Hey there, Sonic fandom~ Welcome to my one-shot :)
It's been a while since I've written for this site, even longer that I've written for Sonic the Hedgehog, so it's good to get back into the swing of things. My friend, the amazing xShadowxRocksx, has been urging me to write something for our favorite couple Shadamy for a while now and gave me the idea for this. Hope you enjoy~
Disclaimer: I don't own Sonic the Hedgehog. If I did, then BOO YA~!
"Amy…Amy…Amy! Wake up!" The pink hedgehog groaned as her best friend, Cream, shook her awake. When the girl refused to open her eyes, Cheese the chao flew over, sat on her head, and tapped on it. Amy emitted another groan before reluctantly fluttering her eyes open.
Once sleepy, viridian orbs met excited gingerbread-brown orbs, they narrowed. "Ugh, Cream. What are you doing here?" Amy threw a quick glance out her bedroom window and noted the barely rising sun. "It's too early to get up."
Cream instantly intervened when Amy tried to throw the covers back over her. "But Amy, you need to get up! We need to get you ready!"
"Ready for what?"
"Oh Amy, don't tell me you forgot what today is." When her friend gave her a blank, tired stare, Cream huffed as a fond smile played at her lips. "Amy, it's your wedding day!"
For a few moments, Amy Rose did nothing but stare at her rabbit friend and chao companion until something sparked and her eyes widened. She whipped her head towards her wall calendar and realized that Cream was right; there was a big red circle around today's date that indicated her special day, the day that she was going to get married to her hero, Sonic the hedgehog.
Recognizing that she got through to her friend, Cream beamed with delight. "Yes Amy, it's your wedding day! You must be so excited!" Amy kept staring at her calendar with disbelief. "Well, we have a lot to do today so I'm going to leave you to get dressed. My mom is making us a light breakfast. After we eat, we'll get started!" Then the young rabbit and her chao companion hurriedly scampered out of the room, humming the 'Here Comes the Bride' tune, unknowingly leaving behind an increasingly anxious female hedgehog.
After Amy found it in her to drag herself out of bed, she got dressed and met Cream and Vanilla for, as promised, a light breakfast. Though her stomach was knotty, she managed to eat a little. Soon, they were strolling into the kingdom to get to the nearby hair salon. Once they arrived, they were greeted by the bridesmaids of the wedding: Blaze, Rouge, Julie-Su, Sally Acorn, and Bunnie Rabbot.
Amy immediately wiped off the worried frown off her face and smiled widely at the sight of her friends. "Hi there, girls!"
"Well, here comes the bride." Rouge grinned as she hugged Amy. "How you doing, hun?"
"Fine," Amy responded as she hugged Blaze next. The flame princess stiffly returned the gesture with a small smile on her face.
"Just fine?" Julie-Su raised a brow with a teasing smirk as Amy went on to her. "You're not nervous?"
Amy smiled sheepishly as she pulled away. "Well, maybe just a little."
"And it's alright to be," Bunnie commented as she and Amy hugged. "It's perfectly fine to be nervous on such a big day. I remember I was real jittery when Antoine and I got married."
"Could've fooled me." Amy then turned to look at Sally, her expression becoming a bit less cheery. "Hey Sally."
The chipmunk princess turned to her, a small smile on her face. "Hey Amy. Ready for your big day?"
"Ready as I'll ever be." Then Amy suddenly embraced Sally in a hug. "It means so much to me that you came and that you agreed to be a bridesmaid. I can't thank you enough."
After a moment's hesitation, Sally nodded and returned the hug, her smile saddening a bit. "I wouldn't miss it."
Amy inclined her head as she pulled away. "You're a real good friend, you know." Sally merely nodded again.
"As touching as this is, we need to get the ball rolling here. We've got a lot to do in so little time." Rouge turned to Amy with a saucy wink. "We've got to get you all dolled up for Mr. Big Blue himself."
The mention of Sonic got Amy's stomach to uncomfortably knot again as she put on a tight smile. After Cream and Vanilla exchanged their own greetings with the bridesmaids, all the girls proceeded to get themselves situated in the salon. Having made an appointment beforehand, they were received within minutes.
Soon they were all getting their hair and fur styled for the wedding. The companions relaxed as the stylists worked nimbly on them, and they all chatted amongst themselves. The only one silent was the bride-to-be herself. Amy's mind was far from the hair salon and was wrapped up in her own musings.
I can't believe Sonic and I are getting married. It's finally happening. This is something I've only dreamed about all my life.
Amy expected to feel happiness flutter within her chest, yet only felt dread and a coil of anxiety weighing in her stomach. She grimaced and bit back a sigh. Seeing her expression in the mirror, the stylist working on her hair winced apologetically. "Sorry dear, I'll try to be gentler."
The pink hedgehog lightly smiled at her. "That's okay, keep going. You're doing great."
And honestly, Amy loved how her hair was turning out so far. Her normally short quills were starting to become wavy and sophisticated, a nice change from her usual wind-blown style.
Amy's headband was barely able to hold her quills as she dashed through the forest. The wind tore through them and branches tried snagging them, creating knotted tangles. The girl didn't notice or care, however, since her focus was set on something far more important.
Catching up to Sonic the hedgehog.
"Sonic, get back here!" Amy pumped her legs, willing them to go faster and harder, as she kept her gaze on the speeding blue hedgehog running ahead of her, away from her.
"Sorry, Ames!" the blue blur shouted behind him, not even sparing her a glance. "I gotta go! I've got things to do!"
"Things that are more important than spending time with me?! Stop this instant so we can do something fun!"
"No can do! Later, Amy!" And with an extra burst of speed, Sonic rushed off into the distance, leaving behind a cloud of dust and grass and a very ticked off fangirl.
"Sooooooonic!" Amy did her best to increase her pace, but her body wasn't suited to such a tremendous acceleration and tired out quickly. She gradually began to slow down until she finally came to a stop. The fiery girl bent over, placing her gloved hands on her knees, and breathed heavily to regain some much-needed air.
Once she recovered, Amy was tempted to resume chasing after Sonic again, but decided against it. Her hero was probably long gone right now, already out saving Mobius from Dr. Eggman or hanging out with Tails or Princess Sally.
Gritting her teeth in frustration, Amy kicked a nearby rock, her single-striped boot taking the brunt of the blow and sending it a few feet away. "Darn it, Sonic! Why do you always have to run away from me?! All I wanted was a date! Is that too much to ask?!"
As the girl ranted and huffed along, she started walking through the forest in hopes of getting back to the Freedom Fighters' Headquarters. The crunching of the grass and leaves beneath her boots muffled most of her grumbling yet managed to startle any wildlife within the vicinity. After a while, she stumbled across a clearing and stopped her tirade in favor of gaping at the sight before her.
The clearing was wide and vibrant with luscious colors, perfect for the meadow it contained. The grass within was a beautiful green bathed in the golden rays of the sun that peaked through the mighty trees embracing that patch of the forest. However, a clear blue sky and wandering clouds could be seen right above the center of the meadow where the branches and leaves of the trees allowed a bit of space from their otherwise close connectedness. Placed deep within the clearing was a large, flat boulder about as wide as a small table. The best part of this scene though was the flowers. Growing rather generously in spontaneous patches were a random assortment of flowers, ranging from perky poppies to cheerful daisies to majestic marigolds to frolicking lilies; there were even a few passionate roses scattered about, colored red, white, and pink.
