Alone...that was one word that Amy Rose hated, she absolutely despised that word. She knew the feeling all too well. She covered it better than most, every time someone would ask if she was okay she'd pull on that phony smile and say she was okay. She may have hated to admit it, but she kind of liked being alone, it gave her the freedom to cry and brood in privacy. She didn't know that there was one other that hated the feeling just as much as her, yet he had more experience and was slowly easing into friendships with other members of the Sonic Team. His mind was usually on a certain girl, killed by G.U.N. fifty years prior, but were ever so slowly drifting towards the pink hedgehog. Amy's thoughts were also shifting, from the main member of their gang to the darker, more secluded and polite doppelganger that was Shadow the Hedgehog. She had realized that her attempts were futile and decided to just live to hide the pain she felt seeing Sonic happy around other girls. None his girlfriends, but still almost complete strangers. Shadow would watch from a distance too, not in envy, but curiosity. He didn't understand how the blue hero could just not realize the pink girl's feelings for him, even when she had displayed them so obviously.
Now he was nearer to her, observing. He noticed the smile on her face, it was a sad one. He casually walked over and leaned against the wall next to her. "He's so vain, isn't he..." he muttered, still looking in the direction of the hedgehog who was laughing with his other friends. "He doesn't seem to realize that he has enough, no, he just wants more, more disposable girls," he shot her a glance, he'd hit a nerve, "when he can't even see that he's missing out on one of the most amazing girls here..." he whispered the last part. Amy hadn't been able to hear, she was lost in her own thoughts.
'Disposable.' Is that what Sonic saw her as? Just another girl? Just someone's heart to steal before tossing them away? She realized that Shadow was right. All Sonic saw girls as were friends, no matter how much they loved him. Either that or he was just a huge flirt without trying to be. She could understand why he would want more friends, even though he had some of the most loyal ones on the planet that would stay with him, whether he was a famous hero or not. "I guess you're right Shadow, no matter how many friends he has, no matter how faithful we are to him, he just wants more..." she whispered in disbelief. She glanced to the side to see him nodding, still looking at Sonic who was surrounded by paparazzi and fan-girl admirers. He obviously didn't want to disappoint, but he also looked like he wanted to get away, just run. "What do you think he does when he's gone...you know...on runs?" she asked crossing her arms then blew into her hands for warmth. It was fall and the thin jacket she'd brought wasn't very much protection against the cold, cutting wind. She rubbed her arms and shivered as another gust hit. She was freezing, of course she didn't want to leave, Sonic would think it was his fault and follow her, making the paparazzi make up some story about them dating, but then again, they'd do the same if she went and told him.
"I'm not sure, I think he just clears his head, that's what I do when I leave..." Shadow said with a shrug. He shot her another glance and saw her shivering. "Are you cold?"
"Just a little bit..." she said with a small smile. "I'd leave but I don't want Sonic to follow me and think it's his fault..." shivers raced up and down her arms, leaving goosebumps behind. She was wearing her usual dress so her legs were pretty cold, too.
"Then why don't you just tell him why you're leaving?" Shadow asked turning his head towards her. She shrugged and looked away, still shivering.
"If I go over there then the stupid photographers will take pictures of us together and make up rumors about us dating..." She wasn't so sure why she didn't want that, but she knew she didn't. She shivered once more and pulled her jacket a little tighter around herself.
Shadow sighed. He wasn't sure why, but it escaped his lips. He got an idea, but wasn't sure he wanted to take the risk. He didn't have much to lose so he grabbed her hand. "Come with me," was all he said. Amy was entranced by his voice. She wasn't sure why she was, but she was. Before she knew what was happening she was following Shadow through an alley.
As for Sonic, when he looked over and saw that both of them were gone he shoved through the mob with a concerned expression. They all questioned him, but the only one that needed an answer in his mind was "Where did she go?".
Tails stopped the hero with a hand on is shoulder. "Don't worry, she's with Shadow, I watched them leave together." Sonic's expression changed from concern to anger.
"That's why I'm worried..." he finally shoved his way through the rest of the crowd and took off in the direction they had gone.
"Where are we going Shadow?" Amy asked. Concern etched her face but she couldn't keep the feeling in her mind or heart. She trusted Shadow with her life and she knew that he would never try to hurt her, no matter what the situation was.
"Somewhere warm," he answered simply. His face was a composed smile, but this time, the smile actually reached his eyes. It wasn't a smile of malicious intent, not one that was meant for a killer. It was a genuine smile, his eyes sparkled with happiness. Any other day his eyes would've frightened anyone, but when he was happy, his eyes were the most alluring thing Amy had ever seen in her life. Shadow stopped, still holding her hand, he wrapped his arm around her tightly and pulled out a chaos emerald. Amy's face was turning red, both from the cold, and from being so close to him. "Hold on Rose." He held the jewel up and said the two words that teleported him where ever he wanted to go. After they were where Shadow wanted to be, he grabbed Amy's hand once again and pulled her along.
