Sonic the Hedgehog: The Grind
Rise an shine, sonny boy!
Sonic T. Hedgehog let out a muffled groaned, not bothering to lift his blue head from his pillow. Goway Unca Chuck
Aw, cmon, Sonic, ya gotta check out this sunrise with me! the elderly hedgehog insisted cheerfully, smiling down at his nephew, Theres nothin like getting to see the start of a brand-new day after a long nights work
he took a deep breath, glad for once that his lone blood relative had forgotten (as always) to close the window to his room before shutting the shades.
the teen mumbled, turning his head just enough to view his uncle through one half-open eye, What were you doin workin all night long?
Just repair work - gotta pay the bills somehow; I get paid higher rates as a 24/7 handyman, Charles explained casually, twisting the shades open. The early morning rays of the sun immediately flooded into the room, casting its orange tinge onto everything from the worn, beige, several-years too old carpeting to his nephews recently-opened eye.
The young hedgehog cringed. What time is it? he asked, burying his face back into his pillow.
6:00, Uncle Chuck replied, his upbeat tone of voice further belaying the fact that his body was, in fact, quite tired (he liked to think he was still young enough to run himself ragged in his work without consequence, but spirit and body usually found this to be a source of disagreement), Thought you might like time to prepare for school for once, he chuckled dryly.
Aww, when have I ever needed time to prepare
for anything? Sonic asked, propping himself up on his elbows to flash his guardian a cheeky grin.
The light-blue hedgehog couldnt help but laugh, Fair enough, son, he patted the young humanoid (as the government was kind enough to classify their large, second-class citizenry) on the shoulder gently, Well, it was just a thought. Coffees in the pot for ya, he explained, heading back towards the door to his nephews room, You have work today?
At this, Sonics smile faded, Ugh, yeah
See you tonight then, Chuck said, his good mood not to be deterred, waving shortly as he exited the room.
There was no getting back to sleep now that he was awake, so the blue-furred teenage just yawned, stretching like a cat beneath his sheets before sitting up completely. Man, school doesnt start for another hour and a half
what am I supposed ta do for that long? Scratching at his side, his gaze fell on his open window more specifically, the window adjacent to it on the house next door. Well I suppose I could spread the love of a sunrise
Sonic slipped out of bed, clad only in his boxers and socks, then began to fumble about for a pair of jeans that he hadnt worn more than twice. As the anatomy for the various species of humanoid and humans werent identical, clothing wasnt really necessary, but the government decreed by law that any creature capable of cognitive thought and speech must maintain the predetermined sense of public decency with regards to nudity, whether the body be covered in skin or fur. No one gave it much thought anymore, especially not an eighteen-year old high school senior.
He snapped his gloves into place, one hand running down his spikes instinctively. Once fully clothed in an ensemble that included baggy jeans (which refused to stay up high enough for school standards even with a belt, due to his extremely lithe waist) and the nearest T-shirt, he stepped into his signature red shoes, fully prepared to face the grind of another day. Well, almost, Hope theres a lotta coffee
* * *
Man, I havent scaled this wall in a while wish his dad hadnt torched our old rope ladder
Sonic backed up slowly, nearly touching the wall of his own dwelling, cracking his neck back and forth once. He leapt forward, time itself seeming to slow around him as he did so, his super-speed kicking in as his legs churned gracefully, allowing him to literally run up the side of the wall to the window. He perched awkwardly on the sill, rapping his knuckles sharply on the glass.
Inside the dark room, Knuckles T. Echidna snorted in his sleep. Something was tapping in the background of what was until this moment a very pleasant dream. And it wasnt stopping. With a moan and a grunt he forced himself out of bed, stumbling groggily across the room to the source of the noise. What the hell
? he muttered, yanking on the drawstring of the blinds on his window.
Sonic smiled widely, waving curtly, Mornin!
GAH!! the echidna let out a yelp and staggered backwards, clutching his chest, What the fuck?! Whatre you doing up here??
Just visiting my best pal, the hedgehog replied brightly, Open up, its cold out here.
Jeezus, gimme a heart attack why dont you
Knuckes grumbled, stepping forward to slide the glass pane upward.
