Author's Chapter Notes:
Blue and Co. (c) Sega SonicTeam
Shtier (c) Winky
Ace and Co. (c) Me and my sister
Blue watched as Miles walked off, then turned away again. Blue had a past, just like him, but he didn’t feel like he could open up to him easily. He closed his eyes, lost in thought. Then weak footsteps perked his ears and made him look up. A limping figure was leaning against the town wall. It’s long ears flopped at the side of it’s bruised face.

“Shtier!” Blue cried, running over to catch his friend as he lost balance finally. “Shtier, are you okay? What happened? How’d you find me?” He threw question after question at him nonstop, then stopped to notice that his friend was badly injured.

“It’s Ace and the others, isn’t it?” He said, his tone softening. “Don’t worry. I have some friends here, they can help us fight them!”

‘They’re looking for you.’ His friend’s soft voice said inside his mind. ‘I am too weak to speak normally, but I thought it best to warn you.’

“Shtier?” He looked at his Lop Rabbit friend. “Hey, don’t worry. We’ll get you fixed up, and then we can talk about your warning. Okay?”

Shtier nodded weakly as he allowed Blue to lead him over to the large house he and everyone else stayed in.

When Blue carried in his wounded and naked friend, the Chaotix quirked an eyebrow, but Amelia dashed forward and helped him in as well. “Sonic, what happened?” She asked, as she helped him lie him down on the couch that the Chaotix had just vacated after she glared at them.

“She called you ‘Sonic’, Blue?” Shtier said, laughing a bit, then wincing in pain.

“I’ll tell you after you’re better.” Blue promised, then looked up at the sound of the front door opening. Miles had come home.

He walked into the room and blinked. “I didn’t know we had a visitor.”

“Tails, this is my old friend, Shtier. Shtier, this is Tails, one of my new friends.” Blue said, grinning happily. “Tails, this is my friend that I told you about, the one I’d left behind because of the Humans!”

“Oh. So, how’d he find you?” Miles asked, narrowing his eyes. “If he could, surely the others could.”

“I…ugnh…searched the world for his mind, then tracked him that way. I’ve been…looking for him….ever since he was…taken away.” Shtier explained.

“’Searched the world for his mind’? What the hell does that mean?” Miles asked, glancing at Blue. Was it really a good idea to trust this guy? “Explain.”

“I have…a power.” Shtier said, and then winced. “A power…to sense the minds…of those…closest to…me.” He looked at him. “If I…know their mind…I can…speak to them…without…normal…methods.”

“’Normal methods’?” Miles asked, this time turning to Blue.

“He means by way of mouth. He can use ‘mind-speech.’ He can use his minds to speak into ours.” Blue explained, nodding as he sat down next to Shtier’s head. “It’s very useful, especially if we’re stuck in different rooms and need…comforting…” He bowed his head. “Were you followed?”

‘I lost them around home, and I’ve been watching out for them. No one’s behind me.’ Shtier spoke into his mind, his eyes locking with his. ‘Still, best to keep a look out, Blue.’

Blue nodded, and then stood up. “He says we should keep a look out, in case anyone’s following.”

“Okay…that’s just plain creepy. He didn’t say anything.” Knuckles said, quirking an eyebrow as he looked up from his Playboy.

“Mind-speech, Knuckles. It’s a lot to take in.” Blue said, grinning. “I can understand why it’d be hard for you.”

“Wait a minute!” Knuckles kicked up off of the couch. “Are you saying that I’m dumb!?”

“Yep!” Blue said, grinning.

“THAT’S IT!” Knuckles said, then charged at him. Blue grinned and dodged him, leaving him to crash into Miles.

“Whoa—sorry, Tails!” Knuckles said, getting off of him. “You little jerk! Dodging me like that!”

“That’s just the way I am now. Get used to it!” Blue said, winking as he dashed off outside.

“Blue…he’s…changed. Perhaps…for the…better.” Shtier said, and then winced in pain before he finally lost consciousness.

Outside, Blue was sitting on the rock again. ‘What came over me? Is it the shoes? The Humans? The freedom?’ He looked over at the house. ‘Maybe I should apologize…but it felt so good, taunting him like that!’

“Hey, you!” A woman’s cool voice said as Wave walked over to join him. “I guess I should say thank you. I never got to when you were saving me, after all.” He leaned against the rock. “Metalla wants me to go to Station Square for something, but I need an escort. Think you and your little band could help?”

He looked down at her. “Escort you to Station Square?”

“Yeah. That place is a prime target of Dr. Robotnik’s, and he wants me to get something from there before the old doctor can.”

“What is it?” He turned to her fully, his feet kicking the rock.

“It’s called a Chaos Emerald. It’s a jewel of great power, and it could really help with some of my inventions.” She explained, looking over her shoulder at him. “You think you’re up to it?”

“Hehe! I can handle anything Wave!” He jumped up and pointed to himself. “I’m the fastest thing on this world! Nothing can beat me!”

“I only hope your confidence isn’t unjustified. Best to go tell your friends, then.” She grinned a bit, and then walked back towards Metalla’s office.

Sonic grinned and ran off to tell the others.

“I can’t.” Miles said, after hearing the plan. “I have to save Bark. It’s my fault she’s captured!”

“What d’you mean, ‘my fault’?” Knuckles said, walking over. “What happened?”

“The city was unprotected because I ran off and the others tired to stop me! That’s why Julian and his nephew could take over! With everyone there, they didn’t stand a chance! But, Reginald and Julian had both been waiting until my past finally caught up with me, for everyone to leave town briefly!”

“Tails, don’t blame yourself…” Blue said, his eyes shaking. “C’mon, come with us! We’re going to go to help take him down!”

“…Really? And the chance of saving Bark is how high?” Miles said, listening now.

“I dunno! Is she in Station Square?” Blue asked, shrugging.

“Sam, where is she now?” Miles asked, looking at him.

“They’re in Future City!” Bean said, cutting off Sam. “We saw their ship leaving for there days ago, and have been trying to get help ever since!”

“Well, now we can help.” Miles said, nodding firmly. “Future City isn’t far from Station Square.”

“If you insist…” Amelia said, nodding. “Then, we shall help this Bark, if we have the chance to. So long as we can get her out safely.”

“Don’t worry. We will.” Sam said firmly, a cold glare on his face. “And if that ba---“

“Okay, let’s rest up for now!” Knuckles said, cutting him off. “Got a lot of packing to do, best start now!” He dashed off, leaving them in silence.

Miles stepped away first, then they all walked off to pack what few belongings they had.

Blue walked over to Miles, who was staring into space. “We’ll be back.” He said, and Miles nodded.

“You’re right, Blue. After all…this is our home.”

To be continued…
Chapter End Notes:
Poor Bark! Hopefully they can save her time, neh?
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