Sonic GeneX - The Series
Episode 3 - Romance Returns
Note: Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters are (c) SEGA and
Sonic Team. You knew that, right?
GeneX and related fanchars are (c) 2BIT (TheGreatGator), the author.
Previously on Sonic GeneX...
Tails invented a wormhole machine, which now links Sonic & Blaze's world without the need for the Chaos & Sol emeralds.
Gemini, now living in Darkegg Fortress along with Copter, Punchy & Rainbow, inadvertently talked Copter into looking for a real job.
Col. Gunner placed a bounty on Sonic's head, with the reward for his capture being to use Bucky's power-stealing machine to transfer Sonic's speed to his captor!
Keeping these segments short & to the point. Now, let's get started!
Early each year, a Festival of Romance is held, where young lovers and romantic hopefuls pair off and get to know each other by just having fun. The last festival having been disrupted by Dr. Eggman at Station Square, it was agreed that perhaps this year the festival should be moved back to Troblusk City, now that most of the criminals in the city had apparently skipped town. This year, Tails was taking Cream once again, but this time he was less naive, and understood that it was a serious date. As a result, he became nervous, so he took advantage of the wormhole machine he'd built to bring Marine along, hoping to get advice from a girl around Cream's age. While they waited at the Troblusk City train station for Cream to arrive, Marine made herself helpful by tidying up his hair and rearranging the flowers he'd brought for Cream, all while the fox shook like a leaf. "Crikey, Tails, don't be so wobbly! You'll be fine! Just keep yerself loose an' be sure to compliment her a lot! But not too much! Don't let her think yer soft!" she said, talking as fast as ever. "M-maybe I sh-should just... Go home... She likes that brave front I put up... BUT IT'S A SHAM!! I'M A TOTAL COWARD!!" he shouted, waving his arms. Just then, Cream tapped his shoulder. "What are you yelling about?" she asked. "Yaaaah!!" Tails yelped, jumping into Marine's arms! Cream saw this, and clenched her teeth a bit at the sight of another girl holding Tails. "Ummm... Your date's 'ere, Tails..." Marine mumbled. Tails climbed down, chuckling nervously. "Y-yeah... Thanks, Marine..." he said, handing the somewhat shaken bouquet to Cream, "I-I brought you these..." he stammered. Cream looked at them, and her expression softened. "Aw, that's sweet... Um, is she waiting for a date?" she asked. Marine looked around sheepishly. "Errr... Ummm... I... Oh!! I... Um... I'm late! Taxi!!" she said hastily, rushing off. Tails sighed, part relieved and part freaked. "What do I do now...?" he thought. Cream linked his arm with hers and started to lead him off. "Come on! The festival's starting!" she said cheerfully. Tails took a deep breath. "How'd I do this last year...?" he mumbled to himself.
The pair of them passed by some other couples on their way to the festival. Among them, Knuckles was going with Gemini to see what might happen, and Punchy had finally broken down to take Rainbow out on a date, partially to help her feel better after her fiasco of a "date" the previous year. As the four of them walked together, Knuckles glanced around curiously. "Right, I give up. Where's Copter? Couldn't get a date?" he wondered. Punchy shrugged. "I don't think that's it..." he muttered. Gemini sighed, "I may have fired him up and got him looking for a job... He said he's working on that today, and he's starting at the bottom, whatever that means..." she explained. "How can you work on the festival? That's crazy!" Rainbow shouted. "I'll trade him..." Punchy grumbled. "Don't be a sourpuss, One! This was your idea!" Rainbow pointed out. "You tricked me with your sad-puppy-eyes!" he grumbled. Knuckles and Gemini chuckled at them. "You two already sound like you're married..." Knuckles joked. "Yeah, I'd hate to start a relationship with THAT much closeness..." Gemini smirked, clasping Knuckles's hand in hers, "Otherwise, where's the fun of getting to know your date?" she winked. Knuckles blushed briefly, but quickly pulled his hand back to keep from looking anything other than macho. "Heh... I'll keep my air of mystery, thanks... I'm a... puzzle... and you'll never solve it!" he snickered. Punchy rolled his eyes. "Oh, brother... C'mon, Rainbow. I can only handle one deranged echidna at a time..." he said, leading his date away. "Oooh, okay! I'll follow you for once! Bye, Wanda! Bye, Red!" Rainbow said. Gemini crossed her arms, staring at Knuckles. "Puzzle, huh...?" she said, "Well, an unsolved puzzle won't get a good night kiss when the festival is over..." she teased, walking off. Knuckles gasped slightly, and started after her. "Well... Not a tough puzzle! Like, ten pieces! Hey! Slow down! Wait up!!" he shouted.