So sorry to interrupt your beauty sleep
the other replied mockingly, hopping inside his best friends room.
Oh shut up
the red-furred one mumbled, shutting the window again quickly, Why are you up so early anyway?
Uncle Chuck felt the need to share the glory of the sunrise with me, so I thought Id pass along the sentiment, Sonic griped, folding his arms across his chest, Trust me, it wasnt to get my daily viewing of tighty-whitey-wear
His face glowing an even deeper shade of red, Knuckles grabbed the nearest pair of jeans and shoved them on embarrassedly. Remind me again why Im friends with you?
Cmon, who else would spend all their time in detention with you? Sonic chuckled, raising an eye-ridge at the echidna.
He scowled. The blue delinquent was the only reason he wound up in detention so often, but it was too early for him to stay angry. Instead he gave a heavy sigh and then straightened up. So um
did you wanna go get breakfast or something?
Great, Im starved. You buyin?
Of course, Knuckles said, rolling his eyes as he grabbed a t-shirt and hoodie, Where to?
IHOP sounds good, Sonic mused aloud, Say, you dont think Hooters is open this early, do you?
You want buffalo wings for breakfast? the echidna asked, making a face as he pulled his Lego-topped sneakers on.
Nah, but we could stop by and visit yer girlfriend.
Shes not my girlfriend!
Dude, whyre you fighting this? the blue hedgehog inquired, sounding genuinely baffled, Id be fuckin thrilled
Lets just go, okay? Knuckles grumbled, slinging his backpack over his shoulder.
* * *
Sure sugah, shes in the back Ill let her know yallre here, Bunnie Rabbot said, flashing the teenagers a grin before turning on her heel, white cotton tail poking out from the back of her orange shorts.
Sonic, school starts in like, five minutes, Knuckles said warningly, glancing at his watch warily.
Thats four minutes more than I need, the hedgehog said, waving a gloved hand dismissively, Besides, didnt you at least wanna say hi?
That was you, remember? the red-furred humanoid retorted quickly.
Yeah, but only cuz I know deep down you really wanted to, Sonic smirked, elbows on the wait here to be served podium, Plus, a guy needs to get his hotness fix someplace.
Amy doesnt do it for you? Knuckles laughed, elbowing his friend teasingly.
Sonic shuddered, Man, why you gotta mention the A word this early in the morning?
Just to keep your ego from inflating too much, thats all.
Remind me to thank you for that later
Thank him for what? came a familiar alto voice as Rouge Bat sashayed into the entryway, Red, youre not giving away sexual favors and not telling me again, are you?
The two instinctively took a step away from each other, but while Knuckles voice was felled by the extreme amount of blood rushing to his head from embarrassment, Sonic was quick to recover, Nice to see you too, Rouge, he replied, a cocky smirk plastered on his face, Trust me, hes not my type.
Well thats a shame, she said, shaking her head, Youre missing out on an internet goldmine, let me tell ya.
Yeah, porn star would look great on a résumé, right next to savior of the world and Coconuts employee, Sonic snorted, leaning against the nearby wall, So hows life for my favorite ex-babysitter?
Not bad at all, the 21-year-old replied, straightening up and spreading her arms out to give them a better view of herself, Im fine as ever, as you can see.
Despite his boisterous, boastful, frequent proclamations to the contrary, Sonic Hedgehog was reasonably certain that the only feelings beyond friendship he held for Rouge was that of lust (the term friends with benefits never sounded more wonderful
). In that spirit, such a delectable prospect was more than enough to cause his already oft-strained heart to skip a beat, Damn, you can say that again
he nodded, his eyes flickering up and down her curvaceous form quickly.
She smirked in quiet, well-expected triumph. Yeah you can. She turned her gaze on the echidna who, to her delight, was standing with his mouth slightly agape, and seemed to be fighting internally over the desire to keep staring and his gentlemanly instincts to avert his eyes. Right, Red?
Knuckles spluttered incoherently for just a second, caught off-guard, then quickly turned his gaze to the floor (in what could be comically seen as an unintentional effort to hide behind his dreadlocks), nodding curtly.
