Member No.: 19
Joined: 11-July 10
Rouge the Bat was a government spy for the Guardian Unit of Nations, or G.U.N., working alongside her friend and partner, the enigmatic and biogenetically created Shadow the Hedgehog. Not only that, but she was a rabid jewel thief. Anything that sparkled was, in her opinion, her rightful property, and she had spent years practicing jewel thievery, a stealthy practice that culminated in her being hired by G.U.N. in the first place. Of course, such an occupation yields a hefty salary, and Rouge enjoyed spending on herself, indulging in her own desires. When there’s no spying to do, many was the night when Rouge was reclining on her sofa in her apartment, enjoying expensive and delicious sweets. Now, it must be said here that not only was Rouge a crafty and competent woman, but also quite attractive, with her stunning blue eyes and womanly figure, especially her round hips, a part of her she was proud of. However, as more days of inactivity passed, she began to grow softer and bigger, but she didn’t notice, until one day…
It was one of those clear, cool autumn days, where the orange, yellow, and brown leaves come whirling through the air in elegant cascades. It was the sort of day when someone is proud to feel lazy, especially when they lived in apartments and didn’t need to bother with the troublesome task of sweeping leaves. It was one of the days Rouge liked best, draped across her cozy, aqua-blue sofa, matching perfectly with her favorite eye shadow. One hand was dipping in and out of a box of chocolates as she delicately chowed down on them. The other was absentmindedly on her stomach, which had once been as flat as bottom-of-the-bottle soda, but had now grown rather round and soft, forming a bulge beneath her form-fitting black bodysuit, but she never seemed to have noticed. She was watching one of those soap operas where nearly episode ended with some cliffhanger tragedy. This week, as the show wound itself to a close, the lead actress gripped the lead actor by the arm.
“Hank…I’m pregnant.” was all that was said as “To Be Continued” flashed across the TV screen. Rouge gave a derisive huff.
“Every week she claims she’s pregnant, but it turns out she’s just fat,” she muttered. Her hand strayed from her belly to the remote resting on her hip, and was just about to change the channel when a newsflash broke the post-show silence.
“Tonight’s top story: Lion’s Eye Ruby to be put on display after 400 years!” Rouge stopped, ears perked intently, as Scarlet Garcia, Station Square’s top news reporter, appeared on the screen. Behind her was an armored van. “The Station Square Museum of Arts and Treasures is proud to accept the prodigious honor of safeguarding the ancient African treasure know as the Lion’s Eye Ruby, found in an abandoned temple and reported to be dated 4 centuries old. The ruby’s value is currently incalculable, but top jewelry appraisers are estimating it in between $7 and $8 million.” As Scarlet spoke, two men stepped from the van, carrying between them a heavily-sealed glass box. Within it, perched on a velvet cushion, was a sparkling, oval-shaped ruby about the size of a duck’s egg, its many red facets catching the sunlight and glimmering like a lighthouse beacon. Rouge’s eyes widened at the sight of it, glinting with absolute longing. “As expected, due to its high value and intriguing history, the Lion’s Eye will be under the strictest security measures the Museum can muster, to prevent the foolish attempts by any petty criminals who would seek to steal it.” Rouge flicked off the TV with a laugh.
“Petty criminals?” she scoffed. “Maybe, but PRETTY criminals, that’s another story. Keep your eye on the Eye while you can, boys, because Rouge the Bat is about to increase her collection!” She got up and wiped the chocolate from her lips with the back of her glove. “I just hope my old cat suit fits…” she muttered to herself. She went to her walk-in closet, which included a silver-bordered full length mirror. As she passed by it, she suddenly stopped, then backed up, gazing at herself in confused wonder. For the first time since her “vacation”, she noticed just how plump she had become. Her belly was as round as her hips were wide, which was quite remarkable in her case. Rouge had always been proud of being slender and sexily curvy, but this soft and flabby midriff she had accumulated brought her to a feeling between disbelief and amusement. She poked one finger in, and it sank as if she were poking a Tempur Pedic pillow, though she felt a slight prick of pain caused by her manicured fingernail. She patted it, and it shivered like a rung bell. “…Have I let myself go this much?” she wondered aloud. “Maybe going on a stealing spree isn’t such a good idea with a belly this big.” Then, a voice in her head spoke, voicing her ambition, vanity, and greed. “Who cares if you’ve put on a few pounds? You’re still the most beautiful girl on Mobius! Besides that, you’re the best thief ever! That museum won’t know what hit them, so stop being a prissy little whiner and show them you won’t be stopped!” Thus assured by her stronger thoughts, she got ready to gear up for that line.