Much of Amy's anger melted away at being the presence of such natural beauty. "Whoa…" she breathed out in awe as she stepped further into the clearing, careful to avoid stepping on the flora. "This place is amazing. How pretty."
Amy knelt down near the boulder to sniff a particularly colorful area of flowers. She sighed in content at the pleasant scent. "There's so many flowers…I wonder if anyone has found this place before." The girl looked around her, taking in the visual splendor once more. "I sure hope so, this place is too beautiful to be undiscovered. I'll have to show the others."
A wide grin then spread across her face. "Oooh I should show Sonic this place! He'll think it's so romantic! We could have picnics here and pick flowers and cuddle and kiss!" She emitted a small, delighted squeal. "Oh, we could even have our wedding here! GAH!"
"What's the matter with you?" Amy gasped at the sudden masculine voice and spun around. Standing a few feet away from her was the familiar figure of the Ultimate Lifeform. Shadow had his arms folded over his chest as he stared impassively at her, his eyes narrowed.
"Shadow!" The girl stood up and automatically began to smooth out her ruffled hair. "I…I didn't hear you walk by! You startled me!"
"Humph, obviously," the ebony hedgehog stated as a matter of fact. "You should be more aware of your surroundings."
Amy's face colored with embarrassment. "Err, right. Sorry."
Shadow raised an eyebrow. "Why are you apologizing?"
"Um…I don't really know," the pink girl confessed. Shadow looked unimpressed and merely eyed her with his usual, gruff expression. Feeling rather inadequate and intimidated by him, she changed the subject. "So…what are you doing here?"
"Talking to you," was his brusque reply.
"No, I mean what were you doing before you found me here?"
"Taking a walk."
"Oh okay. Why? Is everything alright?"
"Why would you assume something's wrong?"
"Well, usually when people go for walks, it's because they're upset and need some air to calm down. I do that sometimes."
"How ridiculous and presumptuous to assume. I'm not upset and I have no reason to be."
Amy rolled her eyes. "Well excuse me for being concerned. No need to get short with me, it was just a question."
Shadow narrowed his eyes at her, not taking to her touchy response. "Why would you even be concerned for me? I can care for myself."
"I'm well aware of that, but you're my friend so I can't help but be a little curious over your well-being."
Shadow actually seemed somewhat surprised. "You consider us friends?"
Amy's countenance softened a bit. "Of course I do, silly. Why wouldn't I?"
"Because we barely know each other."
"True, but that's okay. We fight Eggman together so that's enough." At the other's skeptical expression, Amy continued, "Alright, how about this: why don't we start getting to know each other better? That way we can be better friends." She smiled even though Shadow merely stared at her. "We can start by chatting a bit more. So what have you been up to today? Why are you taking a walk in first place?"
Shadow answered this time. "That's none of your business."
Amy pouted. "Aw c'mon Mr. Grumpy-pants, at least make an effort."
"Why should I?"
"Because we're friends and I want to get to know you better! Don't you want to get to know me better?"
"Not in particular, no. I already have all I need to know about you. You're Amy Rose, a cutesy hedgehog girl who's part of the Freedom Fighters and whose life revolves around fawning over the faker. Your childish infatuation with him compels you to needlessly throw yourself at him and become an irrational hothead when-"
"Childish infatuation?!" Amy interrupted, immediately getting angry. "Where do you get off saying these things?! I love Sonic! I-"
"No you don't," Shadow blunted interjected. "You may think you do, but what you feel only pertains to a silly, fangirl crush. That's not real love; at best it's only a strong infatuation."
"How dare you! Who do you think you are, Shadow the hedgehog?! Who are you to say anything about my feelings?! You never feel anything, especially love!"
Silence. It pressed down on the atmosphere around them, sucking the color out of the vivacious meadow until it practically faded into nothingness, leaving only the two of them in a void of tension. Amy's chest heaved with the heavy, infuriated breaths that wracked her body, and her eyes were ablaze with impassioned fury. Shadow was as stern and unreadable as ever, yet there was something crackling underneath his fiery crimson orbs that had Amy's resolve crumbling.
Then Shadow strode over to the girl until he was less than a foot away. Amy nearly flinched back, yet reminded herself that it was only Shadow…the Ultimate Lifeform…who can kill or irreversibly hurt anyone without a second thought…who matched skills with her indestructible hero and who could easily break her without any real trouble…
"Do you really think I am incapable of loving?"
Amy's first instinct was to snap a fervent 'yes,' but the image of a blonde-haired girl came to mind had her bite it back and allowed no escape for the shame that instantly flooded her. She may not have personally known Maria nor has Shadow ever spoken of her, but she knew enough about the two's relationship based on the files Tails had recovered from Eggman on Project Shadow.
Sensing her discomfort, Shadow permitted a grim, triumphant smirk to form upon his lips. "Though I find the notion to be useless, I'm not incapable and I do understand it. You don't love the faker. You have a rather unhealthy crush on him. He does not reciprocate any romantic feelings of any sort and most likely never will if you keep acting the way you do. You are, without a doubt, just an annoying child to him."
For once, Amy had nothing to say. No indignant denial that would fiercely defend her feelings for Sonic. No cheerful laugh that would brush away his statements and let them blow away in the breeze. No outraged snarls that accompanied her hammer-wielding. Nothing but stunned silence.
"If you want the faker to ever be romantically interested in you," Shadow continued, "then you need to knock off your childish antics—no more of your crazy, lovestruck girl foolishness. If you see the faker, don't suffocate him with a hug, don't sprout out your so-called love for him, and don't beg for a date. Overall, stop. Being. An obnoxious. Fangirl." He spat out the word with disgust, causing Amy to flinch. "Be a friend to him. If he dates another girl, tough. You need to grit your teeth and be supportive of him rather than be the jealous brat you come off as."
It was a while before either of them said anything. The fire in both their eyes had died down at this point and now one was stony while the other was discouraged. Amy lowered her head, hoping that her bangs covered her slowly watering eyes.
Did he really think of her as obnoxious and as a brat?
Some time passed before Shadow emitted a growl of frustration. "I don't even know why I'm here or why I've invested myself in something so pointless. You've taken too much of my time already." And with that, the Ultimate Lifeform turned around and glided out of the meadow, leaving nothing but his heavy, earnest words in his wake.
Amy watched him go even after he had long left. Though she was well aware that he wasn't there anymore, she struggled to hold back the tears that welled in her eyes. She took a deep breath and clenched her fists, trying to replace her hurt with anger instead.
"Oh, who does he think he is? Just because he's the Ultimate Lifeform doesn't mean that he has the right to be so mean." She drew in a shuddering breath, but didn't shed any tears. "Well…it doesn't matter anyways. He's wrong…" A heavy silence followed her hollow statement, emphasizing its falsity.
Soon, Amy felt herself sinking down to her knees next to the rock. She stared down at the flowers around her for a while. Her thoughts raced and were mostly filled with Shadow's words and comparing them to her interactions with Sonic. The blue blur has always been somewhat uneasy around her and had always found some excuse or another to avoid spending time with her. If anything, the only times they ever truly hung out was when they were fighting enemies or when Sally was romantically unavailable and Sonic needed some company.
Otherwise, he never showed any signs of interest to Amy's romantic advances.
The girl frowned at the thought.
But…she and Sonic were meant to be, right?
Amy found herself less sure of the belief she was just minutes before so certain about.
Unsettled at the realization, Amy abruptly stood up as determination surged through her. "No, Shadow's wrong! I do love Sonic and I'm not just some fangirl! I can prove it too! I'll…I'll…" she briefly blanked at just how to back up her declarations until she blurted out, "I'll stop chasing him around!"