Soon, the festival had gotten underway, with many carnival-type booths opened up and restaurants having special couple's deals. Most of these restaurants wouldn't see much business until dinner, but one couple at least had gone to lunch. Vortex the chameleon had mustered his courage, and now he was out with his crush, Whisk the divine. As they sat together and waited for their food to be brought to them, Vortex felt all his dreams were coming true. "Ssssso... Uh, Whisssk... How are you enjoying your new freedom?" he asked, trying to stay cool. Whisk tilted her head. "Was I not free?" she wondered. Vortex thought about it. "Hmmm... I sssuppossse GUN might not have known about you... I don't know!" he admitted. While they were talking, someone at a nearby table was talking loudly on a cell phone. "...Who isss that rude...?" Vortex hissed before recognizing the voice. "I can't believe this! You ran out on the last festival, and now you can't come to this one!! Soniiiic!!" It was Amy, looking quite distraught and near tears. Sonic's voice could barely be heard over the phone. "I know, Amy, but you wouldn't want to be around me now! Even the police have started trying to collect on Gunner's bounty! I can't go anywhere for long... Believe me, this has got me pretty lonely..." he said. Amy sighed longingly. "I don't care... I... I'd protect you if you were here! I would!" she cried. Whisk sighed a bit. "Wanna ditch this place? She's kinda depressing..." she said. Vortex smiled at the suggestion. "Ssssure, they can't fault usss for dassshing if we don't dine. I think... But firssst, I have an idea..." he said, whispering something to Whisk. They snickered a bit and Whisk warped away. Amy caught sight of the light and glanced over at Vortex. "Heeey... You're one of those dumb experiments! Are you up to something?!" she shouted. Vortex got up from his seat. "I wasss jussst leaving. After one thing..." he mumbled. "What's that?" Amy asked. Suddenly, she felt a glass of water splash over her head, and looking up, she saw Whisk giggling. "A date prank! Gotta go!" Vortex said, rushing off while Whisk teleported. "Why... WHY YOU!!! GET BACK HERE!!!" Amy yelled, stumbling over her seat in her haste to chase them! "Where are you, Soniiiiic...?" she whined.
Each couple's dates progressed as the day went on. Marine followed Tails and Cream into town, and every time Tails started to feel insecure about something, he excused himself to seek out her advice. "He sure is going to the bathroom a lot..." she muttered to herself after a while, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. Not far away, the other couples were trying their luck with a few carnival games. Knuckles tried to show off with a strength tester that required him to strike a target with a hammer and try to ding a bell. However, it only got halfway up. "Gah! This thing is rigged!" Knuckles growled. Gemini giggled, taking the hammer and waving her wand around it a little, whispering. Then, she took a swing, and the bell was knocked clean off the top of its post! "...shut up..." Knuckles grunted as Gemini chuckled. Vortex and Whisk were a couple booths over, trying to throw balls to knock down a stack of bottles. "...Zipp would jussst blassst thesssse dumb thingsss! Look! You hit them and nothing happensss!!" Vortex protested. Whisk scratched her head. "Hmmm... I'll be right back..." she said, sneaking off. Vortex looked at the guy in charge of the booth angrily, and he shrugged. "No refunds..." when suddenly he heard something behind him! When they looked a second later, the bottles were scattered everywhere! Whisk then appeared behind Vortex. "Oh, see? Delayed reaction. So, what do we win?" she smirked. Vortex chuckled knowingly, taking her hand in his with a smile. Not too far away from them, Punchy and Rainbow had found Copter. "Two... What are you doing in there??" Rainbow shouted. Copter was sitting in a dunk tank, looking quite miserable. "Volunteer work. Told you I had to start at the bottom..." he growled. Punchy cackled a little. "I can't pass this up... Let's get in line, Rainbow!" he said. "You jerk!" Copter snarled. The next one up to try to dunk the hapless fox was, surprisingly, Violet the echidna, who was there without a date. "Huh? YOU!!" they both shouted. Rainbow pushed to the front of the line. "SIS!? Where have you been!?" she yelled. "Uh, we're with her..." Punchy mumbled as he followed Rainbow. Violet shrugged. "Busy... So, Copter... What do I win if I drop you in the drink?" she smirked. Copter sighed. "A Tails doll, of all things..." he mumbled. Violet nodded. "I see... And what'll you give me if I miss?" she said, winking a little. Copter stared at her, blushing at her tone. "Uhhhh..." he stammered. "Yap, yap, yap!!" Punchy grumbled, hurling a ball right at the target and dropping Copter with a splash!! "JERRRRK!!" Copter wailed, his voice gurgling a bit.