Hate ta break this up, came Bunnies southern drawl as she sidled up beside her coworker, But aint yall gonna be later for school?
Sonic glanced down at his watch, which was rounding on 7:30, then shrugged, Punctualitys never really been my thing. Besides, what fool would want to leave such visions of loveliness?
Shell be here all day, the rabbit said, Come see us during lunch, and Ah promise you she wont serve no one but yall.
The blue-furred creature sighed, Fine, but well hold you too that, he turned to Knuckles, snapping his fingers in front of the echidnas face, Cmon, were outta here.
Huh? Oh, uh, right, yeah Im coming
Knuckles said, head still ducked nearly below his shoulders.
See ya later, Red, Rouge called after him, waving.
His face, which had just begun to regain its usual coloring, flushed a deep hue of crimson again, S-See ya.
As the pair exited, Bunnie gave the bat a shove, Youre terrible.
Well that was sure smooth, Sonic sniggered as the males stepped out into the parking lot.
Oh shut up
Knuckles scowled, stuffing his gloved hands grumpily into the single pocket in the front of his black hoodie.
Ya know, if you could ever get an actual word out, I bet shed be so blown away she wouldnt be able to say no if you asked her out.
Im not askin her out, the echidna reiterated firmly, his breath rising visibly before him in the chilled morning air as the pair walked along, his sneakers kicking up bits of concrete from the ill-cared-for suburb sidewalk, Besides, even if I wanted to, shes 21 and Im not even 18 yet. Arent there laws against that kinda thing?
Nope, 16 is the age of consent, I looked it up, the hedgehog said matter-of-factly, Besides, youll need a place to crash once you ditch your old man after your birthday.
Dammit, we really are gonna be late, Knuckles groaned, hoping to shift the subject away from himself, My dadll kill me if I get written up again
Not to worry you wanna ride piggy-back or damsel-style? Sonic asked, getting a good foothold on the concrete.
Neither way is particularly dignified, of course, the other sighed, watching as his friend tapped the tips of both his red, white-striped shoes against the ground, as if testing its solidity, I suppose well go with damsel today...
Damsel it is then! Sonic said, bending down to scoop his best friend up into his arms, Hold on! In a blink, the self-proclaimed fastest thing alive was off like a shot, leaving a trail of smoke in his wake as he tore down the sidewalk.
Knuckles glanced nervously at his watch. Even with Sonics breakneck speed, the odds of them getting to the correct classrooms on time was still quite minimal- which was, as he well knew, just the way the blue hedgehog preferred to operate. For reasons he could only rationalize through the reasoning that his friend was a seriously addicted adrenaline junkie- the more risk involved, the more dangerous a situation, the closer Sonic would cut it, if only for thrills. The fact that the hedgehogs unbelievably high top-velocity gave new meaning to the concept of a runners high merely seemed to compound the problem
Told ya wed make it! the hedgehog was saying over the rushing wind caused by his own motion (which had blown the front doors to the school wide open). No sweat! Now all we gotta do is meld into the usual hallway crowd and his voice dropped off as they entered Mobotropolis High only to find the usual hallway crowd already dissipated, only the last few scattered stragglers remaining.
The few remaining humans and humanoids alike were being herded from the hall by the schools designated permanent hall monitor, aka the foreign exchange student Antoine de Coolette. His outfit (a strange mixture of misplaced vanity and dorkiness, in Sonics opinion) was adorned with a red sash, marking him as having the bare minimal authority in the school to make him loathed enemy to the common student and minor annoyance to most staff members, Come, come, please to be moving along, he ordered importantly, frightening off several lost and confused-looking freshmen.
Sonic whispered, having yet to release his friend, Slight change in the plan. Just gotta slip by Ant and were home free!
Fine, Knuckles replied, his tone equally hushed, Any chance of putting me down?
Not making you uncomfortable, am I? the hedgehog grinned before lowering the echidna to the ground deftly.
A little bit, yeah.
My bad used to doin this with girls, and they always seem to like it when ya linger, he explained, Cmon, quick, while hes not lookin.