Once the implications of her statements hit her, Amy was taken aback and she even took an involuntary step back from their force. She heavily breathed in the refreshing forest air around her as her mind began to clear of the distress and frustration that had fogged it.
Gradually she mused over what she just said and smiled. "Yeah…Yeah, that's what I'll do. If I stop chasing Sonic, then I'll prove to Shadow that I'm not just some fangirl and that I love him enough to be his friend first."
The pink hedgehog nodded to herself and made one last declaration. "Okay, I can do this. I'll just stop chasing Sonic. I'll be his friend…just his friend. In no time, Sonic will be the one chasing me around! I'll show Shadow just how mature Amy Rose really is! I'll prove to him that I'm so much more than what he thinks of me! I can do this!"
So from that day forth, Amy stopped going after Sonic. She took Shadow's advice and treated Sonic as more of a friend than a potential boyfriend.
As it turns out, the Ultimate Lifeform was right.
It was a struggle, but Amy made the monumental effort to subdue her fangirl tendencies. The urge to hug Sonic and express her love for him ran deep and was hard to ignore at times. Nevertheless, she managed and instead put her focus into training with Chaotix member Julie-Su, fighting Eggman and other enemies, and bettering herself as a Freedom Fighter. As a result, not only did she become a more formidable warrior, but Sonic gradually started getting more comfortable with her as well, spending time with her and strengthening their friendship.
Amy was beyond happy by this development, even more so when her friendship with Shadow was steadily improving as well. Ever since that day in the meadow, Amy felt a sense of gratitude and kinship towards him and was quick to seek him out and make an effort to climb over his metaphorical walls—not break through them, climb over them.
Initially, Shadow seemed thrown off by the cheerful girl trying to befriend him and would rebuff her ambiance. However, after a while, he sort of accepted her vibrant presence and allowed her into his life.
And honestly, neither of them regretted maintaining their friendship, especially since it somehow and unconsciously made them happier.
"All done!" Amy blinked from her reverie as a voice chirped through the memory. She recalled where she was, flushed slightly at having zoned out, and glanced up at her beaming stylist. The woman's eyes were expectant and the pink hedgehog fully digested her comment. Her forest-green eyes flickered to the mirror before her and then widened at the sight of the silky wavy curl of her quills.
"Oh Amy, you look so pretty!" The girl glanced over at her best friend who glowed with approval. The others were quick to agree to this.
"And to think we're not even done yet," Rouge commented. "We've still got a lot more dolling up to do."
In almost no time, the ladies were out of the hair salon and were getting their nails done. In the weeks following the wedding, there was much debating over how Amy's nails should be designed. Rouge was all for something radical while Bunnie and Sally opted for something more classy and simple; Cream and Julie-Su merely wanted something that Amy would like and Blaze couldn't offer any suggestions. In the end, it was Vanilla's recommendation of getting French tip nails that Amy liked best, and the others readily approved.
As of now, the girls were briefly separated so that they could get their nails with their own, specific design. Amy was somewhat relieved to get away from their constant fussing and merely relaxed as the stylist began to file down her nails. While the pink girl watched her work, her mind began to wander.
A few years ago…
Eggman was up to his old tricks again and had tried to launch a surprise attack on the Freedom Fighters with an army of high-tech robots. It would've been a normal battle if it hadn't been for the fact that the evil doctor had hacked into NICOLE's defenses and the GUN's databases, leaving both groups defenseless. The Mobians were doing their best to hold their own and had their allies fighting by their side.
Amy was swinging her Piko-Piko hammer left to right, smashing it into any robot that came close. Ever since she decided to focus less on Sonic and more on training with Julie-Su, her fighting skills had gotten a lot better. The precision in her attacks was more methodical and sharpened, and her overall agility and stamina have significantly improved.
However, no one would've been able to tell with how she was battling Eggman's robots that day.
Her strikes were less powerful and accurate. If she didn't miss the robots then her blows did little damage to them. She weaved through the fight with a sort of dazed, confused expression on her face. She absently struck a robot out of her way as she caught sight of Sonic. The hero of Mobius had just spin-dashed into an android, splitting it in half. As the blue hedgehog stood over the wreckage, his eyes caught hers and he threw her a grin and a wink.
Amy blushed and instantly looked away, just in time to barely smash a robot that was advancing on her.
As the battle wore on, Amy noticed Shadow and Rouge fighting side-by-side, having each other's backs. She briefly watched Shadow teleport behind a robot and throw a Chaos spear through its back before he swung around and kicked another one trying to sneak up on him.
A smile unconsciously made its way to Amy's lips.
Then it disappeared when her view was suddenly blocked by a particularly large robot.
Amy gasped and automatically swung at it, only for it to block her hammer. The force of the impact sent vibrations through her arms yet she kept a firm grip on her weapon as it wobbled in her grasp. This momentarily distracted her, so the robot took the opportunity to backhand her, hard.
The girl gasped from pain as her grip slipped from her hammer. Before she could even register this, the robot had grabbed her by the neck with a strong claw and pinned her to the ground. Amy choked and instantly began struggling. It did nothing to deter the robot as it loomed over her. It raised its free claw, allowing it to transform into a powerful laser blaster, and aimed it down at the defenseless hedgehog.
Amy's eyes widened and increased her struggles tenfold. She opened her mouth to scream for help but fear paralyzed her vocal chords. She could only watch, her heart pounding, as the blaster began to warm up as the laser started to heat up…
The robot suddenly exploded as a black mass sliced right through it, smashing it to pieces. Within the moment Amy felt the grip on her neck release, she also felt a pair of arms pick her up bridal-style and whisk her away from the enemy. Soon she was pressed against a sturdy body that shielded her when the robot exploded. Amy squeezed her eyes shut and clutched the fur on a strong chest as metallic chunks flew around her and her savior.
Once she was sure it was over, Amy relaxed and looked up at the figure carrying her, somewhat surprised to see Shadow. He looked down at her intently with an expression more intense than she had ever seen it.
The girl shivered a bit and stuttered, "Sh-Shadow…?"
The ebony hedgehog, however, didn't respond to her questioning, worried gaze as he pulled out his usual green Chaos emerald. "Chaos control!"
All of a sudden, the fighting around them stopped…literally.
The battle scene before them was frozen in time, all their allies and enemies becoming motionless and rigid in different brawling positions.
Amy blinked in shock and barely registered Shadow teleporting them away from the battlegrounds. One moment she was looking at her frozen friends and robots, and the next, she was in a familiar patch of green.
The pink girl inaudibly gasped as she recognized the meadow they were at. It was the same meadow where Shadow had called Amy an obnoxious fangirl; the same one that became their own personal hangout as they grew closer as friends where they spent their time training and talking.
Amy took in the breathtaking scenery, her body automatically relaxing as the well-known aura of the meadow enveloped her in its welcoming hold. Her feet immediately adjusted when Shadow set her down. Amy was somewhat caught off guard, brought back to reality, as she released her companion.
"Um, Shadow? What are we-?"
"Alright Rose, what's the deal?"
Amy was startled by the amount of ferocity behind that question. "Wha-What do you mean?"
"You know exactly what I mean." When Amy maintained that clueless, startled expression, Shadow narrowed his eyes further and crossed his arms over his chest. "You were distracted during our fight with the Doctor. You could've gotten yourself killed." His eyes blazed at that last statement, emphasizing the dark tone that accompanied it.
