Niko walks to Sapphire's house, rehearsing what he's going to say to her. He had known Sapphire since they were old enough to say hi to each other. Over the years he fell in love with her and he wanted to tell her how he felt so badly. With the dance coming up, this was a perfect time to do it. He straightened out his black cargo pants and red t-shirt.
"Just gotta confess my feelings and ask her to the dance and take what I get" He says to himself. He gets to her home, takes a deep breath and rings the doorbell.
Meanwhile, Sapphire was playing Halo 4 and was on an 11 point kill streak when the doorbell rings, making her lose concentration, get killed and lose her streak. Frustrated, Sapphire slammed her video game controller down with a sharp yell of frustration. She scowled as she heard the doorbell ring, and she made her way down stairs.
"What do you want?" she asked angrily, but her expression softened when she saw who it was. "Oh, hey, what's up?"
"N-nothing much." Niko said nervously "May I come in?"
Sapphire nodded and stepped aside, "Sure."
"Thanks.." Niko sits down on the couch and looks up at Sapphire. He had forgotten how beautiful she was. This was, as he felt, gonna be a challenge for him to tell her. "Well as you know, Valentine's day is coming up...and...well...uh..." Niko rubs his head nervously, trying to come up with the right words.
Sapphire followed Niko in after closing the door. She sat down next to her obviously nervous friend. "Yea, Valentine's Day," she scowled shaking her head.
"A stupid holiday where the entire purpose is to either burn hundreds of dollars on a loved one to bankrupt you, or make those who are single feel an everlasting guilt and add to their need to have a lover so they won't be left out on the day of love." She rolled her eyes. "What about it?"
Remembering how much Sapphire hated Valentine's day, he tried to keep going with what he was trying to say.
"Not that my visit has anything to do with Valentine's day, but there's somethin' I wanted to tell you." Getting the courage to say it, Niko takes a deep breath and continues. "Sapphire, we've been friends for a long time and along the road, I've gotten real close to you. I also gained a feeling in my heart I can't shake."
Sapphire nodded and smiled, "Yea, I get it. I feel like we've become better friends over the years." She paused a moment. "You are a really good friend of mine."
Niko smiled back and hopes his feelings aren't mismatched. "Well...I came to visit because I wanted to tell you something important."
Looking serious, Sapphire nodded, "Ok, shoot." What important thing would Niko have to tell her? This bugged her so. Niko was never one to have anything really important to say. So now that Niko did, in fact, have something important to tell her, her mind began to think of what Niko could have to tell her.
Steeling up his courage he comes out with the words some girls usually dream of hearing. "I love you Sapphire."
Shocked and speechless, Sapphire only blinked. She couldn't believe what Niko just said. She always thought of Niko as a really close friend.
"You... What?" Sapphire asked, unable to comprehend what she just heard. She had few admirers in the past, and the ones she did have got punched in the face once they told her about their feelings. But this was Niko, the guy she'd tell about the incidents who she would laugh with about them. She couldn't do that to him. He was too pure of heart. Plus she knew him too long.
Seeing her shocked expression Niko begins to wonder if he did something wrong revealing this to her. "Sapph?" Niko asked. "Are you okay?"
"Yea. I'm fine," Sapphire told Niko, putting her left hand out on the couch as if to balance herself. This was big news to her and she didn't know how to handle it.
"And, um... How long have you, uh, loved me?" She asked finally regaining her composure.
Niko shrugs at this question and replies "For as long as I knew what love was...which was five years. Is that a bad thing?"
Sapphire though a moment. Was it a bad thing? Her dad had always told her that love was something that had to be experienced to know if it's a good or bad thing. However, she never wanted love. She always hated the idea of love. Now that her closest friend is telling her he's in love with her, it felt like her world was starting to change around her.
"I... I honestly don't know..." She replied. "This is all so sudden."
Niko looked into Sapphire's eyes and saw her questioning herself. He figured that she would be questioning her perspective on love. He knew he had sprung something on her she found appalling.
"It's not a bad thing to fall in love with me...at least I don't think so. I wanna know something...do you love me back?"
Avoiding Niko's gaze, Sapphire looked down and closed her eyes. Did she love him back? They had known each other for a long, long time, almost since birth, so did she?
"I might." She replied, unsure of herself. "I don't know." She put her head in her hands. This was too much to take in.
Niko touched Sapphire's shoulder gently. He knew that this really putting pressure on her somehow.
"It's okay Sapphire...if you don't have an answer..." Niko said. "I just wanted to tell you something I kept hidden in my heart for a long time"
Sapphire took a deep breath and looked up at Niko. This was gonna hurt her a lot.
