Blue sky above, green grass below. I miss you, Maria. I'll always miss you. I woke up and turned around, and just for a moment I expected to see you. You weren't there. And my heart broke again.
I didn't think I'd make it. Thought I was falling, falling back, away... down to the planet below. I knew that was going to be the end, but it didn't matter. I'd fulfilled my promise.
Now I'm alone. Blue sky above, green grass below. I miss you.
You would have liked it here.
We talked about coming here, you and I. We wondered what life would be like. It would have been wonderful. Not any more.
Memories are bittersweet. We talked together, we laughed together. Sometimes, I wish we'd died together. But you saved my life and sent me away to live on. In a world without you. Without even the hope of someday seeing you again. Was it worth it, Maria?
Someone is crying; I walk away. I can only make the pain worse. Because of who I am, because of what I am. And because of who I'm not.
Now it's silent again, but for the birdcalls. Lonely, mournful cries.
The sky is darkening.
I've been here for too long. The crying never stops, for either of us. I can't help. I make it worse by being here. Deep inside our hearts, we're both broken. Shattered.
Why did they do it? That's what I ask myself, time and again. We ran together, you and I. I could have stopped, and turned around, and faced whatever was coming. But I didn't. Because you'd have stopped, too? I thought there was still a way out. You had to stop; you couldn't keep running. Then the sound that still echoes in my head. That nightmare that replays itself in front of my eyes. You couldn't have harmed them. Why did they kill you?
And I'm there again as the shot rings out and you slam the capsule walls down around me. As you speak to me for the last time, growing weaker. As you say goodbye.
Stars above, silvered ground beneath my feet. I miss you so much.
And I nearly destroyed what you wanted me to keep safe. You always believed life was precious. I believed it, too. Because you did. It just seems all the same to me now. Except in a few gossamer moments, when I'm afraid to move because that might destroy the illusion. Then, sometimes, I see as I used to.
The broken moon lighting up the sky. The sea reflecting a thousand shattered fragments. I don't even remember walking here.
The ground ends only a pace from my feet. It would be so easy to take that step. But I can't. Because you wanted me to live. Because someone else has died for me as well. Because, somewhere deep within my battered spirit, I still have the will to keep on going.
My fight's not over yet. Maybe not ever.
I'll never be able to remember you without something wrenching at me deep inside. It won't get any less painful. But I'll carry on for you... and for him.
I should have been the one to fall. I watched as the station began to slip away. Then there was a flash. And something pushing at me.
You can't hear sound in outer space. But the Chaos Emeralds bend the rules.
"Hold on, Shadow!"
But that was all his energy. In that Chaos Control to behind me, that had been almost all of it gone. Only just enough left for him to make it back, perhaps. Then he pushed me. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I was helpless. I watched him drift away. I watched, drifting back until I collided with the ARK. I had to catch a handhold. And I still watched him recede. He wasn't fighting now. Because there was no way in the world he could make it back.
No way in the world I could save him.
He dwindled to a golden speck that became a blazing fireball. I watched it streak its path across the face of the planet. I watched it until there was nothing left to watch. And then I kept on staring at where he'd been. As if he was somehow going to reappear.
I'd drifted into the airlock. The door had shut behind me after a few seconds. I stared from the window, helpless. I couldn't do anything but watch. Again.
That's why I can't take that last step. Both you and him saved my life with your last breaths. I can't let you have died needlessly.
That's why I have to go on.
Starlight and moonlight paint everything silver.
I can almost feel you standing by my side. You don't know how much I miss you. How much it hurts.
I should leave. I'm not the only one in pain. I'm an unwelcome reminder. Because I'm so much the same. Because I'm so very different. Because I'm both at once, and all I can do is cry inside. I can't offer relief, or consolation. I can only remind, and memory brings pain.
The lights glow softly behind me. The door is open. A stream of light spills out onto the ground. Its warmth doesn't show the sorrow behind those windows.
You wouldn't want me to walk away. But I don't think there's anything I can do.
I walk towards the door, hesitate on the step, go in. As I have done the past few nights. As I suppose I will do again.
The silvered night outside would be beautiful. But that part of me that could appreciate it is dead. With you.
He's sitting at the table, head bent. Doesn't look up as I come in. Don't think there's anything I can say. I sit down anyway. I know you'd want me to try.
He doesn't look up. Just stays there, head bent, sort of shrunk in on himself. Locked away in his grief. But he still answers me.
I didn't hear him speak much, before. But he didn't sound like this. His voice is flat, dead, as if all happiness has been drained from it, and all that's left is sorrow.
I remember talking to you. I always felt that, no matter what, everything was all right if I told it to you. Now I can't tell you anything any more. But maybe, still, just talking to someone else can ease the pain. If only a little.
The least I can do is try, though I don't even know how. You'd want me to. So, I think, would Sonic.
"...Tell me about him?"
Tails' voice is broken, faltering, but he begins anyway. Telling me all about someone I wish I'd had a chance to know. Someone I think you would have liked. Someone like you wanted me to become.
Then he's finished. And if I don't carry on now, all that will have been for nothing. So I steel myself, and begin before I can think about it.
I tell him about you.
It doesn't seem so long until I stop, but the sun is rising over the horizon already. Talking doesn't stop it from hurting, but it makes the pain easier to bear.
I'll never forget you. He'll never forget Sonic. But perhaps, we can both carry on. It's what both you and Sonic would have wanted.