I'd place this... after Shadow The Hedgehog in game canon. Sonic 2006 retconned itself out, the world has had time to rebuild(which might mean weeks given their technology) and Sonic unleashed hadn't happened yet(in MY main "canon" I suggested Eggman had built his Chaos-draining space weapon but circumstances in Sonic: The Madness meant he never used it).
I did post this to Furaffinity but it's got romance, characters behave like people, it's light-hearted and clean content. Those morons only want hard, meaningless Rouge porn, they don't want her to have a perosonality. Naturally no one is reading it over there.
I consider this to be an "alternate" version of the events of Sonic: The
Madness. I have removed one key plot element, and that is the alien entity
that was draining Thomas Adriani's life away. Otherwise, certain events
happened identically- Rouge found the old mansion, entered the window to
steal a necklace, and was caught by the family heir. However, his mind was
clear and body healthy, allowing the two to become friends much faster.
Rouge the Bat, "treasure hunter", government agent, thief. The winter air was
cold, but she flew on. 'I can't believe this, under my nose this whole time, a
jeweled necklace sitting in an abandoned house! This will be to easy,' she
thought. It was true, the winery only ten miles from Central City was
abandoned, and one of the owners had left behind an expensive necklace filled
with jewels. "Liberating" such a treasure when no one even wanted it seemed to
be the right thing to do as far as she was concerned. And being a winery,
maybe a few bottles of expensive wine remained that she could sell.
She also wished she had worn something a bit warmer. This late on a January
night, her wings were getting cold. But it didn't matter as the winery was
below. Entering the main house was no problem, the window wasn't even locked.
The temperature wasn't much improved inside either. The heating system wasn't
running, indeed, the place seemed abandoned.
It took her mere minutes to find the necklace. "Come to mommy!" she muttered.
A gold necklace with several smaller jewels, and a large blue gem at the
center. She admired it for a few seconds. "Very nice... now, I wonder if
there's anything else in this-"
The light turned on. Momentarily stunned, she turned. A young man, perhaps
only two feet taller than she was, stood in the doorway of the room. "I- uh
"Just take it and go," he said. The man turned the light off and walked
She was tempted to take the advice, after all, she had what she came for. But
something nagged in the back of her mind. All reports said the property was
abandoned for the past six months. That, and the cold air outside had already
worn on her wings. Who was the man she'd seen? Had she seen him at all?
Running through the house, she found him, sitting at the fireplace in the main
room. He was looking at photos. She watched as he tossed them in the fire, one
by one. Curiously, she approached. He seemed to either not notice her, or not
care. She picked up a loose photograph. It showed the man with a young woman.
The two didn't look like a couple, or at least not a happy couple. "Who is
she?" Rouge asked.
"My ex-girlfriend. She left me when the winery went out of business. Just as
well, my parents arranged my meeting with her," he answered dryly. Rouge began
to understand somewhat.
"I didn't think anyone still lived here. What happened? This place was once a
famous wine producer."
He explained, "my parents died and left me with a legacy I didn't care for.
I shut it down. Now I just sit here, doing nothing. Except throwing out the
The fire was warm, comforting against her skin. The cold night air had been
like daggers on her skin. "I didn't mean to-"
"I bought that for her as a gift. Maybe I was just trying to be nice. I think
someone should have it who'd appreciate it," he responded.
"You're not going to call the police?"
Throwing a large stack of memories into the burning pile, the man replied,
"most thieves are just greedy. I don't think you're like that. Maybe it's
your eyes but you look so... I don't know..."
"I see..." Feeling uneasy, yet calm, Rouge turned away. "I should be going.
I don't want to take up any more of your time."
"I have all the time in the world," the young man said. "Don't worry
Walking back to the empty room she'd entered, Rouge took to the night air,
leaving the lone mansion behind.
It had been three days. Rouge flew near Central City, bruised. GUN had ordered
her to help an archaeological mining team after a mine collapse. She needed to
check herself over for injuries. The Central City Winery wasn't very far, at
least. She reached the house in a few minutes. A sad story, for such a great
business to reduce to nothing simply because no one remained to operate it.
She found the young man in the main room, reading a newspaper. "You should
lock your windows and doors," she greeted.
He looked at her. "You again? But- uh... are you okay?"
"Oh, this," she remarked. "I was helping out with that mine collapse not far
His eyebrow raised. "Mine collapse?"
"Nothing major," Rouge said. "But I should look myself over in a mirror."
"Right... I have first aid supplies." Standing from his seat, the man led
Rouge to the bathroom. "That's a nasty scratch on your back."
"My back? I-" Struggling with the mirror, her head simply would not turn far
enough to see.