"I don't know if I love you, Niko," she began. "But I like you a lot. Can we work with that?"
"Yeah..." Niko replied. "Is it okay if I do one thing?"
Sapphire, who had recollected herself, sat back against the couch. "What is it?"
Throwing all caution to the wind, Niko leans in and kisses Sapphire. After a few seconds, he pulls back and notices her surprised expression.
"That's what I wanted to do." Niko replied. "I'm sorry if I did wrong by you..."
Sure, Sapphire looked shocked. Her childhood friend just kissed her. But, that didn't mean she didn't enjoy it. She shook her head and have a small smile. "No, don't be sorry. That was actually really nice."
Niko smiles back and blushes. "R-really?" Niko said excitedly. He couldn't believe it. Sapphire said he was a good kisser. "Thanks...you don't know how long I've wanted to kiss you..."
Sapphire couldn't help but laugh a little. "I don't know if I should be flattered or scared." Good ol' Sapphire humor. "Hey, don't blush," she added thoughtfully, nudging him.
Niko had always been told by Mina "Never be afraid to let your heart to someone you care about" and boy, did it feel good to do so. Sapphire meant the world to him, and he was opening his heart to her. He looked at her and realized that she was the one for him. Remembering the second reason he was there, he cleared his throat and pulled out a rose from his back pocket. "Sapphire? Will you go to the Valentine's Day Dance with me?"
Sapphire subconsciously scowled. "Do I have to wear a dress?" she asked, removing the scowl from her face. She didn't want Niko to think he did something wrong. It was the sheer idea of going to a dance, a Valentine's Day dance of all things.
Niko had totally forgotten Sapphire's dislike of anything Valentine's Day related. Boy did he feel stupid at the moment. He came to his senses and answered Sapphire's question as best as he could.
"Well," he replied. "It's not a formal dance, so you don't have to wear one." He remembered it was at the beach. "In fact," He continued. "It's at the beach. I remembered how much you liked the beach so I asked the planning committee to hold it there, to which they agreed."
At this, Sapphire smiled. Niko had remembered all the days they went to the beach together on the weekends and during vacations. They used to talk a lot during these days and loved the ice cream sandwiches he'd pilfer from the ice cream truck that would pass by. For some reason, Niko would never get caught doing that.
"I do love the beach," she told Niko, her smile growing. "And thank goodness it's not formal. I am not wearing anything like that." She overdramatically shivered, though she smiled, too.
Niko laughed at this. "Well, the dance is tomorrow at 5pm." Niko pointed out. "I've already got what I'm gonna wear ready."
Sapphire let out a breath. "I've still got to pick something out. And it's not going to be easy."
Niko looks at Sapphire with feigned confusion. Believe it or not, he never saw Sapphire in a swimsuit before. Whenever they'd go to the beach as kids, she never wore a swimsuit, just a pair of shorts, a tank top and sandals. He began to wonder what she'd look like in a bikini. Would she wear one with or without straps?
The possibilities to him were endless. However, he forgot he has a weird gift; the uncanny ability to project his thoughts so anyone around him can see what he's thinking. At the moment he was picturing Sapphire in a strapless bikini striking a pose like a supermodel would. Upon seeing this, Sapphire slaps him in the back of his head, snapping him out of his thoughts
"Huh?" he said rubbing his head. Seeing his friend's angered and somewhat embarrassed face made him realize his gift kicked in and she saw his idea of what she'd look like in a strapless bikini.
"Oops..." he said rubbing his head in embarrassment. "Sorry. I haven't been training myself to control that lately...man is Professor Prower not gonna be happy about this. Keep this between us, will ya?"
Sapphire narrowed her eyes at Niko. "Maybe. Just because we started dating, doesn't mean you can picture me in bikinis. At least, not while I'm around. Besides, I looked hideous." She shook her head and sighed. "I would never wear anything like that. You know I'm not that kind of girl."
Wait, did Niko think she was that kind of girl? At this thought, Sapphire subconsciously frowned. She silently hoped Niko wouldn't ask her to wear such a thing.
Niko had forgotten they were going out now. Then he suddenly pictured-rather broadcasted to Sapphire-the conversation he and Professor Prower had said to him before he left earlier that day.
"Hey Prof?" Niko said embarrassed to his caretaker.
"Yes, Niko?" Professor Prower replied. "And I told you you're free to call me "Tails" or "Dad"."
"Oh yeah..." he said."I got a question...it's about the upcoming Valentine's Day dance."
Tails looked at his young teenage ward. He never saw him so red in the face before. "Yes...I said you could go, Niko."