When it came to the gear and outfit needed to be as stealthy as her natural prowess allowed, Rouge exceeded the expectations of the most prepared cat burglar. She had a whole arsenal of personally-designed tools necessary for espionage, sneaking, and purloining that would make the most learned criminal mind envious: infrared laser detection spray, miniature mirrors for redirecting said lasers, a glass cutter with interchangeable blades, a handful of hairpins for tricky locks, a number of electronic bugs for listening in on secret and outside conversations, smoke bombs, and many other articles of equipment well-known and reliable for their purposes. As for her wardrobe, she preferred a form-fitting midnight black latex body suit with a matching ninja mask, allowing only her eyes, upper muzzle, and ears to betray their natural color and appearance. As she changed her clothes, she couldn’t help noticing how fatter her belly seemed when bare compared to when it was clothed, but she wasn’t about to change her mind about going out. When she was all packed and ready for action, she slipped easily out of her apartment window, climbed up to the complex’s roof, and stood at the edge, overlooking the city below and beyond, lit by the full moon. She unfurled her silky black wings and started flapping, just to hover in the air a bit. As she had predicted, her gained weight made it harder to fly as she had been able to before, and she had to flap her wings quite fast to stay afloat. Still half-worrying, half-determined, she broke into a graceful glide and swept off into the silent night.
By the time she arrived at the museum, all the windows were dark, and no one seemed to be moving about inside. Rouge landed silently on the roof, the only sound made being the soft, muffled “clack” of her boots. As per her routine, she began searching for an air vent to slip into the museum through. At last, she found a small rectangular hatch adjacent to the enormous domed window that served as a skylight for the museum. Carefully and quietly, she pried the grate off and peered down into it. It was a long drop, since it wasn’t above any of the other floors, but that didn’t concern her, as her wings would slow her fall long before she reached the floor. She sat down on the roof and first slipped her shapely legs through the vent hole before allowing herself to be lowered down. However, as she went down, she found herself obstructed unexpectedly, unable to budge. Looking behind herself to see what it was, she was annoyed to see that it was her swollen bottom and hips, which had always been round and wide, but had never gotten in the way of her exploits before. Now it was presenting an annoying obstacle in her endeavors.
“Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me…” she griped, “You’re gonna hold me up after all the times you’ve been so cooperative?!” Furious, she began jerking her legs sharply, trying to force her weight downwards and slip her rear through, but it wouldn’t budge. She pouted and crossed her arms, pondering what she ought to do. She couldn’t exactly contract her hips as well as she could suck in her stomach…then it hit her! Maybe she could reduce herself, ever so slightly, by sucking in her plump midriff, and slip through. So thinking, she took a deep breath and pulled her stomach in as far as she could. That did the trick. She slowly began to slide through the vent, too slowly for her liking, for she felt she couldn’t hold her breath in for much longer. Then, with a pop, and just when she thought she was going to burst, her hips slipped through, as did the rest of her, and she found herself plummeting. Releasing her breath and flapping her wings as fast as she could, she stopped inches from the floor. “Stupid tiny ventilation systems…” she muttered as she landed with a soft click. She gazed around.
Except for the area under the skylight, where the moon shone white, the rest of the museum was bathed in shadow. Fumbling in her pack, she pulled out a pair of night-vision goggles and pressed them to her eyes. Through the green-tinted lenses, she could see the signs pointing out which exhibit lay in what direction. Then she saw it: situated between the signs that pointed out the “Egyptian Exhibit” to the left and the “Hall of Inventions” to the right, was a sign pointing straight forward, reading “Priceless Treasures and Gemstones”. Smiling to herself, she repacked her goggles and flitted ghost-like toward her goal, making no more sound than the wind. As she expected, the door leading to the exhibit was locked, the glass doors bearing a large padlock.
“Hmph,” she huffed, smirking, “they think they’re so clever, trying to intimidate me with a big, bad lock…when all I need is a little innovation.” So saying, she pulled a hairpin from her pocket, poked it into the keyhole, and began twisting it carefully. All the while, she kept her ear perked for any outside noises, but all was silent as the grave. At last, with a click and a jingle, the lock opened, and, much to Rouge’s dismay, clattered to the floor with a clang that echoed loudly. She cringed, expecting the worst…but still nothing happened. She breathed a sigh of relief and slowly pushed the doors open. Inside where many podiums and display cases containing gemstones, treasures, and trinkets of many makes, metals, shapes, and colors. But there, in the very center, perched on its velvet cushion, was the Lion’s Eye. Even in the very dim light, it seemed to glimmer like animal eyes seen in the dark. She was about to step into the room, when she realized something.