Grabbing a supply kit from the cabinet, he poured alcohol onto a cloth. "This
will burn a bit but you don't want an infection." The scratch was between
both wings, not very deep but bleeding slightly. "Ready?"
"Rubbing alcohol, wonderful... make it quick!" Bracing herself, Rouge winced,
sucking air through her teeth as the cloth rubbed the wound, stinging like
fire. wiping the skin dry, he unpackaged bandages and dressed the wound.
"Thanks," she offered. "Um... what's your name?"
He responded, "Thomas."
"Thomas Adriani. They were the family that owned this business..." Smiling,
she added, "my name's Rouge." The bat couldn't help but stare. Physically,
he was unremarkable. Tan skin, no doubt natural given the time of the year,
but short by human standards, maybe a little over five feet. Little muscle,
a result of an easy lifestyle. However, some quality about him resonated.
"Thank you. I- I should probably go and stop wasting your time."
"Okay..." as she stepped out of the bathroom, Thomas called out, "wait."
"Huh?" Turning back to look at him, Rouge froze.
"I don't get many visitors. Most of my father's old associates won't have
anything to do with me and I'm a bit of an outcast for letting the winery
shut down. I haven't really had anyone to talk to in months. If you'd stay..."
"Well..." The idea did seem acceptable. An invite to a mansion, a young man,
an available man, it was an opportunity. "Maybe for a little bit. I could
use something to drink if you have anything."
He added in, "you left that necklace the other night. It's still yours if you
"Really... must've slipped my mind..."
"I have cold water, milk and orange juice. I'm a bit light on variety,"
"Orange juice sounds good," she answered. "It's probably cow's milk and all the
protein makes me sick."
She explained, "I'm a fruit bat. No meat, no animal proteins... just fruit and
"Orange juice it is..."
"Well THAT must've been some experience," Tom mumbled. "You wouldn't catch me
going up to some space station like that."
Sipping her juice, Rouge replied, "I didn't have a fun time with it, myself.
Still, I guess what happened up there worked out well enough." The ARK
incident was her story of choice, excluding whatever was deemed classified.
"I met a few people, got to break stuff, it wasn't all bad."
"I guess saving the world isn't easy. I remember when that crackpot tried
to blow us up so I guess I owe you a big thanks."
Smiling at the praise, Rouge remarked, "me and a few others... but who's
counting. I haven't seen any of them in a couple months now, I've been busy.
The casino got a bit behind while I was away."
"Casino?" he inquired, curious.
"Yes... it's in Night Babylon. You know it?"
"You mean," Tom asked, "that city where it's always dark? I never felt like
going, seemed strange to me."
"It's not that bad. Though I am partial to the dark..."
Puzzled, Thomas begged, "how'd you get a casino?"
"Uh..." That story was certainly not one she'd tell. "Boring and complicated
"Typical... someone as young as you or me having money, people wonder. Always
have to tell them it was handed to us."
Pursing her lips, keeping the truth at bay, the bat simply said, "in a way."
Glancing at the clock, she noted, "it IS getting a bit late..."
"Ah, yeah... you have to get going, then?"
Shuffling her boots on the carpet, Rouge honestly did not want to leave. The
mansion was quiet, isolated and she needed time off. The fact her host had been
so pleasant was another factor. Maybe it was nothing, but this man hadn't been
like the rest. "Well, I... I do need to change clothes and clean up but the
casino could do without me and..."
"Tell you what," he responded, "I could use some help sorting through stuff.
The business records are a mess and since you DO own a business, maybe you can
help me. Plus I have other boxes and such to be dealt with."
Smiling faintly, the bat contemplated his offer. "Some added company on top
of that? Okay, deal. I would assume that offer extends to lodging...?" The
trailing off of words spoke more than anything she could say.
Standing up, pointing to the hall, "that wing of the house is living quarters.
Family and servants. I think only one of the servant rooms still has furniture,
though. Well, aside from mine. I'll have to dig out some blankets and pillows.
You'll have a small bathroom, just a tub and toilet."
"More than enough. Okay... I'll go home, clean up and change and let them know
I'll be out. I'll be..." Counting the time in her mind, "maybe an hour. Maybe
a little more..."
"That will give me time to get your room ready. We should go shopping
"Oh?" she asked.
"I'm low on food and you'll need to eat."
Stretching her arms out, tired from sitting motionless, Rouge remarked, "I'll
bring my debit card, too."
"No, no, I'm the host, it's my duty to-"
"Nonsense!" she scolded. "I'm not going to freeload!"
Realizing it pointless to argue, the young man replied, "fair enough. So...
see you in an hour?"
