Sonic will be 23, Chris will be 9.

After a long, long day up in space, Sonic and his friends are back on Earth. They saved the World from being destroyed by the Space Colony ARK. It was a hard-fought battle, and everyone did their part in saving the world.

But not all of them made it back.

Shadow the Hedgehog, who stopped the falling Space Station with Sonic, had died. He was drained of his energy and then fell to his death. Though Chris Thorndyke still held out some hope that Shadow was still alive somewhere. After all, they didn't find his body, and he can use Chaos Control.

When Sonic walked back into the main room and gave the news that Shadow had died, everyone was saddened. They were happy the world was saved, but at what cost?

Sonic walked into the control room where everyone was. They were happy to see him. But then Chris walked up to him. He looked up at him and asked "Where's Shadow?" Sonic looked down at him and shook his head. They all realized that he had died. Sonic then held out his hand. It was one of Shadow's rings. Chris took it and held it to his chest.

"You know, maybe Robotnik wanted Shadow to stop his crazy plan all along." Rouge started. "We'll never know, but in the end Shadow sacrificed everything to save us all." Sonic said. "He sure did." Rouge then said.

Chris at first began tearing up, but then he began sobbing. He was totally devastated. Sonic cared for the boy deeply. He was like his little brother, similar to Tails. So Sonic gathered him into his arms (Sonic is as tall as a human in my stories. It just feels more comfortable writing him like that.) Chris wrapped his arms around his neck and Sonic just held him, trying to get him to calm down. Sonic then began to softly say in a caring voice "It's ok. It's ok, it's over now." Normally if Chris was crying or was sad, Sonic would give him a hug and he would feel better very quickly. But Sonic knew this time wouldn't be the case.

Sonic can't imagine what Chris went through. He was beaten up by Shadow and held hostage by him. That was bad enough. He also knew Chris had to witness him nearly die when he was blasted out of the ARK. Sonic meant the world to Chris. And Chris meant just as much to Sonic. Sonic felt bad, he should have at least tried to find him at some point and help him in some way.

After a few minutes Sonic carried him out of the room as they got on the shuttle. Tails and Tanaka took control of the shuttle. Sonic just sat in a seat holding Chris in his lap. He held him tight and stroked his hair. They got home in about a few hours. Everyone was very quiet. When they arrived at the house, Chris was sound asleep. Sonic woke him up, and Ella made Chris dinner. He didn't each much of it though, which worried Sonic.

Chris then just went into his room and began to cry. After a few minutes, it got Sonic's attention and he held him until he fell asleep.

Chris looked at the clock. It was 2:30 in the morning. He walked out onto the balcony and just stood there. After about 10 minutes, Sonic woke up. "Chris?" He groaned. He panicked a bit when he felt around the bed and couldn't find Chris, but took a sigh of relief when he saw him on the balcony. Sonic got up and walked over to him.

"Hey, it's 2 in the morning buddy, you need to be in bed." Sonic said gently. "I'm not tired." Chris said depressed. Sonic smiled and chuckled slightly "I have a hard time believing that." Sonic knelt down and put a hand on his shoulder "At least come inside, so we can-" he stopped when he saw fresh tears in Chris's eyes. Sonic then wiped them away with his hand. "Nightmare?" Sonic asked. "Yeah, I just can't stop thinking about what happened." Sonic sat down on a rocking chair and pulled Chris onto his lap. He held him there for a bit until Chris spoke up.

"Sonic?"

"Hm?"

"Why do things like what happened to Shadow have to happen?" Chris asked.

"I don't know buddy. Life is just tough on us sometimes. Sometimes its because of your choices, sometimes its not. Shadow had a lot of bad things happen to him that were not his choices. Like loosing Maria for example. But he died saving the world. He sacrificed everything to save you, me, and everyone else. I know it's tough, but it just happens. All we know is that he's in a better place now, and we should remember him."

