The first chapter of Book Four: Insanity, the preparations for the wedding.

Chapter One: Excited Discomfort

He stood there, staring at his reflection in the mirror. His blue & black dreadlocks hung over his shoulders while his tie and jacket lay over the back of a chair nearby. Two years, it had been, since he proposed to the girl of his dreams, and now look at him, not even half a day away from his own wedding, and he was cracking up! Will sighed. Of course he was like this, Sonic had warned him that the hours before were the toughest. His father was no help, of course. Considering the fact that Knuckles and Julie-Su had never married, but remained committed to each other, Knuckles had never experienced what his son was going through. Again, Will sighed, tugging at the collar of his shirt uncomfortably. He was nervous, that much was true, but it was more than that. There had been all sorts of threats about his wedding, from the resurgent Trolls to a few different street gangs. Even rumors of Jacob and his people crashing the wedding, despite no word of their continued existence being confirmed. It was that fact that had him worried. Despite Blood’s assurances that his wedding would be safe, protected by the Editors, and the presence of the heroes of Mobius dissuading others from attacking, if Jacob attacked, the fight would be brutal, one that he had been training for. His hands, covered by a formal pair of black gloves, no mittens for his big day, reached for the glass of water he had constantly been filling, pouring another glass down his throat.

“Come on, Will. Stop drinking, and get ready. Otherwise, you’ll be busting, and end up taking a leak in the ceremony.” Will sighed, and turned to look at his groomsmen. Stave, his best man, had been the one to speak, and was already dressed immaculately. Of course he was. The hedgehog was a cleric, whom often performed stage magic on the side for extra cash. A tuxedo was nothing new to him. Behind him stood the other three, two other hedgehogs and a fox. Manic, his soon-to-be brother in law, looked tense, but being Sonic’s son, that was understandable. Shade, Shadow’s son, also looked uncomfortable, but that was because he was dating a princess. Formal events such as this weren’t in his comfort zone. He was truly his father’s son, happier blowing something up than attending social events. The final figure, by all rights, shouldn’t have been on Mobius at all, had Knuckles failed to acquire him a temporary visa to attend the wedding and reception. Ronan, his attire the dress uniform of a Col’nesian Army Elite, just looked bored as he fiddled with a piece of electronics, glancing up at the groom every now and then to ensure he was getting prepared. Will knew that had he not, Ronan would probably have stunned him with the small but powerful blaster hidden in his jacket, and then had a couple of robots dress him. With a final sigh, Will finished buttoning his shirt, and turned back to his reflection, grasping his red tie. It was the only color in his black and white suit so far, although both his groomsmen and Maddy’s bridesmaids had essentially forced him into having a flower for his lapel, which he knew Stave would spring on him at the last second.

“Fine, fine. Uh, I hate to ask, but how do I do one of these again?” The echidna draped the tie over his shoulders, and started attempting to tie it, with the result each time looking worse and worse. He heard a snigger over his shoulder, and in the mirror he could see Stave walk forward, and slap a laminated paper in front of him – a guide on how to tie a tie. Will felt his cheeks burn, and slowly followed the steps on the page. Finally, he had his tie looking half decent. Again, he sighed and reached for the water, only for Shade to take it away.

“No more, mate.” The echidna glared at them, but did nothing, as they knew he would. Instead, he sat down in the chair, and tried to being himself under control, slowing his breaths one by one. His hand went for his swords, only to strike air. Unlike his groomsmen, he was unarmed. Not that it truly mattered, with a member of the Knuckles Clan and fighter of a high caliber, but it was enough to make him feel a little unbalanced. Stave laughed. He was carrying one of the presents Will had been given, almost a year ago, for his birthday – an exquisite black steel sword, the hilt wrapped in metallic thread. The maker, Flare the Wolf, had simply shrugged it off as a small thing, ignoring all of Will’s attempts to pay him for the blade, one of the best he had ever used, not including his legendary swords, the ones he normally carried. The Twin Dragons weren’t quite right for a wedding, not to mention the fact that nobody else could pick the dual blades up. Each of his groomsmen were armed, Stave with the groom’s sword, the rest with their own swords – Manic with Excalibur, which was always perfect for a formal event, Shade with a plain rapier, and Ronan with a two-handed sword, curved slightly. Of course, that was on top of his blaster, and everyone had their powers, although, Will thought to himself, Ronan’s don’t really count. He jams Chaos Control, so no uninvited guests, but unlike everyone else in the room, he didn’t have anything totally remarkable. No super-sonic speed. No magic, or elemental powers, or genetic abilities, or Chaos powers.

Finally, Stave got fed up and handed Will his coat.

“Come on, dude. We’ve got to get to the church, before everyone else gets there. Plus, someone’s got to check up on the reception hall, make sure that Flab hasn’t eaten all the food you’ve paid him to produce for everyone.” Will nodded slowly, and walked out of his room in the home he grew up in, the New Mobotropolis house that had been the home of the Master Emerald for nearly two decades. Knuckles and Julie-Su had moved back to Angel Island a year ago and Lara-Su a year before that, leaving the house to him. Well, soon, he wouldn’t have it to himself anymore. Soon, he’d have the love of his life move in, and then, in his mind, he could relax for a while, vanish off on a honeymoon and leave the protection of Mobius in the hands of others again. He smiled faintly. That wasn’t likely. No matter how he tried to relax and get away, circumstance always drew him back into the major conflicts. Finally, he clambered into the car waiting outside, letting Ronan take the wheel as he closed his eyes, trying to force himself to relax. “Can’t we just go to the pub instead?” he mumbled weakly, his eyes jammed shut.