“…It’s too easy…” she muttered with a frown. Reaching into her pack, she removed a can of infrared detection spray, gave it a shake, and sprayed a thick cloud of grayish smog around the room. What she saw made her jaw drop: there were security lasers all right, but there seemed to be hundreds, all set at every conceivable angle and position, to form a barrier resembling a fish net from ceiling to floor.
“…They’re getting crafty,” she remarked, “…but so am I.” She reached into her pack again and pulled out a stack of mirrors set on thin stands. Painstakingly, making sure no part of her arms touched the lasers, she set the mirrors up to redirect the lasers and form a gap wide enough for her to walk through, like a doorway.
“Why, boys, I’m flattered,” she said, as if speaking to a pair of servants holding the doors open for her, strutting through with the knuckles of her left hand resting in the curve of her hip, looking quite stately and prim, even though her stomach wobbled with each step like a bowl of gelatin. At last, she stood over the case holding the Lion’s Eye.
“Hello, beautiful…” she said silkily. “Mama’s going to take you home…” She reached into her pack once again and pulled out a glass cutter. Carefully, she cut a wide hole in the top of the case, picked it off carefully and set it aside. Then she gingerly reached in, grabbed the ruby with both hands, and lifted it out as if she were picking up a puppy. She tucked it under her arm and pulled out a lavender calling card marked with a white bat’s head in the top right corner. Inscribed on it, in elegant cursive, was “You have just been robbed by the elusive, attractive Jewel Thief Rouge”. For an extra measure, she gave the card a kiss right beside her name, leaving a crimson lip mark beside it. This she placed on the cushion in lieu of its previous occupant.
Smiling triumphantly, she started walking away with her prize, but she suddenly felt it shift in the crook of her arm, alarming her. It slid out from beneath her grip, but she caught it again in both hands. The ruby was not only heavy, but as slick as a wet bar of soap. Apparently, it had been washed rather thoroughly in order to take off any filth it may have engendered during its time in its discovery place. Trying to regain her composure, she gingerly walked forward, the ruby clutched in her gloved hands. It wasn’t until she reached the door made in the infrared lasers that the troublesome gem slipped again, upward toward the arch of the makeshift doorway. Rouge bit her fingertips in agonizing tension, but just as it was about to touch the nearest laser, the ruby plummeted again. She made a dive in midair, wings folded to her sides, arms outstretched. The gem landed in her palms, and she landed on her fat belly, slipping along the floor, through the lasers, and out the exhibit. She glared at the ruby.
“Listen, you,” she snarled, “you’re coming with me whether you feel like it or not!” Trying to keep it firmly in her grip, she started looking around for a place to get out from. Being out in the open of the museum, however, she couldn’t concentrate without feeling nervous, so walking carefully, so as to keep the ruby from sliding as much as possible, she headed for the restrooms. She knew that would be the perfect place to privately think. Heading in, she made a makeshift “nest” out of toilet paper on the floor and put the Lion’s Eye in it, to guarantee that it would not escape as she pondered. She couldn’t use the ceiling vent again, as she doubted her wings could carry her heavy body up there again. And besides, if the ruby were to slip from her grasp going up…she shuddered to think about it. Going out the front door, when people might still be wandering around (why they’d still up after midnight was anyone’s guess), was practically suicide. Suddenly, she spotted it: a bathroom window. It was rectangular and quite low compared to the other windows, at about her eye level. A smile slowly crossed her lips as she thought that she had just found her answer. She crossed over and peered out. It opened onto an alleyway with a few dumpsters, boxes, and bottles littered here and there. It was very quiet, and only lit by the light of the moon. Satisfied, she picked up the ruby carefully and gently put it through the window, setting it on an empty box of “Microwave Chili Dogs”. Then she poked her head and arms through, wriggling a bit to squeeze her rather full bosom through the little window.
“Trouble always starts at a woman’s best features,” she muttered to herself as she finally popped her chest through. Feeling more confident, she slid further, pushing off the floor with her feet…but suddenly came to an abrupt and utter halt. Confused, she looked behind herself, and her ears flattened as she let out a low moan of despair. Despite all that had happened to her that night, she had completely forgotten to take into account her swollen belly. While the window may have been wide enough to barely allow her chest to slip through, there was no way that level of ease would be applicable to her stomach, and right now, it was jammed in the tiny opening, filling it completely and uncomfortably, stuffed like a gooey marshmallow in a straw. Rouge was practically hysterical with frustration.