There was a ferris wheel set up at the center of the festivities. Soon enough, Cream asked Tails to take her on it. His nerves still shot, Tails had no choice but to appeal to Marine to come along, squeezing in so that the young fox was between the two girls. Cream glanced across at Marine grouchily. "Why does she have to share a ride with us? It's a little cramped in here..." she pointed out. Tails looked at her awkwardly. "Uhhhh... She... Doesn't have anyone to ride with! And she's... Scared! That's it!" Tails stammered. Cream shot Marine a slightly suspicious glance, but shrugged. "Okay... Anyway, this just means... we can cuddle up closer to look out the window together!" she smiled. Tails shivered slightly, but Marine nudged him in Cream's direction. "Go, dummy! You're gold! She adores you; Only thing draggin' ya down is me!" she whispered. Tails nodded and slowly sidled beside Cream, though he suddenly froze. "You okay?" Cream asked. Marine slapped her forehead and whispered into his ear. "Put yer arm 'round her, ya drongo!" Cream noticed her talking to him and growled a little. "Hey! Stay on your side!" she snapped. Tails jumped and tried to diffuse the situation by putting his arm around Cream and facing the window. "D-don't mind her, she was just wondering, uh... where Cheese is..." he mumbled. "None of her business..." Cream pouted, while Marine scratched her head wondering what she'd want with a dairy product. Once the ride was over, Cream excused herself to look for a restroom, and Tails sat on a bench holding his face in his hands. "She hates me..." he groaned. Marine patted his back. "No, she don't. You just need ta be more confident! Just 'cuz it's a date, don't act different from how you usually would. She doesn't want this stranger, mate. She wants you!" she said. Tails glanced at Marine with a quizzical look. "...Why??" he asked. Meanwhile, Cream was looking similarly upset in the restroom. Rainbow walked in and noticed. "Hey, what's wrong, Hoppy?" she asked. Cream sniffled. "Tails is falling for another girl..." she explained. Rainbow crossed her arms. "That's crazy talk. Even if that was true, he's not the type to bring you here and string ya along. We know him better than that, right?" she said. Cream thought it over. "Right...?" she said, "Yes, you're right... Thanks..." she said, smiling a little before heading back out to find her date.
Knuckles & Gemini had had their fun for a bit, and now they were getting hungry. They had to decide on a place to go for a late lunch, but where? "Eh, why don't we just grab a burger? All that time sitting around guarding the Master Emerald, I kinda miss simple things like that..." Knuckles suggested. Gemini made a face. "Not very romantic... This IS a date after all... Why not that place?" she said, pointing to a fancier looking restaurant that seemed somewhat out of place in Troblusk City. "Errrr.... Ummm... I'm not dressed for a snob palace?" Knuckles mumbled. "Snob palace???" Gemini stammered, "What's that supposed to mean?!" They were both silent for a moment. "...We're actually pretty different, huh?" Knuckles murmured, "I sleep under the stars. You're way too proper for that..." he said. Gemini wore a guilty frown. "Uh... I'll try a burger... I wouldn't want to be accused of... snobbery..." she muttered. As they turned to seek out a burger joint, someone said "Psst! Knuckles!" The red echidna looked around, and saw Sonic peering out of an alley. "Hey... What're you doing here! You'll blow the whole festival...again! If anyone sees you, they'll go nuts hoping to capture you!" Knuckles pointed out. Sonic ignored his pointing out the obvious and got right to the point. "Either of you seen Amy around? I turned off my cell to avoid drawing attention to myself..." he said. Gemini shrugged. "Nope, no sign of her." she sighed. Knuckles grinned widely at Sonic's situation. "Oooh, someone's desperate to see AMY! Is it weird having everyone BUT her chasing you?" he snickered. Sonic growled softly. "Thanks for nothing... I'm outta here!" he grunted, speeding off past the couples in the streets! "Sonic and Amy, sittin' in a-- oh, he's gone already..." Knuckles shrugged. Gemini crossed her arms. "More than you'll be doing at this rate..." she growled.