"Do you think that if he lived, I would have been friends with him?" Chris asked.

"You two would have been great friends." Sonic said, pulling him closer.

But then tears ran down Chris's face again. "Hey, what's wrong?" Sonic asked. "I-I was so scared. I thought you were dead when Shadow said you were launched out of he ARK." Sonic then felt bad. He already had to comfort Tails and Amy for that, but he can't imagine what Chris went through. "Shh, its ok...Im here, I won't leave you..." Sonic said softly.

Chris calmed down and leaned his head on Sonic's chest.

"Sonic?"

"Hm?"

"Why do you stay here with me?"

Sonic smiled and said "Because I want to watch out for you!"

"I know but...why?"

Sonic sighed and said "Because I know how if feels to be alone. My parents died when I was even younger than you. Truth be told, when I first met you, I wanted to get out of here. But then I realized how lonely you were, and how you were doing your best to help us. I've been here ever since you were 7. I was 7 when my parents died. You're 9 now. I don't want you to go through what I did. No child should have to. But I promise you, you will never, ever go through that."

Chris then said "But what about your planet? Don't you have to go back someday?"

"I know I'll go back someday. But hopefully that isn't for a very long time. And to go along with that, if you want to, you can come with me."

"I want to come with you. I don't want to be alone again."

Sonic then pulled him closer and whispered into his ear:

"You will never be alone again."

Sonic pulled him up and kissed the side of his head a few times. Chris then buried his face into his neck fur. Sonic than began rocking the chair to comfort him.

Sonic then remembered something. He used to sing a lullaby to Tails when he was younger. He learned it from Vanilla, who sang it to Cream.

He turned to his ear, and sang softly to him.

"Go to sleep, my little child.

Nothing can hurt you now.

You are safe, here in my arms,

I will keep you safe and sound."

Sonic then hummed to him a bit, and repeated those lines a few times.

"I love you Sonic."

"I love you too Chris."

Sonic than stood up. He began to carry Chris to his bed. He had almost completely fallen asleep.

Than Sonic saw a miracle.

Standing at the doorway...was Shadow. He had a smile on his face, and he nodded at Sonic. Sonic nodded back.

"Chris? You still awake?"

"Yeah."

"Keep your eyes closed for a second. Someone here wants to see you." Sonic said. He then put Chris in Shadow's arms. Chris felt to strong arms, gloves and fur. He thought it was Knuckles at first, but these were gloves like Sonic's.

"Ok, you can open your eyes." Sonic said.

Chris opened his eyes to a stunning sight. Shadow was there. "Hey kid." Shadow said. "SHADOW!" Chris yelled happily. He threw his arms around his neck and cried into his chest. Shadow hugged him back just as tightly. He sat down on the bed with Chris in his lap. "I was so worried..." Chris said. "I'm here now. So just calm down...it's ok now...shh..." Shadow held him there for a long time.

"I missed you."

"I missed you too."

Shadow then just sat there with be boy in his lap. Sonic just watched with a smile on his face. After a few minutes, Chris spoke up.

"Shadow?"

"Yeah?"

"Are you gonna stay here?"

"Only if you want me to."

Chris buried his face further into Shadow's fur, which gave Shadow his answer.

Chris then said "Please don't ever leave me..." Shadow pulled him closer and said "I won't. So just calm down, I'm not going anywhere any time soon."

"Go to sleep Chris, I won't let go." Shadow said.

After a little while, Chris fell asleep in Shadows arms. Shadow allowed him to stay there, as he laid down on the bed. Sonic smiled at the sight, and he jumped onto the roof and slept there like he normally does.

Shadow was a very different person from that point on. He wasn't that dark anymore, he was happier and caring for his friends. Especially Chris. He saw Chris as Maria's reincarnation. He became friends with the everyone, even Sonic.

Shadow stayed with Chris, and he took Chris under his wing and became Chris's big brother like Sonic did.