Melinda pulled her coat tighter around her body and shivered as she stepped out into the evening air. The sun was already beginning to set and she grew anxious upon realizing she might not be home before dark and toyed the the idea of calling Sonic and asking him to check up on Miles if the two weren’t already together.
“I guess we part ways for now. I’ll go check-up on Vanilla and Cream and you should get home to Miles,” Kai said, stirring her from her thoughts.
“Of course, thanks for helping me keep on eye on things. It really eases my mind,” she smiled.
“It’s never any trouble to help an old friend,” Kai gave her a firm pat on the shoulder and a smile, “I’ll be sure to call you and tell you everything’s okay once I get there.”
“Thanks, I’ll talk to you later, then.” she smiled back.as he turned to leave.
“Tell Miles I said hi and that he’s always welcome to come visit,” Kai waved as he started to back away down the sidewalk
“Of course, maybe I can drag him away from his work and adventuring long enough to spend some time with you,” she laughed.
Kai simply shook his head and smiled as he turned away.
“I think I will call Sonic,” she fished out her cellphone from her coat pocket, thankful Miles had modified it to make it compatible with the communicators he built for him and the rest of the team.
The phone beeped and and an LED indicating a feed into the communications network and another showing the front-facing camera was active flickered to life as she flipped a switch along the side. She tapped a few buttons on the touchscreen and watched as the banner showing Sonic’s name popped-up under the still black video feed.
‘Come on, pick-up,” she mumbled to herself as the waiting icon that resembled a yin-yang symbol made of two intertwined fox tails continued to spin. A sigh of relief slipped out as the feed flickered to life with video Sonic’s face.
“What’s up, Grandma? Need me to pick-up your new dentures?” Sonic teased.
“You smartass,” she giggled.
“Hey, just doing like my parents taught and being nice to the elderly,” he smiled and laughed, “Seriously though, what’s up?”
“I had to take care of something and I’m afraid I won’t be home before dark, can you drop by and check on Miles, maybe hang-out with him until I get home?” she asked.
“No problem, I can always make time to hang-out with my little bro,” he replied, “something wrong?”
“Thanks, it’s just that what happened the other day with that maniac has me nervous even though I know you guys can handle yourselves,” she looked to the side, letting her bangs cover her eyes.
“Hey, Grandma,” she noticed him giving a sincere smile that was somehow reassuring and looking up at her with caring eyes, “Remember the day I met you guys and promised I’d protect him no matter what when he asked me to be his friend?”
Melinda spaced out as the memory came flooding back to her.
A crash echoed through the house as the front door slammed open and Melinda quickly looked up from her book. Her mind instinctively kicked into panic mode when she a blue Hedgehog no older than 13 guiding her badly beaten son into the living room and jumped off the couch, fully ready drag the possible attacker back to his own mother by the ear.
“Wait, blue teenage hedgehog? Sonic? The kid that keeps stopping that mad scientist and that Miles’ idolizes?” She calmed down and felt relief wash over her when she realized he had likely been the one to save Miles.
“Hey lady, are you this kid’s sister? He’s beat up pretty bad I’m looking for your mom.” Sonic questioned, guiding Miles’ towards the couch and helping him up.
“Sonic,” Melinda stopped for a moment, “You are Sonic, right?”
“The one and only!” he grinned.
“Well, Sonic. That would be me. I’m his mother,” she made her way over and began to check Miles over, “Oh God, if it wasn’t against my morals to fight children I’d stomp all over whichever bullies did this to him,”
Bloody nose, black eye, cut lip, and numerous bruises and scrapes. This was definitely the worst shape she had ever seen him in and brutal even by the standards of his tormentors.
“Wait, what?” Sonic looked at her in amazement, “You don’t look old enough to be someone’s mom.”
“I get that a lot, I guess I just aged gracefully,” she smiled.
“Mom?” Miles sniffed, “they hurt me bad this time and they broke the radio I built.”
“You’re gonna be okay, we’ll get you cleaned up and maybe bandage some of these cuts and everything will be fine,” she crouched down next to the sofa and put an arm around his shoulders before looking over at Sonic, “Sonic, I need you go to the kitchen straight back there and find the first-aid kit under the sink.”
“Okay,” Sonic stared at her for a moment before following her instructions and heading towards the back of the house.
“What about my radio?” he sniffed, “it’s so trashed I couldn’t even pick up the pieces”
“What’s important is that YOU’RE okay,” she pulled him closer and gently ruffled the fur on his head, “besides, I’m sure you can make another one.”
“but was special because it was the first really cool things I built,” he tried to wipe the tears from one of his eyes.