"I know...Tails," Niko continued. "I was thinking, I can get into the dance free if I had a...a..." He stammered at these last words. He knew Tails wouldn't approve of him hanging out with girls because of his psychic gifts. The only exceptions were Mina Mongoose, his adopted mother and Tails' wife, Amy Rose, Sally Acorn, Fiona Fox, who denounced her evil ways and proved it by bringing Niko to Tails and Mina when he was seven, Tikal, Shade, and Sapphire, who Tails lets Niko hang out with because of her tomboyish nature. Maybe if he told Tails he was going to the dance with Sapphire, he'd let him have his first date.
"A what, Niko?" Tails asked. "Whatever it is you are trying to say, I can't give you an answer unless you give me a straight sentence."
"A...a...date..." Niko replied.
"Niko we talked about this!" Tails shouted as if Niko had said something forbidden. Niko looked down in defeat. He knew this is the response he was going to get.
"No dating until I can control my Psi abilities." Niko said, remembering the first time he wanted to go on a date with Lily, Sonic and Sally's daughter, when he was thirteen. Being sixteen, he hoped his adopted father would be a bit more lenient on the subject, but, apparently, he was wrong.
"But dad, I was gonna go with..." Niko continued, but his voice trailed off.
"Who Niko?" Tails asked angrily. "Who are you going with? C'mon! Speak up!"
"Sapphire." Niko replied, taken aback by his father's sudden anger spasm. One thing could be said about Tails is that he wasn't quick to anger, but the sheer idea that he wants to go to a dance with a girl seemed to upset Tails to no end.
"I figured if I went with someone you know and trust, you wouldn't have an issue." Niko continued.
"Absolutely not, Niko!" Tails shouted. "I COULDN'T GIVE LESS OF A RAT'S TAIL IF IT WAS GODDESS AURORA YOU WERE TAKING! I TOLD YOU "NO DATING UNTIL YOU CAN CONTROL YOUR ABILITIES!"
The direction the conversation was going was starting to make Niko just as upset as Tails. He had always been restricted from things like this because he "couldn't control his powers yet" and he "was a danger to himself and others should his powers go haywire." Here he was, sixteen and still can't have a life outside the house. He has felt so imprisoned it was starting to get to him. He couldn't take it anymore. Finally having had enough, Niko suddenly yells out. "I CAN CONTROL THEM BETTER THAN YOU CAN!" Niko shouts out in anger. Calming down after his angry outburst causes the lights in the room to flicker ominously, he looks at Tails pleadingly. "I can control them, dad...why can't you trust me?"
"BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO TRUST YOU, NIKO!" Tails shouted in response. Hearing Skye, Niko's adopted baby brother crying upstairs, Tails calms down and looks at his surrogate son with a look that says "end of subject". "You can go to the dance, but you're not going with a girl. End of discussion!" Tails continued.
"But dad..." Niko began to protest but he immediately cowered under his father's angered gaze.
"I have a better idea." Tails continued. "Forget the dance, Niko. You're grounded for a week. During that time, you're to stay down here in the lab and practice control of your powers. You're also forbidden to go anywhere near or have any type of contact with Sapphire...period until I deem you've gained a satisfactory percentage of control. I'll inform Sapphire's parents when they return from their couples retreat in two days."
"I love her dad!" Niko blurted out, hoping he'd understand. "To keep me from her would be torture for me." Niko falls to his knees as Tails rolls his eyes and walks out the lab. He stops and turns to Niko.
"Use that feeling of torture as a reason to learn to control your powers." He said tauntingly. "I'm locking this door so don't even think of sneaking out, Niko."
"Why Tails?!?" Niko asked pleasingly. "Why do you keep locking me up?!? I can't take it anymore!!"
Tails turned to Niko and said the words no teenager wants to hear their parent or guardian say.
"Then leave." Tails replied. And with that, he left and the windows and door locked up. All Niko could do is sob.
Sapphire manages to shake Niko out of his thought process. When she does, he looks at her. "Sapphire?" he responds. "I...I..." At this he passes out as G.U.N. soldiers bust in, attempting to take him away. Sapphire tries to keep them off him by locking them in her room. Soon, sounds of a battering ram are heard and she realizes she has yet to try to wake Niko up. She tried slapping him, pouring water on him, everything she could think of. Suddenly she remembers a method that she hated knowing worked in the movies. The one thing that seems to have a one-hundred percent success rate in fairy tales. The revival ex-machina known as true love's kiss. It was the only thing she hadn't tried and it was the only option left. She shrugged and sighed.
"Why the hell not," Sapphire muttered, laying Niko gently on her bed. She reached under her bed and got her pistol out, just in case it didn't work. She leant down and placed a soft, kind kiss upon Niko's lips before quickly checking her gun to make sure it was loaded.