Both teens turned sharply, and Sonic grinned innocently, Hey Ant! Fancy meeting you here ya know, we were just talking about you.
The fox-humanoid sneered down his elongated nose at the pair, Delinquents
Zis time I shall be truly throwing the novel at them, as they say, Late again, Sonic Hedgehog, I am seeing
Now really, Ant, I gotta ask am I late? Or does the day jut start a tad too early?
Everyone else is coming to school on proper time, Monsieur Hedgehog, the hall monitor snapped, And you as well, Ca-nuckels.
Its Knuckles, the echidna muttered.
No no, I am seeing it spelled, Antoine replied impatiently, You cannot fu-el me.
Right you are, Ant boy, nothing gets by you, Sonic said quickly, grabbing his friend by the elbow and steering him in the opposite direction, Well just be getting to class now.
Not to being so fast, de Coolette commanded, placing a hand firmly on the hedgehogs shoulder, Tardiness is merit of one detention, oui?
Oh come on, the hedgehog whined.
Oh Hall Monitor, a crisp feminine voice interrupted them as Sally Acorn appeared in the corridor, I think I smelled smoke coming from the boys room in the science hall.
WHAT!? the fox cried, both aghast and infuriated, You are to be remain here! he called over his shoulder as he hurried down the hall towards the indicated rules-infraction.
You guys better get moving, the red-headed chipmunk said, It wont take him long to realize I was mistaken.
Thanks Sally, Knuckles smiled, Were goin- see you this afternoon?
You bet, she nodded, Ive got a whole slew of photos for us to go through.
Guess that kid Silvers been busy, he chuckled, Alright, see ya then.
Thanks, Pres, Sonic said teasingly, saluting Sally with two fingers as the pair trotted off.
Anytime, she said, smiling indulgently as she waved them off.
You know her? Sonic inquired quietly after a few steps, not quite sure if they were out of earshot.
Shes the editor of the school paper, he answered, voice equally hushed.
Along with class president, future valedictorian
Shes not that bad.
Sonic raised an eyebrow, unconvinced, but merely folded his hands behind his head, If you say so
he stopped outside a classroom labeled 327, See ya at lunch.
Yep, Knuckles nodded, continuing his way down the hall. There really was nothing bad about Sallys aspirations with her father being the Mayor, he could understand the pressure she was under to excel. She was an overachiever by nature it seemed, yet from his interactions with her (he wasnt quite sure what they had was friendship, but it was closer than mere acquaintanceship) she never struck him as stuck up or dull. She was unbelievably bright, easy to talk to, and cute (he had to admit) in a girl next door sort of way that while not something he was too attracted to, gave her a fair share of admirers. Plus, she made the business dinners his father dragged him to every few months a lot more bearable.
His thoughts trailed off as he pushed the door open to classroom 356 and slipped inside.
* * *
Sonic sighed tiredly, running one gloved hand across his face, Geez, first the geezer nearly tears my head off, then an hour and a half of precalc; God I cant wait to get outta this place
He padded down the hall listlessly (a half-hour nap combined with math could do that to a guy) towards the entrance to the school, trying to avoid running into any of the younger, more addled classes. Hooters for lunch sounded as good as anyplace
He pushed through the glass doors and hopped down the steps, glancing around at the deserted pavilion, Dammit, he frowned, tapping his right foot against the ground (patience, while a virtue to many, certainly wasnt a strength of Sonics), Shoulda known Knuckles was gonna chicken out on me
The blue hedgehog turned about-face and reentered the school, shaking his head in disappointment. The hallway was mostly empty now as well, as lunch had just begun (even Antoine was nowhere to be found).
As he was about to head in the direction of the cafeteria, another familiar face caught his eye the school guidance counselor, a cat-humanoid by the name of Dr. Elizabeth Sawyer - heading out of her office and into the copy room. A second glance brought a wide grin to his face. The office door was still open, swinging slightly, the protruding lock bouncing against the frame.
The layout of the room was quite familiar to him, having been summoned to the office numerous times. Most students would have inhibitions over breaking and entering into an administrators office, but he strolled inside casually, the door swinging silently on its hinges, Lotta good memories in this office
Wonder what she does with all the stuff she confiscates from me?