Amy fought back a flinch and bit her lower lip. "I…I wasn't that distracted-"
"Don't give me that. You and I both know you were. Now stop wasting my time and tell me what the hell your problem was." Shadow's posture eased up ever so slightly at Amy's look of shame. "Rose, we both know that you're perfectly capable of handling yourself in a fight. But every time I looked at you just now, I could tell your head wasn't in it."
It was true. Amy wanted to deny it, but she couldn't.
Seeing that she wasn't willing to respond, Shadow emitted a mildly exasperated sigh. "Look, if you're not-"
"Sonic asked me out on a date!" Amy suddenly blurted out.
Shadow's autumn-red orbs widened minimally. Amy chewed her lip in an attempt to hold back the multitude of emotions that desperately needed to burst free from her and wrung the bottom of her dress. For a few moments, Shadow didn't say anything and merely processed her.
Eventually, he stated, "The faker asked you out. Well, that explains why you were so distracted."
Amy breathed out a lengthy gush of air and smiled. "Yeah, I guess so. He asked me earlier. It was just so unexpected! One minute we were just talking and the next thing I know he's asking me out on a date…an actual date! I didn't know what to say! I was just so surprised! But then Eggman attacked so I didn't get to answer him! Oh Shadow, I can't believe he asked me out!"
Shadow could only stare at the bouncing, bubbly girl before levelly saying, "You must be quite happy about this."
"I am! I really am!"
Amy's smile faltered a bit.
"But…?" Shadow prompted.
"But…But I-I'm also really nervous."
Shadow obviously hadn't been expecting that and raised an eyebrow. "I don't understand how you can be nervous. You've always wanted a date with the faker."
"I know, and I really want this date, but I'm just really nervous."
Shadow wasn't one to waste his words so he merely waited for Amy to explain. After a moment or two, she did. "I've wanted a date from Sonic for as long as I can remember. To be honest, there were times when I felt like I would never get one and I was ready to give up. But I didn't, and now Sonic has finally asked me. I didn't really expect it. And now…now I'm not sure if I should even say yes."
"Because…what if I'm not good enough for Sonic? What if we go out and he realizes that I was a waste of his time and doesn't like me anymore? What if I mess up? What if Sally gets upset?"
"What if everything goes wrong? What if Sonic and I are awkward and have nothing to say to each other?"
"What if the date isn't as perfect as I had always hoped it would be? What if I set my expectations too high and I end up disappointed?"
The hammer-wielding girl finally stopped her distressed ranting and looked at an irked Shadow. The other huffed out a breath and sternly frowned at her. "Are you quite finished?" Amy nodded. "Good." There was a beat of silence. "Your anxieties are ridiculous."
Amy narrowed her eyes. "Excuse me?!"
"Do I need to repeat myself?"
"No! What do you mean they're ridiculous?!"
"I mean exactly that. Every reason you just listed for being nervous are juvenile."
"What's your problem?! How can you say that they're stupid?! I-"
"I never said they were stupid," Shadow smoothly interjected. "I said that they're ridiculous and juvenile. They're completely unnecessary and unfounded."
"And how would you know that?" Amy challenged. "Everything I said could happen, you know! They're all completely logical reasons for me to be nervous!" Most of the girl's anger rapidly dissipated as her dilemma weighed her down again, making her shoulders slump.
Shadow sighed in mild exasperation. "I can assure you they're not, Rose. If the faker asked you out on a date, then that means he clearly likes you enough to want to spend that sort of time with you." His jaw unconsciously clenched at that last statement.
Amy shook her head worriedly. "But Shadow, what if-"
"What will most likely happen is that you and the faker will go out on a date, you two will have a decent time, and that will be the end of it. There might be a second date, there might not. It all depends on how the night goes."
"But that's the point! What if we go out and the night is terrible?! I don't think I can handle losing Sonic as a friend just because of one horrible night! I-"
"The night won't be horrible," Shadow stated. Had it been anyone else constantly interrupting her, Amy surely would've angrily snapped at the person by now, maybe even wielded her hammer.
However, since it was Shadow, she didn't get angry and listened to her companion with rapt attention.
"You and the faker have known each other for quite some time now, I'm sure you'll find something to talk about. There's no need to worry about uncomfortable silences. Not only that, but I'm pretty sure the faker will treat you decently, so you won't have to worry about him acting out and ruining your date. And if he does, I'll take care of him personally…that is, if you hadn't gotten to him first."
A light smile traced Amy's lips. "You'd do that for me?"
"Of course, Rose." Shadow briefly mirrored her smile before reverting back to his typical serious expression. "Now to address some of your other concerns. As far as I'm aware, Sonic and Sally haven't been involved for a long time now, so I doubt she'd have any problems with the two of you. Besides, it's only one date for the time being, there's no need to make a fuss." He looked to her pointedly. "Even so, you and the faker could talk to her about it if it still bothers you."
Amy considered the concept for a moment before she slowly nodded. "Yeah…Yeah, okay. That's a good idea."
Shadow inclined his head. "Good. Now, you shouldn't be worried about the faker treating you differently after the date. If it doesn't work out, then you both will have to accept that. Knowing Sonic though, he would still try hard to keep things normal between you two, as I'm sure you would as well."
Amy bobbed her head in agreement.
"As for your final concern, you shouldn't have any expectations on how the date will go. You're better off not expecting too much, yet not expecting too little either. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. At the worst, you and the faker won't feel a 'spark' or whatever ridiculous thing it is people claim they're looking for. At best though, you and Sonic will have a nice time and there'll be a second date. Who knows? You won't know though unless you make a decision."
Shadow looked to her somewhat expectantly as Amy absorbed everything. The nervousness she was previously feeling slowly begin to wade away. His logic began to clear away the fog that had clouded her mind with worst-case scenarios and other irrationalities. She saw the sense in what he said and it loosened the grip her worries had on her.
Slowly but surely, for the first time since Sonic asked her out earlier, Amy started to relax and think clearly.
"I…I guess you're right."
"You guess? There's doubt?"
Amy couldn't help but giggle a bit, some of her initial tension releasing. "No, you're right. You're definitely right about all of it." She smiled sheepishly. "Looks like I overreacted a bit, huh?" Shadow raised an eyebrow and Amy giggled some more. "Okay fine, more than a bit. I couldn't help it though. Sonic of all people asked me out on a date! Who would've thought?"
"I figured he'd be an imbecile not to ask you out at some point."
That caught the two of them off guard. Amy blushed while Shadow briefly stiffened and cleared his throat. "So, now that that nonsense is over, do you think you can actually not get yourself killed by the Doctor's robots?"
Inner fluster forgotten, Amy gasped. "Oh my gosh, Shadow! The fight! Is everything still frozen?! Can you even keep it frozen for that long?!"
Shadow snorted. "Of course I can, I'm the Ultimate Lifeform. Everything should be as we left it." He then held his hand out to her. "Let's go."
Amazed by his impressive chaos skill, Amy could only speechlessly grab his hand, let him pull her against him, and instinctively hold to him tightly as he teleported them out of their meadow.
With her doubts and fears assuaged, Amy was able to focus on fighting when she and Shadow returned to and unfrozen the battlefield. Once Eggman was defeated, Sonic approached Amy and she gave her answer. A date was soon set.
Despite all her fussing and jitteriness, the date was nice and Sonic hinted at wanting a second one. After the night was over, Amy sat in her room, still in the outfit she picked out for the date, and beaming with joy. Strangely enough, it wasn't the date itself that occupied her thoughts, but rather the Ultimate Lifeform.