It was colder in here than it was outside and it was dark too. Amy shivered while looking around. "I thought you said we were going somewhere warm..." she muttered, allowing him to drag her through the unknown place. "Where are we anyway?"
"Don't worry, we're on the ARK, I know where I'm going," he said simply as he continued to pull her.
"The ARK?! Why the heck are we on the ARK?!" she screamed.
"I know someplace warm here," he said. He opened a sliding door. Inside was a bed with light blue sheets and a comforter that looked soft. Along the walls were dozens, if not hundreds of pictures, most were of butterflies or birds. They got progressively better as you went around the room. The walls were practically papered with the drawings. They were neatly placed, from the top of the walls to the very bottom, they stopped a little above the floor so that the dust collecting wouldn't ruin them.
"Wow..." Amy was breathless, she hadn't noticed that she'd stopped shivering yet, but Shadow smiled just watching the wonder on her face.
"You warm now?" he asked. His casualty slightly confused Amy, considering that he usually used perfect grammar and specific articulation in his words. She looked at his relaxed posture and casually crossed arms.
"Yeah, why is it so warm in here though? It's cold everywhere else..." she said, still mesmerized by the neatly placed pictures, no folds, no overlapping, no errors in papering.
"I'm not sure, it's always been warm here, It was Maria's room," he said with a shrug. Amy's eyes widened and she looked over at Shadow.
"A-are you sure you want me here? I know how much this room probably means to you and I don't wanna mess anything up I mean just look at all the time she took to put everything up like this and--"
"I put them up," he said interrupting her, "and you can be here, I'm the one that brought you, and I brought you because I wanted to," he said as he walked over to her and looked up at the drawings.
"You...you put all of these up...?" Amy asked in disbelief. She couldn't comprehend the idea of someone that seemed so dark, doing something so thoughtful.
"Yeah, Maria never wanted anyone to see her drawing except for me...she had...shelves of books that were...filled with them..." a smile grew on his face as he said this and Amy suddenly felt out of place. Like she didn't belong, she felt as if she were intruding on someones private conversation.
"You still miss her, don't you...?" she asked, amazed at how well he hid all of this stuff normally.
"Yeah...but...not as much..." he said, looking down at her. He turned his whole body towards her and looked straight into her eyes. There was so much hurt, so much pain, so much of everything he'd ever felt in his life, and yet she was still concerned about him. He was so amazed at her strength. He was the "Ultimate Life Form," and yet, he felt he could never beat her in a test of strength. She hid her pain so well, she put a smile on her face no matter what the situation was in her personal life. He had channeled it into anger, he'd used it as a reason to live, a need to avenge her, a drive to kill. He felt drawn to her, like she was pulling him in, and little did he know, that's how she felt too.
Her emerald eyes scoured the crimson that were filled with hope and honesty, they looked so intriguing. His gravity pulled her ever closer, for so long she'd been focused on Sonic, too focused to realize that every time her day was shrouded with disappointment and depression, he was the sun that pulled the curtain of negativity away and made her smile. Whether he was smiling or not, he could always have a positive effect on her. Now she realized it, he was one of the closest people to her in the world. He was the main thing that kept her world spinning, if he hadn't been there, if she hadn't been thinking about how much pain he must have suffered and how he had changed to help G.U.N. despite the fact that it was the organization that killed his best friend right in front of him because of him, she probably would've left of killed herself long before. Her eyelids drooped as she tilted her head back, his head was arched towards her as well. On the tips of her toes, her lips finally met with his. He immediately gripped his arms around her waist and she locked hers around his neck. It seemed so wrong, but...it felt so right, just the two of them, intertwined like that. Dark and light, sweet and sour, hot and cold, no matter what you could think of to describe the two, no matter how opposite the could seem, they fit together so perfectly. Amy's fingers tangled into Shadows quills and pulled his lips away gently. Both were panting.
"That was...my...my first kiss..." Amy muttered after catching her breath. She'd imagined her whole life how it would feel, and it felt a million times better, but she'd imagined it with Sonic. Her head was swimming, her thoughts tangled in strands that seemed to be forever knotted. She was afraid she'd never straighten things out. Her mind said it was wrong, but her heart said it was so right. She'd spent almost a decade convincing herself that she was meant for Sonic, but now...she realized how much Shadow meant to her, he was the center of her universe. Everything she'd ever needed and more.
"I'm sorry..." he unwrapped his arms from her waist and stepped back. "You were saving that for Sonic...weren't you...?" he asked. She looked into his eyes and saw more hurt than she thought could ever exist in the world. She nodded. "You don't like me...do you...?" he looked away from her. Amy's arms had been taken from Shadow's neck and were hanging by her sides.
