froze.
“Chaos!”
And Chaos felt his heart swell with pride and happiness. He scooped his son up and twirled him around, his eyes crinkled with joy as his Dewdrop grinned with simple pleasure. Caught in the euphoria, Chaos didn’t notice a Red Echidna in the shadows pouring a vial of a potent sleeping drought into his temple’s pool.

Powerful enough to put a god to sleep.

As Chaos cradled his son in his arms, he felt content. His Dewdrop was fast asleep, having tuckered himself out speaking. Chaos knew what he was going to do now. Tomorrow, he was going to find Tikal’s village and give her father a good scare, and maybe curse him for good measure. With that in his thoughts, he put his Dewdrop down onto his bed, but paused as his Dewdrop started to rub circles onto his thumb in his sleep. Chaos’ eyes crinkled, but he nevertheless pulled his hand out of his son’s, and quietly moved over to his pool, and slipped inside…

 

Alarm rang in his head, but Chaos couldn’t drag himself out of his water. He felt fuzzy, hazy, and not all there. He was aware of shouting, and sleepily he could see a group of energies by the treeline: Tikal, standing in front of a decorated, wrinkled old Echidna, with an army of Echidna warriors behind him. She was shouting, screaming, something, but Chaos slipped back into a doze…

His Chao were being trodden! The warriors were setting the temple ablaze, while they were kicking his Chao, and the old Echidna was laughing with a maniacal glint to his eye, and Tikal was slumped on the ground, motionless, as blood oozed from a gash in her head, and they were taking his Dewdrop from his bed—!
Chaos slipped under again.

His Dewdrop was drowning. The Echidna Warriors had taken him to a river a little down the mountain, and were holding him under, laughing, as Tikal’s father stood, admiring one of his Chaos Emeralds. Chaos pushed all of his power, although he was a mile away, towards his son, trapping him into a pocket of air, putting in enough energy to nourish him, stabilize him, keeping him breathing underwater for all eternity if he had to, anything to keep him from drowning—
Tikal’s father, using the emerald in his hands, severed Chaos’ energy from his son’s.
Blank shock flooded Chaos as he knew that the magic bubble would burst: his son would be carried downward into the depths of the river and drown, and—
Chaos was pulled into sleep for a final time.

 

Chaos woke in a blaze of fury. He exploded out of his charred temple. He raced past the fallen Chao, his fury mounting at the sight of every fallen one. He raced past Tikal’s body, barely feeling anything at all.
Except fury.
Boiling fury.
Hateful, uncontained, uncontrollable, vicious and unquenchable.
Chaos felt a pull—beyond a few trees to his right, was the river where his son had—

His son had—

His Dewdrop had—

His Dewdrop—

Chaos raced on. His sweet, sweet, Chaos emeralds called to him, and in no time at all he was in the village, and Warriors shrieked and threw spears, but what is a spear to a creature of water? He swept through the village, until he was at the huge structure in the middle, until he was up the steps, until he was reaching for the Emeralds as Tikal’s father tried to push him away—

His sweet, sweet Emeralds flowed right into him, and he summoned all the water available to drown the Chief right then and there.

The floods started. Huge sheets of water spilled from the sky as tidal waves crushed seaside cliffs and lightning came down. Screams and cries came from all around the land as water came rushing in ceaselessly from all sides: houses were carried out to the sea, and islands sunk under the rising tide, and it still wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough pain to make up for his.

But suddenly he felt a pull, and his emeralds were being pulled from him, and he screamed, screamed, as he was pulled back to his temple. There, the Master Emerald was glowing with a terrible power, as Tikal leaned her broken body against it, steely glint back in her eyes.
And Chaos battered her with anger, with pain, with the question: How could you bring this upon us?!, but Tikal just looked at him sadly, and when he was pulled inside of the Emerald, she went in after him, sealing it closed behind him.

Chapter Text

The sun rose and sank. The wind blew and ceased. The earth shifted and settled. And water gave life through rain, rivers, and tides.

And Chaos simmered with rage.