A search of the room at Sonic speed unearthed a veritable treasure trove of paraphernalia, and he stood before the pile chuckling to himself. Too easy. Now, lets see what we got here
he breathed aloud, No way! He let out a joyful laugh as he extracted a black and blue skateboard from the mess of old slingshots and spitball shooters.
The buzz of the copier faded away, the silence interrupting the flood of ideas racing through his mind. He hastily shoved the more childish trinkets back into the doctors lower desk drawer, clutching his prized possession in two hands, Havent seen this since last June
he thought happily, exiting the room with haste.
The cafeteria was bustling with activity as he stepped through the double doors, and his eyes flew over the commotion rapidly. The opportunities were just
so endless! And each once felt even more perfect than the last! His gaze finally settled on the line at the buffet and he grinned. Bingo.
The tiniest of little voices in the back of his mind raised a feeble protest, but was instantly drowned out by the tidal wave of enthusiastic excitement at the prospect of being able to take some sort of action (he hadnt had the chance to take his morning jog around the country this morning). Sonic was a creature of action by nature, confined by the doldrums of the typical life society kept hoping to force him into: though it seemed terrible to admit, he never felt more useful, more alive than when Robotnik was trying to take control of the world, regardless of the wanton destruction of property and life caused in the process.
Gang way!! he shouted, reeling back and tossing the skateboard in the air. He crouched down and leapt up, the soles of his sneakers catching the grip tape in mid-air, seconds before it came crashing down on a full table a few yards from the door. Comin through! A quick step down snapped the board up and he kicked off again, amid cries of confusion and surprise.
At the end of the elongated table (his path of destruction evident by the crushed lunch bags, broken trays, and edible carnage) he leapt again, one hand gripping the bottom of the board to keep his feet firmly planted. The hedgehog sailed through the open door to the lunch line, the left upper axel catching on the metal edge of the food-display case while its twin latched onto the corner of the lunch-tray counter. His momentum propelled him forward, the shrieks of alarm from both students and lunch ladies nearly drowned out by his scraping, sparking grind.
Emerging on the other side, he did one final spin before landing solidly on the tile floor, the board tucked snugly under one arm. YEAH! he whooped, his free hand balled into a fist and pounding the air.
A solid majority of the senior class (led boisterously by Sonics track team buddies) as well as numerous underclassmen burst into applause, roaring with laughter.
Thats right, thats right! Give it up! the hedgehog cried, hopping up on the nearest table and taking a dramatic bow.
At the far end of the room, Knuckles buried his face in his hands.
Silver, sitting at the seat across from the echidna, let out a short, embarrassed laugh, trying hard to keep his attention on his half-eaten peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich.
Beside him, Amy sighed noticeably, chin in her hands as she watched the blue hedgehog continue encouraging the crowd.
A large, meaty hand clamped down hard on Sonics shoulder, its owner, a red-faced, portly high school security member, glaring up at the hedgehog.
Sonic turned, his grin faltering just slightly. H-hey Ralph, how ya doin buddy?
March, the man ordered, picking the humanoid up with both hands and forcing him back onto the ground.
Watching the pair depart, Knuckles snorted indignantly. Idiot.
Wish Id had my camera
Silver sighed, watching as the guard led Sonic out of the room.
* * *
Well Sonic, the weeks nearly halfway over, I was wondering why you hadnt been brought in to see me yet, Dr. Sawyer said, stirring her coffee half-heartedly.
You know I couldnt stay away from you for long, Lizzy, he smiled charmingly, leaning back in his seat, which was across from the guidance counselors desk.
The cat frowned slightly. Shed given up trying to get him to address her properly ages ago. It wasnt exactly respectful, but it certainly illustrated the extent to which they had gotten to know each other over the past three years. You mean you couldnt stay out of trouble for long.
Just having a little fun, he shrugged, folding his hands behind his head.
A little fun thats going to cost us a good deal in property damages, she said, gesturing with her spoon.