"Count on it." Walking towards the window, the bat girl paused. His face was
lightly flushed, easy to spot even through his darkened skin tone. "Something
on your mind?"
"Huh? No... why do you ask?"
Turning around, Rouge said, "come on, if there's something you want to say,
then say it."
A half-smile and wide eyes betrayed Thomas Adriani's innocent intentions.
"Well... it's not-"
"Spit it out!" she screamed, growing impatient.
"Okay, if you want to hear it..." A silent whine that her bat ears picked up,
followed by, "you're very pretty!"
A mild stun, certainly, but one she felt with a sense of joy. "Thank you.
You're not so bad, either."
"Look, I know we just met and we're hardly dating or anything... and you're not
even my SPECIES but we've been talking all night and you're not so different
from a human. We're a lot alike. Maybe it's odd to think that? I don't know-"
"TOM!" He went quiet. "Deep breath, slow down... now, there's nothing wrong
with that. I'm flattered you think that way and... well..." Blinking, shoulders
shrugged, she continued, "who says it would be so wrong? We seem to get along
well enough. But yeah, it's a bit early but I'd like to see what happens."
"Okay... uh..." Somehow, his expression twisted, only a slight fraction, but it
"There's something else."
"No... if I do it might throw away what just happened and I don't want to
Rouge could tell it was not going to be quite as easy to hear. "Just say it!"
"Okay, but I don't want to... why do you steal?"
She'd been correct. It was not pleasant. "Uh..." Closing both eyes tight, it
was such a hard subject. "Thomas... my life wasn't always so easy and laid
back. I used to be very poor. It was a habit I developed, a bad one but
I suppose I go out and steal because I'm bored. For the thrill..." Rouge
sensed why he'd asked. "I'm not going to steal from you while I'm here. I
promise that. I admit it, I was doing something very wrong the other night
and I'm glad you didn't call the authorities... but face it, if I hadn't shown
up, you'd still be lonely!"
The sad truth was a double-edged sword. "I know that... maybe right and wrong
are idea that aren't always so... clear?"
Taking her new friend's hand, squeezing gently, she muttered, "I have some
bad habits. You need help with what was left to you, I need help to change
some of the worse parts of me. Some ugly parts. We can help each other."
Squeezing back, Tom Adriani said, "I'll be waiting for you to get back. And
use the door this time! You want to start breaking bad habits, use the door!"
Smiling up at him, she followed, hand in hand, to the front door, flying off
into the night.
Night had fallen, as planned, her bag in hand, fresh clothes, finger pressing
the doorbell. Sudden light from within illuminated Rouge, a stunned Thomas
Adriani unable to look away. "Whoa! Nice!"
"Didn't think I could pull off the business look, did you?" Strutting on high
heels, her black jacket and skirt, offset by a pink shirt, was an amazing
sight compared to what she'd been wearing prior.
"It's nice to see you without the gloves, too," Tom complimented, still amazed
by her outfit.
Rouge, wings worn out from flying, said, "I'm sorry I was a little late, I had
some things to take care of. Nothing big." She was lying, naturally. Contacting
G.U.N. and clearing vacation time had taken a lot of bureaucratic dealing
over the phone. "I should out this up," she noted, hefting the bag. "I brought
clothes for a few days... you DO have a washing machine?"
He responded, "obviously. This way." Leading his friend down the hallway,
opening the wooden door, inside was a basic room, bed, television and dresser.
"It's not much but it's all there is right now."
"I've slept in far worse rooms in my life..." Setting her bag down, Rouge
removed her black pumps, bare feet pressed to the carpet.
Looking down, Thomas felt guilty for staring. "Oh... four toes..."
"As alike as we may seem, human, we ARE different..." The carpet was soft,
pleasant, and felt good between her toes.
"I suppose you'll be going to bed?"
Rouge's wings were still a bit drained from flight but she was far from sleepy.
"Actually, I'm still wide awake."
"Me too..." Drumming fingers on the door frame, he asked, "you like puzzles?"
Curiosity grabbed, the bat inquired gently, "puzzles?"
"Yeah, I found some while getting your pillows. I know I'm not some adventurer
like that blue hedgehog but it's the best I've got for fun around here."
"Oh, please," she scolded, "if I wanted more of that I'd have- never mind.
He responded, "living room. I got out a few, just pick one and we'll work on it
Taking her host's hand with a gracious grin, Rouge said, "guest's choice.
Thank you. Oh... and so you don't have to ask and risk embarrassment, I will
have you know that I AM a virgin. And I CAN prove it!"
"Uh huh huhh...." Head down, looking at her smiling face, he said, "I'll
take your word for it."