These things were constants. Tikal was sleeping, unaware of Chaos, since the day she’d put him there. And Chaos simmered with fury. Everytime the pain turned to sorrow he bit back, angry at himself for allowing himself to feel sorrow before it was over.
His Chao.
His Dewdrop.
Chaos would drown the entire planet for his Dewdrop.

And he was going to.

The sun rose and sank. The wind blew and ceased. The earth shifted and settled. And water gave life through rain, rivers, and tides.

He could feel the other Emeralds through the Master, although they couldn’t help him: he felt them, through the years, go from somewhat unknown, a myth, to a coveted item sought by every ruler and tyrant. He felt their frequency of use skyrocket, and finally, finally, he felt something touch him in the depths of the Master Emerald.
It was a fleeting presence, a scared one too, of a rountund man in red and yellow. He was on some sort of metal flying apparatus, flying fast through the black sky, and something golden bright was using all the Chaos Emeralds behind him, and all the man promised was to be back.

And back he was. This time in front of the remains of Chaos’ temple, with a vial of red liquid with him. Finally, he let Chaos out. Finally, Chaos could get his revenge. He felt the Master Emerald shatter around him, and Tikal’s alarmed spirit was quickly subdued as the egg-shaped man poured the vial into him, and promised him the Chaos Emeralds in return for his cooperation.
As the red liquid’s effects began to take hold, Chaos stopped seeing the world. Red filled his vision, blocking out all other colors.

Chaos remembered things vaguely. One of his first actions was to send an Echidna flying—After that, nothing, until a Chaos emerald was snatched out of the paws of a fox and into him—After that, two more Emeralds, then a fight with a blurry figure on top of lily pads—After that, more and more Emeralds were given to him by the egg-shaped man with a wicked grin, adding another vial to him—After that, a fight on a metal ship sailing through the sky, with cold liquid being thrown into him, freezing him, it hurt, and he was so close to having all the Emeralds—

Chaos awoke in the ocean, next to the crashed sky ship, his emeralds gone, and nothing but rage. If the egg-shaped man was so useless, Chaos could just go on without him.
And he would. He felt the Emeralds calling him, next to their Master, on an island in the sky. So Chaos, with all of his might, crawled his way up there through cloud vapor and grit and rage. There was a Red Echidna, and Chaos immobilized him with extreme prejudice, and the egg-shaped man appeared, and he was dealt with similarly—and he had his Emeralds.
Well, except for one. It called to him, a lonely voice in the close jungle, and Chaos gladly took it.

And he was that same furious creature that he was four thousand years ago, and he rushed all of his water into the city of glass and metal that was nearby, crashing his water through it, breaking the structures and flooding the roads, relishing the screaming in his poisonous rage.
Suddenly, there was another presence, using the Emeralds. Chaos saw a golden figure race across the water towards him, pulling power away from him. And he screamed, because he needed that power, he needed that energy, to destroy this world that destroyed him, and so he fought back, to kill the interfering pest, so he could have all the power the Chaos Emeralds had to offer.
It was a spectacle. No matter what Chaos did, the golden figure evaded—enough to survive, at least, because Chaos felt the figure’s blood mix with his own and felt joy from it.
But the figure was dealing as much as it was taking, and Chaos felt panic as it pulled more energy from him. It was sapping at him, and it couldn’t do that, because he needed it for vengeance, because Dewdrop—

For Dewdrop—

Chaos unleashed one last flurry of attacks, barreling forward with a horrible screech, and felt satisfaction as they hit, one after another, as the figure could only barely hold on—
But then, the figure powered through one more time, and hit Chaos straight in the face, and Chaos felt pain he’d never felt before as the Emeralds left him, and he and the figure flew and hit the black stone street at an astounding speed.

Chaos felt his form shrink and twist as he struggled to push himself off of the street, as the golden figure did the same. And stumbled, and Chaos watched with sick pleasure, because he knew that he had dealt one to many blows for the—
—Hedgehog?

And Chaos watched as the yellow left his quills, and the red left his eyes. The bright baby blue of his quills had darkened to a calming cobalt, and he stood tall and gangly in his teenage years. But Dewdrop’s eyes were the same blinding green they’d always been.