More than anything else at that moment, she wanted to talk to Shadow and tell him all about her night.
So she left her home and set out to find him. Somehow, she knew in her heart that he wouldn't be at the GUN headquarters and allowed her heeled feet to steer her in the right direction. Within minutes she was back in a familiar patch of green that currently embraced by the ethereal glow of the moon.
Sitting in the middle of their meadow on that flat boulder was the guy she was looking for. Shadow seemed to be deep in thought as he gazed up at the nighttime sky. Amy paused and took a moment to watch him, taking in how he appeared completely natural in such a peaceful setting by letting the moonlight bask over him.
"Are you just going to stand there, or are you going to gush about your date with the faker?"
Amy jumped a bit and flushed. "U-Uh, no. Err, I mean…can anyone ever sneak up on you?"
"You did once, that time we first met." Shadow turned around to face her as she drew closer. "That was probably the one and only time anyone managed to catch me off guard."
The pink hedgehog felt oddly proud of that and beamed. The corner of Shadow's lips extended a bit before he gestured to the spot next to him. "Well? How did it go, Rose?"
Amy let out a tiny, delighted squeal and eagerly sat down before delving into the details of her date. Shadow listened to her rather girly description without a word and merely nodded with interest now and then. When Amy got it out of her system, the Ultimate Lifeform said that he was happy for her and was glad that she had a nice time. Soon, the two lapsed into more casual conversation and spent the rest of their evening that way until Shadow teleported a tired Amy home. She fell asleep that night with a smile on her face.
It was the perfect end to a wonderful day.
"Your nails came out so beautifully, Amy!" The girl blinked into awareness at Cream's voice and automatically glanced down. She was right, her nails were perfectly glossed and ready for the wedding.
Amy fought back a grimace that was tempted to appear and put on a smile instead. "They're pretty." She glanced up and saw the looks of awe and approval among her friends, but froze at Rouge's expression. The spy's eyes were narrowed and searching deep into hers.
Feeling self-conscious, the bride-to-be cleared her throat and said, "Well, it looks like everyone's done so where to next?"
Bunnie beamed with joy. "Why, we're going to do one of my favorite things."
"Does it involve more unfamiliar women plucking at our features?" inquired Blaze as she glanced at her nails.
Sally playfully smirked. "Not quite. We're going to pluck at our own features this time."
When Blaze and even Julie-Su looked a bit startled by that, Cream giggled and elaborated, "We're going to do our make-up. It's going to be so much fun!"
Amy smiled slightly. "Oh, that sounds nice. Where are we going?"
"My place," Rouge spoke up. "Why pay someone to do something we can do better? I've got plenty of make-up for all of us. We'll work on one another. By the time we're done, the place that's holding our dresses should be stopping by."
"Sounds…good," Amy replied with a stiff smile. "Let's go."
Soon, all the Mobian ladies were in Rouge's apartment, doing one another's make-up. Bunnie had suggested that they all pair up and the proposal was readily accepted. Rouge insisted that Bunnie and Sally work together, that Blaze and Julie-Su worked together, though both of them were adamantly refusing the make-up, while Vanilla helped Cream with her make-up, leaving her and Amy together.
The pink hedgehog sensed that the bat had something to say and was proven right. However, to the girl's surprise, her friend held her tongue and merely did her make-up, keeping the conversation light. Amy couldn't help but feel grateful and allowed herself to relax as Rouge applied some mascara, her thoughts beginning to drift.
Fewer years ago…
Mascara streamed down in black, inky rivers down the peach face of Amy Rose, staining her gloves as she pressed her hands to her face.
Usually, she hardly ever wore make-up due to the constant demands of being ready for battle—no time to apply make-up or 'change her wardrobe' as Julie-Su once phrased it—but that day she made an exception. She didn't care if Eggman or the Destructix planned an attack, they'll just have to hold off.
After all, it was her and Sonic's one year anniversary.
Amy had been planning something special for weeks and was practically bouncing with excitement when the morning finally arrived. From the moment she woke up, she spent most of the morning in the kitchen, cooking up a special meal for her boyfriend. Once it was all done, she stored the food away for later.
Afterwards, Amy worked hard to make herself several notches above presentable: she showered, did her hair, applied a bit of make-up, and put on the outfit she had picked out the night before. When she was finished, she examined herself in the mirror and smiled slightly with approval. She wore a pale blue dress—blue since it's Sonic's favorite color—that complimented her petite figure, and she did her make-up so that it highlighted her eyes.
All in all, she figured she looked great and everything was perfect.
Nothing could disintegrate her grin that day and Amy was prepared to show all of Mobius her happiness. The plan was that she and Sonic would spend the day together, watching races (which Sonic would most likely partake in), going to an outdoor rock concert (though it wasn't Amy's favorite choice in music, she would sit through it since Sonic liked it), and ending the day with the home-cooked meal that Amy had already made, which was going to be eaten in that beautiful clearing that Amy had deemed her and Shadow's spot.
She had yet to show Sonic or anyone that little meadow, feeling that that spot was a special secret. Although Amy highly doubted that Shadow felt the same, she did know that he hadn't told anyone about the clearing either. However, she wanted to show Sonic, so she had asked Shadow prior to the anniversary how he felt about it.
"Do what you want, Rose. It doesn't matter to me." His body had been rigid and his mouth had tightened when he said this.
"Well, it should. This is your place too, you know, and your feelings matter to me."
Shadow had seemed surprised and somewhat conflicted at her response, but he had levelly responded, "Show the faker our spot. Hopefully he'll like it."
Their spot. It had a nice ring to it.
Regardless, Amy intended to share it with the hedgehog of her dreams. Her and Sonic's anniversary was going to be perfect.
Or at least it was supposed to be.
Halfway through watching the races, they got word that Castle Acorn was being seized by a group of unknown anarchists. Without hesitation, Sonic had taken off. Amy assumed that he expected her to meet him there, but it would've been easier had he picked her up and ran with her. Nevertheless, she had allowed her irritation to deliquesce and for her concern over Sally to take over.
So she spent most of her day battling some heavily armed anarchists alongside her fellow Freedom Fighters…in her nice blue dress…which had torn when one particular brute sliced at her side with a sword. After the struggle and most of the renegades were apprehended, Amy spent another portion of her day getting her wounds stitched up and cleaned. She had insisted she was fine, but she couldn't deny that she had been heavily bleeding. It was just as well that she had been carried off, for she didn't have to continue watching Sonic fuss over a harried-looking Sally.
After her wounds had been taken care of, Amy tried to head back to the palace, found out she wasn't allowed to, and then left after she asked one of the castle guards to inform Sonic that she'd be waiting for him at his place. So she went back to her home where she proceeded to grab the previously prepared food and then headed over to Sonic's place to wait for him. Despite the events, she intended to end their anniversary on a good note. So she waited.
And waited until the food spoiled.
However, even after she had sullenly thrown away the food, Amy still waited for her hero. It wasn't until late at night when he zoomed up to the front door. He had been surprised to see her and inquired as such. She explained that she had waited for him. He recalled that one of the guards had told him so, sheepishly grinned, and had nonchalantly said that he was with Sally, making sure that she was okay.
Understandable…but did it really have to take so long?
Apparently so…and Sonic didn't apologize for forgetting about her.
Nor did he inquire if she was alright despite that he could clearly see the rips and dried blood on the pale blue dress she had neglected to change out of.