"Idiot..." she murmured as she stepped forward, tangling her hand in his quills once again and pulling his face close enough to smell her. "Why do you think I kissed back?" She pulled him closer, pushing her lips onto his again. Shadow's eyes widened in shock, but slowly drooped as he replaced his grip on her waist. Just as he began to deepen the kiss he was ripped away and pinned against the wall, crumpling a few drawings. Amy looked frantically towards where he had been sent and saw a blue hedgehog taking air from the darker one by the second. "Sonic! Sonic stop!!" she yelled. She had run over and was now gripping his arm with tears in her eyes. She couldn't bare the thought of losing Shadow so soon after she'd realized her feelings for him. "Sonic stop it! He wasn't hurting me!" She blinked away tears as she continued to pull on his arm.
His grip dropped immediately. "He kissed you..." his look seemed so hurt and confused she thought she'd drown in it. His eyes seemed glazed, as if he couldn't think straight. "You were saving that kiss for me...you told me so..." he whispered as he looked her in the eyes. Amy heard a low growl and looked at Shadow. He was holding what looked like half of a butterfly. She looked up at the wall and saw the other half hanging, ripped down the middle.
"Oh!" she instantly ran over to Shadow and dropped to her knees beside the dark hedgehog. She noticed tears in his eyes and his teeth were gritted so hard she feared they would shatter. She looked at Sonic with a glare that could've frozen a volcano itself and stood, fists clenched at her sides. "You...you jerk!!! I kissed him, okay, and news-flash, I'm over you!! I may have been saving it before but you know what, you didn't want me!! So get over it hot-shot! Go back to your admirers and find someone else because, in case you couldn't take the hint, I DON'T LOVE YOU ANYMORE!!" She huffed and blew her bangs out of her face.
"Yeah, well you thought wrong! Now just go!" she pointed towards the door.
"I get it now...you just wanna make me jealous by using Fake--!" She slapped him across the face.
"His name isn't "Faker!" It's Shadow, and can't you see you're not welcome here?! Get out before I beat you to a pulp!!" she screamed. He rubbed his cheek, she was mad, and not acting mad, she was really mad, she wasn't lying. He stared in disbelief between her and the hedgehog crumpled on the floor who stared at him with murderous intent.
"GET OUT!! GET OUT OF MARIA'S ROOM NOW!!! GET OFF OF THE ARK, JUST GO!!" Shadow screamed. He would've attacked him then and there had they not been in her room, and had Amy not been there.
Sonic was hurt, he couldn't believe he'd been too late, now he realized how much Amy had meant to him, then he'd gone and screwed everything up. "I...I'm sorry Ames..." he said.
"Don't call me that," she said blankly. Sonic's eyes widened in horror. It was worse than he thought. Not call Amy Ames? That was practically impossible, it was all he ever called her. "As far as I'm concerned, we aren't friends, I'll stay in the group," Sonic sighed a bit in relief, "but it's not for you, and if you even attempt to talk to me, you'll be through the roof," she said. He turned away and walked, reluctantly, out the door. He took a Chaos Emerald from his quills and murmured the words that took him home. He was so hurt and confused. The paparazzi saw him and bugged him, he needed to think so he did what he did best. He ran. He ran from the fans and the press, he ran from his problems. He needed time to think things through and untangle the mess in his head so he didn't do something stupid.
"That..." Shadow refrained from swearing, he knew that he couldn't, no matter how angry he was. "I'll kill him!" he screamed.
"Calm down..." Amy walked over and sat cross-legged in front of him. "We can fix this, we just need some tape or something," she said.
"You don't understand!" The harshness of his tone startled her. "This one...this one was my favorite...it was the first one she showed me..." he said. His tone was softer now and Amy could see the droplets of water start to form in his eyes.
"Hey, hey, it's okay, we can fix it, okay? And we can't let Sonic up here, ever again, okay?" Shadow looked up at her. She was smiling at him. She moved closer and wiped the tears from his face.
"Okay...but...what if he comes up here while I'm not here...?" he asked.
"He won't, and if he does, he's dead," her face was serious, her eyes filled with complete anger towards the blue "hero" that had previously been her reason to wake up every day. He smiled at her and wrapped her in a hug, still clutching the fragment of paper in his hand as he buried his face in her hair. How could someone who had been through so much pain, still be so sweet? He lost himself in her smell. She smelled so wonderful, the scents of roses and cherries mingled perfectly, ending in the most amazing smell that had ever been created. His mind was drowning, all he could see, hear, smell, feel, was her. Only her. Everything was so perfect. Everything was finally going right for him, he was finally content, finally happy. After a while he realized that Amy's breaths had evened out to a regular state and figured that she had fallen asleep. He pulled her arms-length away and saw the tears that had fallen, leaving dark trails on her muzzle. Her eyes harbored more that were un-shed and the darker of the two ran his thumb over them to wipe them away. She was too pretty to cry.