There was a ringing confusion in Chaos’ head. He was frozen.

And then Dewdrop’s knees gave out, and he collapsed on the pavement.

Chaos moved towards Dewdrop, his son, as fast as he could, and oh god, there was so much blood on him, that he’d caused, and—

And Dewdrop looked up at him, and he crawled back as Chaos crawled forward. There was no recognition in his eyes.

There was only fear.

And Chaos felt nothing as he stopped, and fell back onto the pavement, and wanted nothing more than to die where he lay.

Chapter Text

Sonic’s earliest memories weren’t the best, even if they were clear. He remembered relaxing in a warm...Bubble? With a living, relaxing blue light surrounding him. But then the...Bubble...Popped? And he was thrust upward as water fought to get into his lungs.

He remembered breaking the surface of the water, only to be pulled down under again by a strong current. Then he was thrust along, barely managing to get a handful of breaths now and again, always on the verge of drowning, hitting stones and the banks of the river he was being carried down. Up, down, brain screaming at him to get air, get away, for what felt like hours.

When Sonic finally managed to crawl ashore, he collapsed, weak, against the ground. He remembered crying, saying “Ch-Ch—”

Sonic doesn’t remember who he was trying to call. All he remembers is waking up, alone and freezing, in a forest, with a painful itch in his heart that he couldn’t explain.

And a new, intense fear of water.

Which brings him to this current situation, which is hell, or nearly, for Sonic. Station Square is completely flooded, and the water is increasingly rising as more pours in from the skyscrapers. Sonic is fighting the urge to scream as he focuses on the water lapping at the edge of the collapsed highway he’s on, oblivious to whatever Tikal was saying.
Yes, water, flowing, ebbing, all around him, threatening to take him and pull it under like it did before, crushing his lungs…

“His heart is filled with anger!” Tikal was saying, “If this goes on, he’ll destroy the world like he did before—We must seal him inside the Master Emerald, now!”
Strangely, Sonic felt a flash of anger at that.
“How’s that going to help?!” Sonic said, turning back from the water. “That’s not going to change how he feels inside, is it? His anger just won’t vanish—He’ll just be trapped forever!”
Tikal turned to him, pain and grief on her face.
“What choice do we have?!”
“Sonic!”
Sonic turned, and there Amy was, running over with a colorless Chaos Emerald.
“Can this help?” She asked.
“Uh…” Sonic said.
“Sonic!”
This time Knuckles, Big, and Tails were running over.
“Sonic!” Knuckles continued, panting, holding his injured side, “Sonic! That beast isn’t using all of the Emeralds power—not yet, anyway—If you can activate these, then you might be able to go Super Sonic!”
At that, Knuckles slumped against the guard railings, face white with pain. Sonic turned to Tikal.
“Can I do anything with that?!”
Tikal looked at him, expression soft, sad, and calculating all at the same time.
“If you…” She started, “If you manage to separate him from the Chaos Emeralds’ power, He might… He might listen to reason. But it’ll be very dangerous.”
Sonic gave a slightly hysterical laugh as he scooped up the Emeralds. “Danger is my m-middle name!”
Clutching the Emeralds tightly, he closed his eyes and mentaly reached inside them… Looking, searching… There! Grasping the wisps of power, Sonic yanked it out, and gave a breath of relief as his quills turned a blinding gold…
And then he was off, flying over the cold, hungry water… Sonic forced himself to look up and away from the dark body underneath him, but only to focus on the dark body in front of him, also… made of water.
Huh.
Shoot.
Then the thing’s tentacles reached up, and there was more water, surrounding him, threatening him, and his throat closed off… but somehow, the itch inside of his heart, the one from all those years ago, was back in full force. It was stronger than his fear of water, stronger than anything he had felt before…
Somehow, he was going to finish this.
Somehow, this fight between him and this beast was personal.