He didn't thank her for waiting for him, nor did he mention anything about trying to redo their anniversary.
Instead, he talked a lot about Sally and how she was doing. Though Amy was worried about the princess, she couldn't help the twinge of annoyance ignited by the fact that Sonic talked about her more than necessary.
The final straw was when Sonic told Amy that she looked terrible and that she should go home to clean herself up.
Amy got angry.
The rest of the conversation was a blur.
She briefly recalled accusing Sonic of rubbing in some old feelings for Sally and for not caring about her. He had furiously retaliated by calling her a selfish brat. Amy had no idea who had said what first.
Yet she won't forget how Sonic didn't deny his feelings for Sally.
More things were said and the argument ended with Amy storming off.
Instead of running home though, she ran to the meadow. It didn't take her long to get there and an even shorter time for her to burst into tears. So as of now, she was sitting on that flat rock, crying her eyes out over the argument. She and Sonic have had disagreements before, but this one felt pivotal.
Amy felt many things: angry at how the day turned out, furious at the anarchists for starting all of this, frustrated that her hard work of cooking went to waste, vexed that her new dress was ruined, infuriated over Sonic's apathy towards her, equally saddened by that apathy, and downright miserable at the thought that Sonic didn't care as much about her as she wanted him to. All of this welled up within her and was unleashed through her tears.
"Rose, what are you doing here? It's late." Amy's ears automatically pricked up at the familiar voice and she lifted her head, not looking at Shadow just yet. The Ultimate Lifeform paused and added, "I heard crying."
Taking a deep breath, Amy turned to look at her closest companion. It was practically unnoticeable how Shadow's eyes widened. "You…seem upset."
Amy sniffled, not bothering to be ashamed of her current appearance. "That's because I am. It's been such a bad day, Shadow."
"I heard about the attack on the palace. Is everything alright?"
"Y-Y-Yes, everything's fine right now."
"…That wasn't what ruined your day though."
"Y-Yeah, y-y-y-you're right."
Crimson orbs narrowed. "Is it because of the faker?"
The girl sucked in another breath, this one shuddering. "Y-Y-Yes."
Shadow set his jaw and drew closer to her. It was then that he was able to see her sorrowful state…particularly her dress. This time his eyes widened noticeably. "What the hell happened to you?"
Amy wiped her eyes and attempted to steady her breath. "The Freedom Fighters and I were fighting those jerks attacking Castle Acorn and this one guy with a sword cut me. But it's fine though, it's just a scratch. I've been patched up." She sighed. "Too bad about my dress though."
Shadow looked to her incredulously. "Forget about your damn dress! What about you? Rose, there's blood on you and you're obviously shifting majority of your weight off your wound-"
"Shadow, it's okay, I'm fine-"
"Bullshit." Amy flinched at his sharp tone. "You're injured and you should be at home resting instead of sitting out here. What were you thinking?"
Amy tried swallowing the lump in her throat. "I…I wanted to be alone."
Shadow maintained his scowl before minimally easing up. "Tell me what's wrong."
The pink hedgehog mentally disciplined herself to not cry, to keep it cool when she responded that nothing was wrong.
She lasted about five seconds before she broke down.
Though Shadow had seemed a bit stunned by the spontaneity of her tears, it didn't stop him from sitting next to her and awkwardly rubbing her back. Amy immediately threw her arms around him and cried into his chest, spilling all that had occurred that day.
The Ultimate Lifeform stoically listened without a word and patiently allowed her to vent.
After a while, Amy finished her story and stopped crying. "I-I-I-It was s-s-sup-p-posed to b-be perfect. T-Today was s-supposed t-t-to be a p-per-perfect d-day."
Shadow thoughtfully hummed. "There's no such thing as perfection. It's only an illusion."
Amy wrinkled her nose and lifted up her head. "Wha-Wha-What makes y-you say that?"
"Because it's true. Nothing and no one is perfect. Everything and everyone is flawed. The idea of perfection is unattainable because it doesn't exist."
The girl considered it before slowly inclining her head. "I…I g-guess you're right." She then smeared her make-up further by rubbing away her tears. "B-But I still w-wanted S-Sonic and I to h-have a good day…not to be i-ignored and end it w-w-with a f-fight."
"Understandable, but you should know that things aren't always going to be exemplary between you and Sonic. If the two of you are to continue your relationship, then there are bound to be more fights and bad days. Things can't always be faultless between you two no matter how much you want it to be; today proved that."
Amy stared at him with red-rimmed eyes and felt her stomach sink at the truth of it. She couldn't help but miserably mutter, "But…But I've always wanted me and Sonic to be the perfect couple…"
"There's no such thing as perfection," he reiterated. "It's a concept driven by people who strive to be flawless under the pretense of having a purpose…or by appearing desirable and competent to others. The closest thing you'll ever get to perfection is the thing that you find utterly remarkable, even with its flaws. Now, I'm not going to pretend that I'm an expert on you and the faker's relations, but I assume you love him despite that he's a cocky, nuisance of a show-off, and he loves you despite that you're a hot-tempered, rather immature girl." Amy made a small indignant noise. "What? It's true."
Red warmth spread across her face yet Amy felt herself more resigned and weary than insulted. "What's your point, Shadow?"
"My point is that if you and Sonic really care for another, then you'll apologize for being childish and he'll apologize for taking you for granted."
The gaze that Amy had on him shifted from confusion to understanding, and then remained thoughtful and earnest. "Darn it…I hate when you're right."
Shadow allowed a rare but brief, soft smile to christen his lips. "Too bad. I happen to enjoy it." Amy laughed for the first time that day. "So, what do you say, Rose?"
"Well, I'm not going to repeat what I said if that's what you're looking for." Amy grinned rather saucily. "What I do say though is that tomorrow I'm going to talk to Sonic and let him know that I'm sorry. If he knows what's good for him, then he'll accept my apology and say that he's sorry too."
Feeling herself brighten, Amy wiped off the remnants of her tears. "Yeah, that's exactly what I'll do. Sonic and I will talk things over and then everything will be fine."
"Of course it'll be."
After Amy nodded in agreement, she instantly enveloped Shadow in a tight hug. The other stiffened, but gingerly rested his hands on her back, mindful of her wound. "Thank you, Shadow."
"Um…you're welcome, I suppose."
Amy tightened her hug. "Seriously though, thank you. You always know what to say, even if you're not always nice about it."
"Being nice doesn't get the point across."
The pink hedgehog giggled as she released her companion. "I guess not all the time. You should at least try being civil once in a while."
"I am being civil."
"Well yeah, right now you are, but that's because you're my friend and even you're not so heartless as to be mean to a vulnerable lady."
"You're hardly a lady," Shadow quipped with a straight face.
"Hey!" Amy moved to playfully swat Shadow's arm, but was prevented by his reflexes. Her breath hitched when his hand instinctively caught hers and his eyes minimally widened.
"Um…" the Ultimate Lifeform maintained a cool exterior despite that his mind was racing. He wouldn't admit this aloud, but Amy's hand felt warm in his…and delicate as well. With a quick squeeze, he could easily crush her hand and the thought terrified him. As if to reassure himself, Shadow gently squeezed that warm, dainty hand.
Amy blinked at the unexpected endeavor yet didn't remove her hand nor her stunned, curious gaze from Shadow. She was by no means a simple-minded, completely naïve girl, but she couldn't for the life of her figure out if the sudden warmth in her chest was normal and if Shadow could feel it too.