As it started to get later, the couples gradually ran out of activities to try. Ultimately, Punchy & Rainbow found a tennis court set up for "romantic doubles." They were soon challenged by Vortex & Whisk, who initially won handily thanks to Whisk's unfair teleportation advantage. "Come on, you guys! Prove you can be upstanding citizens and play without your dumb powers!" Punchy shouted. Vortex glanced at Whisk, and she shrugged. "Maybe I have overdone it today..." she sighed, "Bring it on, then!" she grinned. Rainbow started with the first serve. "Alright! Play ball!" she said cheerfully, swatting the ball into play. Initially things seemed to be going fine, and they kept a fierce volley going for a while. However, soon Punchy smacked the ball past Vortex & Whisk, scoring the first point. "Hisss... We'll sssee about thisss..." Vortex growled. At the next serve, Vortex grabbed his racked with his long tongue, and swatted the ball from across the court! "Foul!!" Punchy shouted. "But that's not a power!" Whisk protested. Rainbow jumped and glided to return the ball. "Neither is that!" Whisk then flew up to hit the ball from the height of its bounce. "Ha! Beat that!" she taunted. Finally, Punchy hurled a piece of the very court up with Chaos Avalanche, bashing the ball seemingly into orbit! "...Ooops..." he mumbled, looking over at the people waiting for their turn. "...Sorry..." he gulped. Vortex sighed. "How are we to ssssettle thissss now?" he shrugged. Suddenly, a message played over a PA system, as if to answer him. "The Troblusk City Festival of Romance will be starting its evening dance shortly! There will be a competition toward the end, so bring your sweetheart and your dance moves, and maybe together you can win a trophy!" it announced. Vortex and Punchy both exchanged competitive smirks. "Fine! We'll settle this at the dance-off! ...You think they have rankings? None of us have really danced before..." Punchy said. Rainbow jumped for joy. "Yeah! The dance! It was cancelled last year, I'm so glad I get to go! Thanks, One!" she smiled.
The dance was being held at Neon Tavern, which had had its tables and chairs cleared out, and was decorated with paper hearts, streamers, and a disco ball. "I should've hired a professional insteada lettin' you decorate, Bob..." the tavern owner, Bill the hedgehog, grumbled. His brother Bob smirked as he watched the couples start to move to the music, seeming to enjoy themselves. Tails had managed to lose Cream in the crowd, meeting Marine with utter panic on his face. "This is the main reason I wanted you along, Marine... I-I don't know how to dance!" he said frantically. Marine laughed. "That's silly, mate! Everyone can dance!" she said. Tails glanced over at Knuckles, who was tripping all over Gemini's feet, and gulped. "C'mon, cobber! I'll show you!" Marine said, grabbing the young fox's hands and leading him in a simple dance, which he was initially doing quite robotically. "I-I can't!!" he whined. "Stop thinkin' and move! The only ones around are you an' yer partner... Ignore everything else!" Marine giggled. Tails nodded, and started to move a little more surely, but they were stopped suddenly by an angry voice. "Tails!!" His hair stood on end as he turned and saw Cream, glaring at him. "Well?" she growled. Tails sighed. "I-I guess I owe you the truth... I was really nervous today... So I asked Marine to help me. She's been coaching me all through our date...and was just teaching me how to dance..." he explained. Cream glared at her, and she was gone in a flash. "Luck, mate!" she shouted. She then looked back at Tails, her expression softening. "...Nervous? Why would I make you nervous?" she asked. Tails looked into her eyes, and could see she was a bit hurt. "I-I'm sorry..." he sighed. Then, he stepped close to her, taking her hands. "We're the only ones here...got it..." he murmured, and his feet started to move, leading her as he himself was led by the music. She gasped as he stepped gracefully, and carefully twirled her before catching her in his arms! "...I don't think I have to be nervous anymore..." he said with a smile, as Cream's surprise started to wear off and she smiled back. "Then maybe it was worth it..." she said. Amy watched them from the sidelines, trying not to cry. She had hoped to run into Sonic here, but no luck. "...I hate this dumb festival...!" she growled.