“Aw, COME ON!” she shrieked not caring if anyone was around to listen. “What is this, ‘Drive Rouge Nuts Night’?! I am NOT putting up with this!” She braced her hands against the wall and shoved as hard as she could, her wings flapping furiously, kicking her shapely legs madly. However, she just would not budge. Her plump and soft middle remained just as tightly stuck, only causing a jolt of sharp pain to her sides. Again and again she pushed, shoved, heaved, and hauled, wriggling like a snake and kicking off from the floor, but it was no good. Her belly packed tighter into the miniscule aperture and refused to let her go. At last, exhausted and miserable, she slumped, almost about to cry. She looked down at the Lion’s Eye Ruby and groaned.
“All because I had to steal something from a place like this…” she grumbled. “Well, this’ll be a red-letter day for the press, won’t it? ‘Former Grand Thief, Rouge the Bat, Caught in the Act, Trapped by Her Own Weight’…”
“Now THAT”S a headline worth every penny,” came a soft, gruff voice. Rouge’s ears perked, heart racing. She looked in the direction of the voice, and saw a pair of red eyes shining in the dark.
“Who’s there??” she asked, alert, but not in a position to fight back. “Show yourself!” The figure stepped forward, revealing it to be… “Shadow!” Rouge said, regaining her breath, “Oh, thank good-” She stopped herself, feeling it below her reputation to act like this in front of Shadow. “Er, that is…” She put on a confident little smirk and crossed her arms. “What are you doing here, Shadow?”
“On patrol, actually,” said Shadow shortly, wearing a similar smile. “I was commissioned by G.U.N. to make sure no one tries to make off with the Lion’s Eye during the night.” Rouge gulped silently, not averting her gaze. “Now it’s your turn, Rouge. What are YOU doing here?”
“Me? Oh,…I was just using the bathroom.” Shadow raised an eyebrow.
“After closing hours?”
“I was out walking and nature called. You can’t fault a girl for being desperate.” She looked innocently at the black hedgehog, but his expression didn’t change.
“And why are you hanging out of that window?”
“I needed some air,” Rouge lied, fanning the air with one hand and pinching her nose with the other. “Must’ve been that honey-glazed sirloin from a few nights ago…”
“Have you been putting on weight?” Shadow asked, not even trying to mask the question. Rouge gasped and tried her best to look absolutely scandalized.
“Shadow! How dare you! ‘Have I been putting on weight’! What a silly thing to ask! Of course not!”
“Then why does it look like your stomach’s stuck in that window?”
“It’s a cold night and I decided to layer, that’s all!” Rouge snapped, annoyed at how close to the truth he really was. “And I’m NOT stuck, thank you very much!” Shadow shrugged.
“Ok then…One more question, Rouge…is that the Lion’s Eye on that filthy box of chili dogs?” He pointed to the sparkling gem, sitting on its pauper cushion. Rouge’s ears lowered, looking quite defeated. Her expression was all Shadow needed. “I figured as much…You really should have tried this during a warmer season, when you didn’t need all that extra weight to keep you warm.”
“LAYERS…” Rouge hissed.
“Whatever. I have a good mind to leave you there until the police arrive the next morning.”
“You wouldn’t dare,” Rouge said, trying to sound confident, but her insides were squirming worse than a den of worms in an earthquake. She knew by the look on Shadow’s face that he had every intention of doing so. “Come on, Shadow…we’re friends…Would you turn in a friend?”
“Funny…” Shadow remarked. “I seem to remember you telling me once that you didn’t need friends, that ‘a thief always works alone’…Well, I’m going to satisfy your wishes. You can get yourself out of this mess.” He turned and began to walk off.
“Shadow! Wait!” Rouge called, nearly crying from desperation. “Ok, ok! I HAVE been putting on weight! I WAS stealing the Lion’s Eye! And I AM stuck in this stupid window! There, I said it! Happy?! Just, please…” She was sobbing by now, hands clasped in supplication. “Please…don’t leave me here…I’ve had such a rotten night…Get me out, Shadow, and I’ll do anything! Anything!” Shadow stopped walking. Of course, unbeknownst to Rouge, despite the hedgehog having a reputation for being cold and a lone wolf, he really did care about the eccentric bat girl, and merely wanted to test her faith in him and how willing she’d be to repent. He turned around.
“Anything?” he asked.
“Yes, anything!” Rouge replied, joyful to see him returning.
“Even letting the Lion’s Eye be returned to its display?” Rouge was afraid Shadow would say that.