The dark hedgehog unexpectedly cleared his throat and released her hand. "My apologies, but you know by now that my reflexes are automatic."
"Mm-hm," Amy hummed noncommittedly as she tried to figure out why that warm feeling suddenly left. She shivered under the cool night breeze.
"You're cold," Shadow noted. "It's getting late anyways. You should be at home resting."
"I suppose." Amy stood up and stretched, but then stopped when her injury made it difficult. "Do you mind walking me home?"
"Not at all. I'll teleport us back." Shadow stood up and started to pull out his green chaos emerald. He paused. "Never mind. The energy might aggravate your wound."
Amy grimaced at the thought but then put on a smile. "That's okay, I wasn't expecting us to chaos control over to my place anyways. Let's just walk."
Soon the two were walking through the forest with the moon and stars as their only light. Shadow took advantage of the darkness by subtly throwing glances at the girl's injury, trying to judge how bad it was. They strolled along in companionable silence until Amy said, "I'm fine, you know. It doesn't hurt that much. It looks worse than it is."
Shadow flicked his eyes up to meet hers. "You better not be lying to me."
Amy looked away. "I'm not. If anything I'm more concerned about my dress. Gosh, I must look terrible." She grimaced self-consciously. "My dress is ruined, my hair's a mess, and my make-up must be completely messed up and disgusting. Geez, I'm actually kind of sorry you have to see me like this."
Shadow blinked in disbelief. "You're such a typical girl." Amy frowned at him. "What? You shouldn't be concerned with such trivial things."
"Well, they're not so trivial to me."
Shadow rolled his eyes. "Of course they're not." Amy stuck out her tongue at him. They walked for a bit before he added, "And for the record, you don't look as bad as you claim you do."
Amy looked to him with widened eyes. "…Really?" Shadow merely nodded, not sure why she appeared so stunned. The girl flushed a bit. "You're not just saying that to make me feel better?"
"Why would I waste my voice on meaningless words?"
A wide, happy grin broke out on the girl's fair face and there was a skip in her step. "Aw, thanks Shadow. You're sweet."
The dark hedgehog snorted. "I'm the Ultimate Lifeform, I shouldn't be sweet."
"Well, you are now," Amy chirped. She then spotted her home in the distance. "Oh, looks like we're almost there. C'mon."
Once they reached the front door, Amy turned to Shadow. "Thanks again for everything, Shadow: for listening to me, for the advice, and for walking me back. I really appreciate it. You're a good friend."
The GUN agent inclined his head. "Just don't irritate your wound. I don't want to see you doing anything strenuous."
Amy gave him a playful salute. "Yes, sir."
"I mean it, Rose."
"Don't worry, Shadow, I won't. I doubt Sonic would let me fight robots or chase him around…" She trailed off and bit her lower lip in a musing frown.
Shadow clenched his fists. "I hope you and the faker patch things up."
"Yeah, me too." Amy quickly reverted her sad expression into a cheerful one. "But everything's going to be fine. It's just been a rough day. I'm sure Sonic and I will talk things over and everything will be back to normal. Maybe we can go on nice, quiet dates for a while, like getting a pizza or watching a movie…at least until I'm all healed of course."
An angry scowl marred the Black Blur's face. "Humph. Sonic better treat you well or he and I are going to have some problems."
"I-It should be fine. Anyways, thanks again. Would you like to come in for tea?"
"No…thank you. Go to bed, Rose."
"Alright, I'll see you tomorrow."
"Count on it."
Amy smiled and she turned around and started fiddling with her house-keys.
"There are times where I feel that he doesn't deserve you."
The girl momentarily paused and turned around, wondering if she heard that right.
She blinked—Shadow was gone.
Amy stared at the empty space where he had been and dazedly shook her head. She needed some sleep.
When the next day arrived, true to her word, Amy went to go talk to Sonic. At first, things had been a bit tense, but after a sincere apology from her and a casual apology from him, the conversation went more smoothly. Amy tried to explain her feelings, but Sonic assured her that everything was fine and she believed him.
The two eventually parted ways, Sonic heading to Castle Acorn to check on Sally while Amy decided to go back home and rest, ignoring the throbbing of her injury and of her raw, tender heart.
To her surprise, Shadow was waiting at her front door, leaning against it with his usual air of indifference. When he spotted her, he greeted her with, "I ordered a pizza. Perhaps you have some movies we can watch until it arrives."
Amy was speechless, but words weren't needed as she surged forward and hugged him, her orbs glistening with happy, grateful tears. Shadow allowed her without question and soon the two settled into a nice, quiet day of pizza and movies. Not once did he ask about or even mention Sonic, and for that Amy was appreciative.
She and Sonic might not be the perfect couple, but the concept didn't seem so bad when she had a remarkable friend like Shadow to turn to.
Illusion or not, perfection seemed obtainable around him. If anything, Shadow made things better than perfect—he made things feel right.
"What's up with you?" Amy blinked, the atmosphere of her memory fading to reveal an irate Rouge. "You've been spacey and mopey all day."
Amy bit her lip, contemplated what she wanted to say, and sighed. Having known and spent time with Shadow for so long, she knew that beating around the bush was a waste of time. "I…I'm not really sure, Rouge."
The former jewel thief raised a perfect brow. "How can you not be sure? You're about to marry the love of your life. What's there not to be sure about?" She briefly paused before a thought lit up her dazzling crystal orbs. "You're not getting cold feet, are you?"
Amy considered this before shrugging. "I don't know how to answer that. I love Sonic, I do, but…"
"…I don't know. I feel…anxious, like something isn't right. I can't really explain it. I've been feeling like this for months and it's left me restless. It's almost like I was dreading today…well, not exactly dreading it, I shouldn't say that. I just…wish I had more time."
"For what? Everything for you and Big Blue's wedding is ready and has been ready for a while now. Honestly, it's a miracle that nothing has screwed this whole thing over: no disasters, no soap opera dramas, and no Eggman. This wedding is basically going to be perfect. Shouldn't that be, like, a sign or something?"
Amy's ears drooped. "You would think. Heck, I would've thought that years ago when I was still just a kid." She paused and then softly added, "Besides, perfection is an illusion."
Rouge raised an eyebrow. "Whoa, that sounded non-fairytale-ish. Whatever's bugging you must be big."
"But I don't even know what's bugging me!" Amy desperately exclaimed. "I can't explain what's wrong, it's just a feeling…a feeling I shouldn't even be having in the first place! I love Sonic, I always have, but…but I'm not even sure if I should marry him today! I'm so confused!"
Rouge quickly grabbed Amy's hands before she could bury her head in them. "Don't do that, you'll smudge your make-up. Now why don't we slow down a bit and try to settle this calmly. Take a deep breath, hun."
Amy did as she was told. Her companion nodded in approval. "Great. Now we can think rationally about this. Let's figure out what's up and play process of elimination here." She thought it over and mused, "So you're iffy on marrying Sonic…is it because there's something wrong with the wedding?"
"No, it's basically going to be my dream wedding."
"Alright, so that's not it. Is it because he's in love with someone else?" Rouge briefly glanced out the door where the others were.
"If Sonic's in love with someone else then I wouldn't know." Amy shook her head and shrugged.
Rouge considered something that made her momentarily stiffen. "…Are you two only getting married because you've got a bun in the oven?" Her sapphire orbs flickered down to the girl's stomach.