The bustling, glamorous bridesmaids constantly swarmed over her, a beauty therapist applying her makeup, as the turquoise hedgehog sat quietly in a reclining chair, deep in thought. The bride was always someone else, the model dressed in white in the magazines, or a celebrity on television. Now, it’s her turn, and the concept blew her mind. Maddy sighed, receiving a disapproving glare from the Labrador with the lipstick in hand.

“Don’t do that, miss. If you do, I might smudge it on your face, and I don’t think anyone would be very impressed with that.” The young hedgehog replied with a slow nod, returning her head to the still position she had been before, unwilling to lay back too far into the comfortable chair, her blue fur and quills teased into a fancy hairstyle earlier by her sister. That thought slammed into her thought patterns as well – she was moving out, moving in with Will. His parents had moved back to Angel Island, although both were staying with him for the wedding, and had insisted that Will take his childhood home as his own. Now, she was going to live with him, the boy she’d known literally all her life, her mother loving to embarrass her with the story of how Will had seen her soon after birth, and the sight of the six-month-old echidna had silenced her. Her thoughts started to drift back out, and she imagined Will getting all dressed up. The echidna always wore a jacket, that much was true, but a full suit, complete with tie? In her mind, she smiled. He wouldn’t be comfortable at first, but who knows; maybe he might have worked something out with his groomsmen. She smirked inwardly; there wasn’t much chance of Will getting any ground with Stave as one of his groomsmen. Then, her thoughts were disrupted by an annoyed voice chattering away at fever-pitch. She slowly opened her eyes, and saw her sister and cousin both standing forward and shouting at the beauty therapist, who held a pack of false eyelashes in her hand. Sonia, her sister, was saying something about how it wouldn’t suit the bride, while Joy, Princess of Mercia was objecting to the point of false eyelashes in the first place. She wasn’t known for much in the way of beauty enhancements, and always came across as a bit of a tomboy away from official meetings. The dog, however, was arguing that it was fine, and that nobody would notice or care, ignoring the Mercian princess. Slowly, Maddy sat up, loosening the clutter of thoughts to deal with the issue at hand, only for the beauty therapist to stick one of the fake eyelashes on her client without looking, missing her eye completely and getting the eyelash stuck to the end of her nose. Instantly, her jade eyes crossed as she stared at the thin object on her nose. As soon as it happened, the tension broke Joy and the other bridesmaids, Princess Jayme Acorn of the Drakon Kingdom and Naomi Mongoose, daughter of Ash and Mina Mongoose, started giggling like a couple of schoolgirls, while Sonia took the moment to grab the beauty therapist by the arm and drag her away, ignoring the protests the irate woman gave as she was thrown out the door to the suite.

“I wanted to do that all morning. Sis, how about I finish the makeup for you, without the fake eyelashes.” Maddy laughed, the tension of her thoughts released as Sonia gently lifted her sister’s chin and started working on her mascara. The door flew open, accompanied for the fourth time that day by sobs, and Amy emerged, her eyes tearing over. The woman had aged glamorously, retaining the slim figure and fashionable hair she had grown up with.

“Oh, just seeing you…it reminds me of when your father and I got married…if Eggman hadn’t crashed the reception, it would have been perfect.” Maddy remained still, suppressing the urge to roll her eyes and ruin Sonia’s balanced hand with the makeup. However, the other girls hadn’t heard Amy’s stories about her wedding day, and so they crowded up to Amy, dressed elegantly as they were, wondering what kind of tale Amy had this time.

“Everything was perfect…my dress was long, white, and gorgeous, not a big-name dress maker, but made for me, by hand, by Cream and Vanilla. My best friend made my wedding dress. I’ll never forget that. Anyway, Sonic was amazing, like he always has been, and everyone was in suits, with my bridesmaids in pale purple. The ceremony went off without a hitch, except the one where Sonic and I exchanged vows. The reception, on the other hand, was hectic, even before Eggman rolled up. Shadow and Knuckles got drunk and started armwrestling, which interrupted the Forget-Me-Knots and their performance, but nobody cared, we were lost to the beauty of the day. Well, I was lost in the fact that I’d just married the man I loved all my life. Then, a Metal Sonic and a Mecha me burst in, followed by Eggman. Sonic wasn’t happy, complaining that Eggman was ‘ruining his big day’, and started a brawl, with me by his side. I guess, since then, nothing’s really changed. Except for the fact that we’ve had three kids, and now my baby girl’s getting married herself!” Amy broke into uncontrolled tears once again, prompting Joy to escort her Aunt into the next room, tissues in hand. Maddy sighed, but Sonia met her sister’s eyes.

“The first of us, sis. My baby sister, married before I am. Why am I not surprised?” With a grin, the elder hedgehog released her sister’s chin, and flashed a thumbs-up. “Done the mascara…now, for the finishing touches…” Maddy smiled and closed her eyes, her body humming with nerves and excitement. This time tomorrow, she’d be married to the one she loved. Nothing could ruin that for her.

Dramatis Persona


Author's Note

In a few chapters, I'm going to write the reception scene, and I want as many suggestions as I can get. Therefore, I'm asking that you make suggestions on the talkpage, and I'll see what I can fit in, with the ideas from other sites and a few of my friends. Side note: Some parts of the reception scene will be inappropriate, I can already warn you of that. - Flash.

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