“Aw, Shadow…” she whined. “Do you have any idea what I went through to get that?”
“Fine,” Shadow said, shrugging again. “Have fun getting out.”
“Ok, ok…” Rouge sighed, pouting. “…The stupid ruby goes back…Rotten thing’s more trouble than it’s worth anyway…”
“Good girl,” Shadow replied, patting Rouge on the head as if she were a naughty dog taught a new trick.
“Shut up and get me out of here…” Rouge snapped, holding her arms out. Shadow gripped them by the wrist and gave a great tug. As expected, Rouge didn’t budge an inch at first. Her stomach just squished harder against the window frame. “OW!” Rouge yelped. “Easy!”
“I can’t if you wanna get out,” Shadow replied coldly, giving another heave. Rouge jerked forward imperceptibly, the sides of the window frame digging into her sides.
“THIS is the strength of the Ultimate Life Form?…” Rouge asked sarcastically.
“Hey, my powers were meant to protect and benefit mankind,” Shadow snarled, “not for extricating stuck bats from tiny windows!’
“Says the hedgehog who could flip over a whole bus without breaking a sweat,” replied Rouge in a snarky tone.
“Well, maybe you’re a lot heavier than a bus then,” countered Shadow. “Ever thought of that?” Rouge’s face went beet red, but she didn’t reply. As Shadow continued to pull, Rouge came up with an idea.
“What if you just used Chaos Control to warp us both somewhere else?” she suggested.
“Wouldn’t do any good,” he said, “I might warp the window frame or even the entire building with us.”
“Phooey…” she muttered. As time went on, she noticed Shadow seemed to be wearing out “Come on, Shadow, put some of that speed of yours to use! Do you want people to think you’re weaker than Sonic? You, the Ultimate Life Form?” That did the trick. Shadow’s eyes flashed with fury at those words, his teeth gritted. With each threatening word he spoke, he jerked hard at Rouge’s arms, this time facing away from her.
“Don’t…EVER…compare me…to that SMART-ALECK…WISE-CRACKING…EXCUSE FOR A HEDGEHOG!” he snarled, yanking with enough force to practically tear the wall down. Instead, Rouge’s rotund middle began to slide through the tiny window. She was coming loose! “Everyone thinks he’s so JUST, and so NOBLE, but all he is is an overgrown KID who relies on LUCK!” Every shouted word Shadow spat out with venomous rage caused him to yank at Rouge even harder, so that bit by bit, her flab was slipping through. Finally, with another almighty tug, Rouge’s stomach popped through completely, now hanging freely, leaving Rouge only trapped by her trademark hips still inside the bathroom, but this was easy to remedy, as Shadow had neared the completion of his rant. “Well, let me tell you, Rouge, he may have saved the world a few times, but he is NOT my idea of a HERO!” He heaved with every atom of strength contained within his being, and with a squelching pop and a clank of metal, Rouge fell entirely out of the window, and would have landed on Shadow, had he not used Chaos Control at the instant to reappear right beside the portly bat, regaining his composure. “…So there.” he said, his voice hoarse from yelling.
“Oh, Shadow, thank you!” Rouge gushed, grabbing Shadow in a big hug, before suddenly releasing him, remembering her dignity. “Um, I mean…thanks, Shadow.” She stuck out her hand for a handshake, which he returned.
“Don’t mention it. Tell you what, I’ll put the ruby back myself. I think you’ve had enough aggravating escapades for one night.” He prodded her stomach with one finger to emphasize his point, causing her to giggle.
“Thanks. Good night, Shadow.”
“Don’t let the cops catch you. The jail might not be big enough to hold you.” Rolling her eyes at this dry remark, she flapped her wings and went into a hover, then remembered something.
“Oh! Shadow, take this with you when you put that ruby back!” She put what looked like one of her calling cards into his hand, blew him a kiss and wink, and took off into the night. Shadow, somewhat bewildered but unable to argue, picked up the ruby from the box, holding it in the palm of his hand before using Chaos Control to teleport inside of the museum, at its display. He placed the ruby back on its cushion, and was about to leave when he remembered Rouge’s calling card. Looking at it, he couldn’t help but smirk when he saw what was written on it: “You got off easy today, but I’ll be back! Signed, the elusive, attractive Jewel Thief Rouge”, signed with her kiss as usual. Shadow swapped the cards out, saying to himself,
“That bat’s more trouble than we’d like…but that’s just how it has to be.” With that, he used Chaos Control one last time to exit the museum, leaving the Lion’s Eye ruby safe and sound on its cushion, as if nothing had happened all that night…