Chaos threw beams of light, and they seared his side. Sonic hissed in pain, but flew forward, faster, because now he felt a connection between him and the Beast. He began to pull energy from Chaos, but promptly stopped and covered his ears as an earsplitting screech struck him. Chaos was not going to let that energy go without a fight.
So began the dance; Sonic would pull, and Chaos would fight, and Sonic would evade the assault, and so on. As Sonic exploited the connection, he felt rage and cold, stabbing sorrow attached to the energy, and it hurt more than Sonic would have thought.
Please stop this. Sonic caught himself thinking, I’m right here now...and so are the Chao!
Huh.
Unfortunately, this distracted Sonic enough for an attack to slip through. As pain lanced throughout his body, Sonic realized he would not be able to keep this up for much longer.
Alright. It’s now or Never, Sonic thought as he began to drag energy from Chaos as fast as he could. Then Chaos rose up, and roared—and Sonic barely had time to brace himself as blinding light and waves of water hit him one after another, unrelenting.
Now or Never…!
Sonic pushed up, forcing himself through the attack, soaring straight at Chaos at incredible speeds, while forcing a stream of Chaos energy into a crackling shield around him—

The Shield exploded when Sonic made contact with Chaos, and Sonic found himself severed from the Emeralds, but hey! So was Chaos, so hey, that’s great, oh, and there’s the pavement coming up to meet him—

Crack. Sonic felt something break as he hit the asphalt. A few feet away, Sonic heard a watery slap to see Chaos zero, for some reason achingly familiar, pushing himself off the ground.

Time to reason with Chaos itself, Sonic thought. He pushed himself up, staggering over to Chaos, when he felt the last of his Super form leave him, and oh.
Sonic stood suspended for a few agonizing seconds before his knees hit the ground and he collapsed. He was suddenly, painfully aware that his shoulder was broken.
Squinting through the pain, Sonic looked up to see Chaos crawling towards him like its life depended on it. Sonic watched, transfixed, as the water that comprised its body shifted like the turns in the river, ensuring he’d never stay above the water for long its weight on its powerful limbs powerful like the current, bashing him against every rock and scraping him against the stony bottom and concern in its eyes like you haven’t seen for so long—

Sonic was suddenly aware that he had backed up, crawling away from Chaos, as his shoulder had helpfully reminded him when he’d tried to use it for such a purpose. Sonic gasped in pain, but looked back up, to see that Chaos had curled up into a ball.

Against all better judgement, Sonic began crawling towards Chaos, the itch in his heart urging him on. Dimly he was aware of Tikal appearing behind him.
Crawling forward… Then there are the Chao, coming out of the nooks and crannies, and Sonic remembers his uncanny ability to know what they’re talking about.
Crawling forward… The itch in his heart, making it pound like never before, relief and anger and the regret from having been alone for so long…

He had reached Chaos, and embraced him, wrapping his watery arms around him, burying his head against Chaos’ forehead, not giving a damn if it was wet…
...and slowly, slowly, Sonic began to rub circles into Chaos’ thumb.

But it was too late. Sonic knew that Chaos couldn’t feel him. Sonic felt the semi-solid water that comprised Chaos start to weaken, and then Chaos melted in his arms, turning into water that slipped off the highway and joined the mass of water below. Sonic watched it go, feeling numb.

“Is he gone? Like, forever?” Sonic asked without turning around.
“No,” Tikal answered, “But reaching him is going to be dangerous, tiresome, and tedious. I don’t even know where he is at this point.”
“That’s alright,” Sonic whispered, “I’ve got this strange ambition to see this through.”
Sonic carefully leaned back. “Hey Tikal.”
“Y-Yeah?”
“Is it possible for you to stick around? Like… Can we bring you back or somethin’?”
Sonic heard a sniffle. He turned around to see that Tikal was looking at him with a look of sadness, longing, love, and… pride? She was also silently crying, which Sonic didn’t know that ghosts could do.
“I… don’t know if you can bring me back,” she said, “but you best believe I’m gonna stick around to see this through, whatever ‘through’ turns out being.”
“Fantastic..” Sonic said, fully lying down, “Happy to have ya back again, Tikal…”

And Sonic slipped into unconsciousness, but with inexplicable feelings of love, determination, and curiosity in his heart, and a thought in his head.

The sun rose and sank. The wind blew and ceased. The earth shifted and settled. And the love between a parent and child can move time.

These things are constants.

 

End.