“What if I help you build another one? Then it’ll be special in a different way because we worked on it together,” she smiled.
“I guess that sounds fun,” he smiled
“Then maybe we can dig up some parts and work on it tomorrow if you’re feeling up to it,” she reached over and grabbed some tissue from the table to dry his eyes, “but for now you just need to try and calm down.”
“Okay,” he reached over and hugged her, “thanks, mom.”
“No problem, kiddo,” she kissed the top of his head as she hugged him back.
“Ouch,” Miles yelped as Melinda wiped the blood from his nose.
“Sorry, honey,” she said with a worried smile, “I don’t think anything is broken, but I guess it’s still sore, huh? I guess you got punched pretty hard.”
“No, one of them kicked when I was on the ground and tried to stomp on my face,” MIles sniffed.
“Melinda, you are over 1100 years old and above going out there right now and whipping other people’s children, no matter much they deserve it for doing this to some kid half their age,” she felt her eye twitch as she mentally lectured herself.
“Mom, are you okay?” MIles asked with concern in his voice.
“Yeah, lady, you look more ticked off than Eggman after I trash one his death-traps.
“I’m fine, those bullies just make me really angry because I can’t do anything about it,” she took a deep breath and sighed before wiping off the last of the blood and grabbing another swab to clean his mouth.
“Why not?” Sonic asked.
“Don’t know their names or even who their parents are because it’s only a thirty minute walk to town where they could live anywhere, and I can never catch them.” she examined the cut on his lip, “it’s a pretty bad nic, but I think it’ll be fine.”
“Why would they do things like this, why did he ever do to deserve being picked on like this?” Sonic walked up and sat on the couch next to Miles.
“It’s because I have two tails, and because I’m smart for my age,” Miles looked down.
“Those are cool things though, why pick on you,” Sonic asked, getting visibly frustrated.
“Unfortunately, people are often scared by things and other people different from them or that they don’t just understand, and lash out at them because of their gifts,” a pained expression made it’s way across her face for a brief moment, “It’s something I’ve learned quite well over the years.”
“I think they’re just bullies,” Sonic crossed one leg over the other and leaned back, hands behind his head.
“Sonic? Do you really think my tails are cool?” Miles asked.
“Of course, I’ve seen you using them to fly when I’m on my runs,” Sonic said with a smile, I mean, who else can fly without wings?”
Melinda listened to them and felt her eyes tear up and as a feeling of joy started to wash over her. Had MIles finally found a friend and someone would accept him instead of mocking his gifts?
“Hey Sonic?” Miles asked nervously, “can you be my friend and come back to see me?”
“Of course, buddy,” Sonic reached out and ruffled his head-fur, “maybe I can run off those bullies next time since I’m here to help protect you, now.”
“Thank you,” Melinda felt the tears running down her cheeks like so many nights before, but this time were tears of joy and relief. Not only had he made a friend, he had been accepted by one of his heroes.
“Mom, why are you crying? Is something wrong?” Miles asked.
“No honey, everything is fine,” she wrapped her arms around him and pulled the kit into a hug, “everything is going to be just fine now,.”
“I told him and you both I’d protect him, and I’m going back on that even if this guy is some insane immortal,” Sonic smirked, “that just means I don’t have to go easy on him.”
“I remember,” Melinda smiled as tears ran down her face, “I still can’t thank you enough for being his first real friend and being like a brother to him after all he went through.”
“It’s been almost two years, it’s amazing how time flies and how much he’s grown since then.” Sonic said.
“Yeah, I’m proud of him,” she rubbed the tears from her eyes, “You to, you’ve come along way just like he has.”
“I better get over there, see you when you make it home,” Sonic blushed.
“Of course, I’ll let you go,” she smirked, “oh, and Sonic. if you can’t reach the doorknob there’s a step-ladder around back.”
“I’ll keep that mind, Grandma,” he laughed before hanging up.
She shook her head and chuckled as she shoved the phone back into her pocket, not far from home was already merely another 40 minutes or so away foot, but cursed her current lack of a car. She mentally planned out to get a new license and get her hands on something until a familiar buzz in the air and cold chill down her spine brought her from her thoughts.
“Who’s there?” she looked up and down the empty side street and shouted.
“Why are you never happy to see me?”
The voice sent another chill down her spine and she whirled around to see Isa stepping out of the alley to her left.
“What the hell do you want,” she yelled.
“I’m hurt, I just wanted to talk to an old friend,” he faked a hurt expression.
“You’re no friend of mine you homicidal creep,” she said coldly.
“Oh come on,” he stepped closer to her, “we could have all kinds of fun together if you just let yourself go,”
“I’m not interested in what consider fun, you psychopath!” she stepped back.
