As you can tell from the title, today I found myself mistaken for the 'real' Sonic. Surprisingly enough, it didn't end horribly.
I wasn't really doing anything in particular. Eggman's in one of his 'spend ages thinking of a grand plan' phases, so I'm safe to do what I please. Thankfully the same freeness applies to Infinite, who's staying with us for the time being. (The doctor was planning on executing him due to his knowledge, but I left a note that convinced him otherwise. The threats were mostly empty, if you were so concerned.) We agreed to get lunch together--even though I can not eat, any excuse to go out is a good one. While Eggman rarely directs his yelling at me anymore, he has a kind of voice that is impossible to tune out without turning off my audio sensors altogether. He likely coded it this way, so that any commands would not be ignored.
"I'm still not used to going out without my mask. I know it makes my identity sort of obvious, but it felt safe."
Unsure of how exactly I would be meant to respond had I been able, I provided some meaningless bleeps with the intent to sound vaguely reassuring. The attempt appeared to succeed.
"Aw, thanks... hey, what the hell is that little guy clinging to your leg?"
Coming to a halt, I looked down at the small life form. A Chao, with a striking resemblance to the 'real' Sonic. I flinched for a moment, before wondering the implications of this. Was it Sonic's? Did it think I was Sonic? I was unsure how to feel. Validated as just as real of a person as him? Offended at the mere comparison?
I settled on the former as to not ruin this 'date' with my own struggles, but that still left a much more important question. What was I meant to do with this thing? It was clearly lost. While I could hurt it in an attempt to bring Sonic pain, that felt like crossing a line. But returning it now would be going against what I had promised Infinite...
I chose to leave it be for now, hoping it'd follow to deal with later. It did, often running ahead of us and zipping around wildly. I suppose it didn't only take after Sonic in appearance.
It went as usual, Infinite talked, I listened, thought of the responses I would be saying, bleeped with about the same tone as I would say those answers. The Chao kept looking for my attention, and I humored it. Infinite joked about it, claiming that I'd adopted them.
I will admit, they were growing on me. But I couldn't allow them to stay, Eggman's base didn't have the right conditions to raise a Chao, and even bringing them there would end the masquerade as soon as it had started. As the date ended, I prepared to return him. They were probably meant to be in one of the Chao Gardens--and after thinking of appearances, I decided they were likely in the neutral garden. If not? Well, at this point it's in Sonic's hands. Putting it into the garden, I looked at it one last time before leaving.
They waved at me and smiled. I made a note in my head, that upon succeeding in my mission, I should return here, and make sure the Chao doesn't die from neglect. It may belong to Sonic, it may bear a striking resemblance that upon closer thought fills me with rage... but it's just a Chao. And it does not need to suffer the same fate as its caretaker will.