Totally worth it, Sonic stated firmly, Cafeteria aint worth much in the first place
She scowled, lips pursed, Well see how worth it you think it was when youre spending your next detention making the repairs personally.
Can I leave when Im finished that?
Afraid not, she shook her head, I recommend pacing yourself this time. I know how much you dislike sitting still.
What?! he cried in dismay, his chair falling noisily back down on all four legs, Cmon, Liz, thats bull and you know it.
Im sorry, she said, But Im running out of ways to get through to you that this reckless behavior wont be tolerated. Ill see you after classes this afternoon.
Er, actually, this afternoon isnt really good for me, the hedgehog started, How bout tomorrow?
Define not good and Ill consider it.
I gotta go to work this afternoon- you want me to be able to pay for all that horrific property damage, right?
Fair enough, she conceded, Tomorrow then. And Ill be taking that skateboard back.
Hasnt it been through enough? Sonic asked, clutching childishly to the item.
She sighed, Promise me itll stay out of this building, and you can keep it.
Can do, maam.
Fine, she nodded, Now go on, get out of here.
Before the words had even finished coming out of her mouth, Sonic had rushed out, leaving only a billowing gust of wind in his wake.
Eyes wide, she smoothed her now windswept hair back. Something told her no matter how hard she tried to force him, nothing would ever make the hedgehog slow down.
* * *
Hey hey hey!! Howd you guys like the show, huh? Pretty sweet, no?
That was awesome, Sonic! Tails bubbled earnestly, his double tails flickering about behind him in excitement.
Yeah it was, wasnt it? the hedgehog smirked.
Totally! Amy said, nodding enthusiastically.
You realize youre only embarrassing yourself when you pull stuff like that, right? Knuckles asked, brow furrowed.
You dont get to speak, Sonic frowned, taking his seat at the table, First off, I wouldnt have even been in here if you hadnt chickened out about goin to see Rouge, and secondly, you cant knock it til youve felt the rush for yourself.
You feel quite enough rush for the both of us, the echidna shot back, cheeks flushed.
You were gonna go see Rouge? Tails asked, looking both intrigued and disappointed at once.
We were supposed to, Sonic griped, tapping a finger irritably on the lunch table, Maybe well get to head over later- trust me, I love ogling her too, big guy
I-I didnt say that
the fourteen-year old stammered, playing with the tassels on his short-sleeved hoodie.
Amy huffed, arms folded, Boys
* * *
Have you called Mr. Hedgehogs house to report this latest
incident? the high school principal, a tall, thin human with short, crisply combed brown hair, inquired boorishly, his hands folded behind his back as he paced about the guidance counselors office.
Of course, Sawyer nodded, But you know Charles I had to leave a message.
You know, of course, that I value each and every student of Mobotropolis High, regardless of class, gender, or species, the man, Mr. Hershel Brantley by name, continued, adjusting his square-framed glasses, And I wish only the best for them. However, for the sake of the collective student body, I cannot continue to allow these constant disruptions- I mean, his file in the last two years alone is thick enough to be a damn novel!
I understand, sir, but theres only so much we can do besides recommend a transfer, but I know he would do horribly at a private school, and even worse at the Military Academy, she told him, Give me more time Ive got to find an outlet for him.
You said that two years ago, when you convinced him to join the track team, the principal countered coldly, Two state championships later, look how much progress weve made. No college applications, no fewer incident reports, no grade improvement
I know, I know, she said, wringing her hands. After a pause, she looked up at the human tiredly, Do you really want to ship him off to the Academy?
While normally Id say itd the best thing for him, I doubt hed last a week before going AWOL in a place like that, Brantley shook his head, smoothing out his dark gray business suit, No, I just want you to get a hold of his uncle and explain to him that Im running out of patience with Sonic. I have to think of the well-being of the whole school, after all. Ive been lenient up until now, seeing as Coach Lauer lives and dies by his performances and the man has tenure, but Ill have no qualms issuing an expulsion order if this sort of behavior continues.
Hes working after school today; Ill stop by their place this afternoon, talk to Charles in person, she told him, Between the two of us, well have to come up with something.
See that you do, the principal stated, turning on his heel and exiting the room.