“What’s so wrong with how I enjoy myself?” he smirked.
“You hurt people,” she thought for a moment before adding “hurt children for fun you sick piece of garbage.”
“Only mortals, because they’d soon be dead anyway and I might as well find some use for them,” he closed the distance between them once again, “so fragile and weak compared to us and yet you still waste your time with them.”
“That’s exactly why I protect them, because what’s what a warrior does. They use their strength to protect people.” she said.
“Such disgustingly idealistic delusions,” he quickly grabbed her by the throat with his cybernetic arm, catching her off guard and tossing her at the nearby wall.
“Go to hell,:” she yelled.
“Maybe I can play with you a bit and show you how good letting go can feel,” he grabbed her by the collar and drug her to feet, pressing her back to the well.
She merely glared at him and tried to choke back the fear as she looked into those eyes and saw the malice concealed behind them.
“Then maybe I can track down that brat of yours and-”
At those words, something snapped inside her and a wild grin spread across her face as as he moved his hands to her shoulders and leaned in closer, giving her an opening he’d regret. Without giving herself a moment to think she opened her mouth wide and sunk her teeth into the side of neck, biting down hard until he felt the warm blood flooding her mouth and threatening to gag her.
“Shit!” he cried, “and you call me twisted you bit-” he was cut off as she took advantage of his loosening grip to grab him and twist around, slamming his back into the wall and bringing her bloody mouth close to his face.
“Listen, you son of a bitch. If you even threaten my son or anyone of his friends again, I will end you. She had reached a breaking point where her anger overpowered any fear she had of him.
“You say you’re not like, me, but I’m not the one with a mouth full of someone else’s blood,” he smirked.
“Go to hell,” she choked back the panic as her actions set-in and wrapped a hand around his throat, “You brought this on yourself by attacking me and threatening my son!”
“Deja Vu,” she froze for a moment and shook, tightening her grip as she realized how familiar the scene was.
“What’s the matter, enjoying this to mu-” he was silenced and she jerked her hand around and snapped his neck.
His body slid down the wall and she backed away, still panicking. She knew she was justified in in incapacitating him, but still had to wonder if there was truth in his words that she had been denying about herself.
That’s why she couldn’t bring herself to finish this for good and left his body there, hurrying home before he could revive.
“Oh God, Mom!”
She heard the words and footsteps following her as she made the way upstairs and to the bathroom, finally collapsing in front of the toilet and gagging as her body convulsed and her stomach emptied
“What’s wrong, what happened?” she felt Miles wrap his arms around her, “Oh God, where did all this blood come from.”
“What the heck happened?” she heard Sonic ask.
“I just got into a little scuffle, that’s all, I’ll be fine,” she managed to wrap an arm around Miles without moving her head and gagged once more.
“That’s a lot of blood for a little scuffle, what the heck did they hit you with?” Sonic asked.
“It’s not my blood,” she coughed.
“...I don’t follow,” Sonic said.
“Oh God, Mom. Did you literally bite someone?” Miles asked, shocked.
“Yes,” she muttered, “but I’ll be fine, I just need to calm myself down”
“Wow,” Sonic crossed the bathroom and sat in the edge of the tub, “Things must have gotten really hairy.”
“It was another immortal,” she groaned, “that damn cybernetic arm caught me off guard.”
“Does that mean you..” you Miles trailed off, worry in his voice.
“No, honey,” she held him tighter, “I kicked his butt butt but he’s not dead-dead”
“Wait, I thought you people couldn’t really die for good,” Sonic asked.
“It’s a long story, maybe I’ll tell you later,” she took a deep breath and raised her head, noticing Miles flinching as he got a good look at her.
“Sonic, toss me that towel.” she asked.
He complied and she held it over her mouth, attempting to wipe off the blood and vomit.
“I know, I look horrible,” she said, “but i’ll be fine after a shower and something to take the taste out of my mouth,”
“Are you sure you’re gonna fine?” Miles asked.
“Of course,” she turned to face him and pulled him into a hug best she could with one free arm, “I’ll meet you guys downstairs after I shower and make us some milkshakes. I think we have some of that peppermint flavoring you like, some dark chocolate for me to get the taste out of my mouth, and maybe some blueberry syrup for Sonic..”
“You can’t go five minutes without picking on me, can you?” Sonic chuckled.
“Just returning the favor,” she looked down as Tails’ laughed.
“I told you everything would be fine,” she rubbed his back.
“Okay,” he loosened his grip and started to break away to leave, “No matter happens, I love you.”
“You too, kiddo.”