She whimpered in her sleep at being wrenched away from Shadow's body. "Shh... You're alright, don't worry...I'm not going anywhere..." Shadow murmured softly before picking her up and carrying her over to Maria's bed. He sat down and carefully moved the sheets away from the mattress before placing them back once Amy was inside. Her arms had found their way back around his neck and Shadow couldn't manage to loosen them. He sighed and slowly attempted to lift them over his head but due to his quills, that proved impossible. His face reddened in embarrassment as he realized he wouldn't be able to get up until Amy woke up. She wasn't letting go. He carefully laid down beside her and stared at her, a bit awkwardly. He hadn't been this close to any girl for more than fifty years. His thoughts drifted a bit, yet again, to Maria. He had set the picture on the dresser, he'd always tried to keep things neat in Maria's room. She'd always kept everything neat. He stared at the half of the picture and immediately, his mind was set. He wouldn't let Sonic take anything else from him. Nothing in the ARK would be messed up or taken. Amy wouldn't be stolen from him. He wouldn't allow it, not at all.
His eyelids started to droop, for even the Ultimate Life Form needed sleep. He turned back to the Rose whose arms remained around his neck. "Goodnight Rose...sleep well..." he closed his eyes and fell asleep almost instantly.
After a while Amy's eyes opened and she was shocked to see Shadow's face so close to her own. She shot back and hit her head on the wall. "Oww..." she whispered a she rubbed her head where it hit the wall. Her face darkened from pink to red as she remembered the position she was in. She realized he was sleeping and smiled. He looked so peaceful. A song rushed into her mind as she stared in wonder at his face.
'I never thought that you'd be the one to hold my heart...'
No, for it was Sonic she'd always panned after like a love-sick dog.
'But you came around and you knocked me off the ground from the start...'
He certainly had changed things up when they first met. Now she realized that her heart had flip-flopped between he and Sonic for too long, but she knew now that he'd always been the one that loved her.
'You put your arms around me and I believe that it's easier for you to let me go...'
Whenever she was upset, the hugs he gave her always seemed fleeting. She had always felt they were forced, but now she could see...
'You put your arms around me and I'm home...'
He'd always been there to listen to her problems, he was her home, he was the one that she truly loved, no matter what his flaws were.
'How many times will you let me change my mind and turn around?'
She knew he'd let her have whatever she wanted, but could he be patient forever?
'I can't decide if I'll let you save my life or if I'll drown...'
She didn't want to be a burden, but she didn't know how badly it would hurt him if she left...
'I hope that you see right through my walls...'
She'd always acted slightly annoyed when she got the chance. She'd tried to build up walls, but she'd secretly hoped he'd see through her act, while she wasn't completely transparent to her friends.
'I hope that you catch me, 'cause I'm already fallin'...'
She knew how much love could hurt, and she knew that she was falling for the Ultimate Life Form, she just hoped she could trust him to catch her, she didn't know if she could handle another free fall into disappointment, heart-break, and depression.
'I'll never let a love get so close...
You put your arms around me and I'm home...'
She didn't want him to get too attached to her, he was immortal after all and would no doubt outlive her. Then again, she didn't care if she was being selfish, she needed him, just the thought of him not being there to keep her world spinning knocked the breath out of her.
'The world is comin' down on me and I can't find a reason to be loved...'
She felt as if all the principles of life that she'd built upon Sonic had crumbled around her, her dream world coming down with them. Until Shadow had brought her to the ARK earlier, she didn't feel loveable at all. Her mind drifted back to Sonic, and how she'd acted before.
'I don't wanna leave you but I can't make you bleed if I'm alone...'
Staring at Shadow everything fell into place.
'You put your arms around me and I believe that it's easier for you to let me go...
I hope that you see right through my walls, I hope that you catch me 'cause I'm already fallin'.
'I'll never let a love get so close,
You put your arms around me and I'm home.'
She smiled at the hedgehog in front of her and put her hand on his face.
'I tried my best to never let you in to see the truth...'
When she first realized that Shadow may have meant more to her than she first thought she had tried to hid it from him.
'And I've never opened up, I've never truly loved till you put your arms around me,
And I believe that it's easier for you to let me go...
I hope that you see right through my walls,
I hope that you catch me, 'cause I'm already fallin'
I'll never let a love get so close...
You put your arms around and I'm home...'
"You put your arms around me and I'm home..." she whispered, her thumb trailing along his face, right here, right now...she truly was home...