Gemini was finally stomping away from Knuckles after getting trampled over once too often. "You'd think a guy would start to watch his step after the FIFTH time!" she grumbled. "I told you I have two left feet!" Knuckles groaned, glancing briefly at Punchy, who might not have been great, but at least he and Rainbow seemed to be having a good time. "Why didn't he get my negative qualities??" Knuckles growled. Gemini was already halfway to the bar by this time. "Hey! Wait!! ...Aw, forget it... Guess I'll just pretend Tikal can hear me in the Master Emerald... AGAIN..." he grumbled. "Yeah, that ain't freaky..." Marine told him, backing away afterward. Meanwhile, Punchy & Rainbow were having their dance-off against Vortex & Whisk. Both couples were fairly awkward, though, with Rainbow as the only one that had ever danced in her life. Whisk seemed unsure if she was supposed to move her wings, but that silly flapping just seemed to make Vortex smile. "We're not going to win any trophiessss... but you've won my heart..." he said. Whisk chuckled. "You're so corny..." she blushed. Punchy and Rainbow both laughed at them while they tried some quirky freestyle moves together. "Feel free to kick me, Rainbow. Those two are making me sick..." Punchy chuckled. "But we're totally goin' for the trophy, One!" Rainbow said, taking him too seriously. As they danced awkwardly, Tails and Cream passed them with graceful, elegant twirls, putting them all to shame. As the music faded, Bill stepped onto the dance floor and handed a gold trophy to them with a chuckle. "I ain't ever seen such moves from a couple so young! Can't ignore it, you get the gold!" he said. Tails shyly handed Cream the trophy, and she jumped into his arms, kissing him happily. Punchy shrugged and started walking off. "I guess... let's get dinner." he said. "Oooh! I want Tacos!" Rainbow shouted. Vortex sighed, looking toward the door. "I guessss we sssshould go, too..." he muttered. Whisk nodded, smirking, and quickly kissed his cheek while he wasn't looking! She then teleported away, leaving him with a dumb look on his face. "...Sssshe'sss an angel..." he whispered.
Soon, the dates were ending and the festival was wrapping up for the night. Copter sat on a bench outside, dripping wet and shivering. "Who thought it was a good idea to have a dunk tank in February, anyway?" he growled, "Sadists are running this thing..." Just as he felt he'd hit rock bottom, someone sat beside him. "Rough day? ...Did you spend it alone??" Copter glanced next to him and saw Gemini, who wore a sympathetic look, and seemed a tad weary herself. Copter nodded with a sigh. "Who would've gone with me, anyway? Trouble follows me everywhere..." he grumbled. Gemini patted his back gently. "So? Trouble follows me, too... Maybe you should've asked me." she said, glancing away a bit shyly. Copter looked over at her and chuckled softly. "Oh? I don't think your date would've appreciated that..." he said. Gemini looked back at him mischievously. "Well, I would have!" she flirted, stopping him from responding with a playful little kiss to his nose before she got up and walked away with a carefree grin! Copter stared after her, briefly tapping his nose with his finger as if to check that it was still there. "...You deserve better than me, though..." he sighed. Across the street, Amy was watching him jealously. However, this ended when she felt a tap on her shoulder, and she turned to see a bouquet of roses offered to her! "For you, madam... Sorry I'm so late, traffic was awful..." Sonic said, rubbing his head awkwardly. Amy took the flowers, holding back tears. "Y-you... you came! You didn't have to, really... I understood!" she sniffled. Sonic chuckled softly. "I... missed--" he started to say, when he was interrupted by some people nearby. "Hey! There's Sonic! GET HIM!!" Sonic jumped as a mob started chasing him, and started running off straight away! "Ohh..... huh?" Amy muttered, noticing that he wasn't immediately leaving. He ran in seemingly random circles in the street, simultaneously startling the mob and kicking up flame trails. When he finally sped off and out of sight, it could be seen that those flame trails formed lettering, which spelled out "Amy rocks!" The sight of this simple gesture was too much for Amy. "Oh... Oh, Sonic!!" she swooned, falling backward into the arms of one of the guys from the mob! "Hey, careful, lady!" he grumbled. She blushed as she got back to her feet, and headed for home carrying her flowers along with a new sense of hope for the future...