Amy flushed red. "What?! No! No way! Sonic and I haven't-" She flushed darker and meekly finished, "That's not it at all…"
"Then what exactly is this about? So far from what I've gathered, you sound like you don't want to marry Sonic for reasons you either don't know or haven't explained yet."
Her fluster beginning to settle under the weight of her somberness, Amy pensively chewed her lower lip. "I…I think that sums it up."
Rouge's eyes widened. "So you don't want to marry Sonic?"
"I…I'm not really sure."
"The fact that you're not sure says something; if you really wanted to marry him, then you'd say yes in a heartbeat."
"True, but I just don't know. I said yes because I love him and that hasn't changed. But for some reason, I'm a bit…hesitant."
Rouge contemplated this before venturing, "So out of curiosity, has Shadow said anything about this?"
Amy's ears drooped. "No, he hasn't."
Rouge's eyes widened. "You're kidding. Mr. Doom and Gloom hasn't, I don't know, given Sonic his blessing or something?"
"No, not recently. We haven't been talking much lately."
Rouge initially looked thrown off until the expression melted into a knowing one. She shook her head and commented, "Sounds like Mr. Sunshine has been extra moody lately. So he's seriously told you nothing about the wedding?"
Amy sighed and felt her heart tug. "Nothing at all. He's not coming though."
"Wait…he was serious about that?!"
Melancholy dissipated into confusion. "He told you he wasn't coming?"
The pearl-furred bat nodded. "I brought up the wedding a few weeks ago and he flat out said he wasn't going. I brought it up a few more times and he either avoided the topic or kept saying no. I tried to pry out why not but he wouldn't budge. You know how he gets."
"Oh yeah," Amy sighed with resignation, not realizing that she was wearing a fond smile. "He told me a few months ago. He wouldn't even tell me why." Her smile faded. "I was devastated."
"Is that why you don't want to get married? Because your best man isn't going to be there?"
"No, that's not it. I wish Shadow was going though. I would've loved to have talked to him today. He would've known what to say."
Rouge thoughtfully hummed. "Look hun, no one is going to tell you what to do here or how to feel. You've got to do all that on your own, no matter how hard it is. All I can do is tell you that you'd better stop bullshitting yourself and start really thinking about your future. You either want to marry Sonic, or you don't. It's that simple."
"It's not that simple-"
"Yes it is," Rouge insisted. "Emotions may be a complex thing, sweetie, but some things are pretty straight forward. You just need to step back and be honest with yourself."
"How do I do that?"
"Well, for starters, picture your life in about five years and ask yourself if you can see you and Sonic having a life together. Seriously though, think about it for a moment."
Amy nodded and began by closing her eyes. She cleared her mind, wiping it clean, and allowed it to paint a picture of her perfect future. Vivid colors splashed behind her eyes and, on its own accord, began to sketch across the blank canvas of her mind. She didn't put in the effort to think and merely permitted her thoughts to design themselves.
The image of a beautiful meadow came to mind.
Emerald eyes immediately sprang open from shock and settled on the expectant, cloud-furred bat before her. Amy blinked a few times and sighed. "I don't know."
Rouge raised a brow before furrowing both, somewhat frustrated. "What do you mean?"
The bride-to-be shook her head. "I just don't know, Rouge. I love Sonic, I wouldn't have said yes to his proposal if I didn't, but…"
Surprise and concern briefly flashed through Rouge's eyes. "But you can't see yourself having a future with him."
Before Amy could respond, Cream unexpectedly poked her head in. "Hi Amy, Ms. Rouge~ How's everything going in here?"
Rouge was quick to plaster on a cool smile. "Everything is going dandy in here. I just need my make-up. It looks like you're done. Your mom did a good job."
Cream smiled widely. "Why thank you very much."
"No problem. Now, do you think you could do us a favor and check on the others, particularly Blaze and Julie-Su? We need everyone on track."
The young rabbit bobbed her head. "Of course. I'll be right back."
"By the time the bridal store delivers our dresses, my make-up should be done."
Cream nodded again before skipping out. Amy released a breath and turned to her bat companion, not surprised that crystal-blue eyes were already focused on her.
"So what are you going to do, pinkie?"
Amy resisted the urge to chew her lower lip so as not to mess up her glossy lipstick. "I'm not sure yet. I…I'll figure it out."
"Well you better figure it out soon. You're getting married in a couple of hours."
The girl hummed distractedly. "Yeah, I know." Rouge eyed her for a moment before reluctantly accepting her answer. Amy finished her make-up, trying not to think of a stunning, hidden, lush-green meadow.
The image emerged anyways, bringing with it a pair of crimson orbs that could be as hard as bricks as well as soft like a beating heart.
As predicted, a couple of bridal shop employees arrived at the apartment, wedding and bridesmaid dresses in tow, just as Amy put the finishing touches on Rouge's make-up. The girls then took the time to have a light lunch, though the bride-to-be was too nervous to properly eat. Afterwards, everyone received their respective garments, and then separated into different rooms to change.
Rouge offered Amy her bedroom and promised that she wasn't far should she need help, and the pink hedgehog thanked her. Once alone, removed her casual clothes and then carefully slipped on her dress. Her manicured fingers lightly brushed over the veil, but hesitated putting it on as her eyes flitted to the mirror.
It was her dream wedding dress: a creamy, off-white strapless dress with a heart-shaped bodice and three layers of skirts, a short lacy one on top of two longer ones. The slight expansion of the skirts gave the dress a fairy tale feel to it and they flared a bit, just barely revealing her silver heels.
Along with her hair, nails, and make-up, Amy knew she looked amazing, yet she couldn't appreciate the view. Her mind was hazy with confusion and her body was wound up with apprehension. The girl's heart hammered within her lean chest and she found herself sinking into the edge of the bed.
Get ahold of yourself, Amy. It's your wedding day. You should feel excited.
But she couldn't. She felt jittery and restless.
I love Sonic. I said yes to him for a reason. I love Sonic. I said yes to him for a reason. I love Sonic. I said yes to him for a reason…
Amy repeated this mental mantra to a point where she got her breathing together, and didn't stop even after her friends had dressed and they had all left Rouge's apartment. She was barely aware of her surroundings, including what she said to her friends, until they reached their destination. She blinked upon seeing the pearl-white, glittering chapel, the same chapel where Bunnie and Antoine had gotten married.
Her mantra shattered.
The Mobian girls made sure to mind their dresses as they stepped into the pristine structure. One of the rooms was set up just for them and was decorated with dozens of beautiful white flowers. There were several chairs for the girls as well as a small dresser with a mirror and a full-length mirror set against the adjacent wall.
The bridesmaids all took a moment to admire Amy.
"Oh Amy, you look so beautiful," Cream breathlessly stated with glistening eyes.
"Absolutely stunning," Vanilla remarked as Blaze nodded with a slight smile.
"Sonic is one lucky guy," Julie-Su said. Sally's smile briefly fell.
Amy put on a tight smile. "Aw, thank you girls so much. Also, thanks for being here for me. You're all so amazing."
"Aw shucks," Bunnie replied with a soft smile, "you'd have done the same for us. Why, I remember how much you helped with my wedding to Antoine."
"Oh wow, that feels like so long ago. I'm glad the two of you are still together." Amy provided a genuine smile.
Bunnie nodded as her eyes shimmered with sheer adoration. "Same here, sugar. Antoine is, and always will be, the best thing that ever happened to me. Nothing's better than marrying the man you love. Trust me, Amy, there's no better feeling than knowing that you are going to share a future with your other half."
"My other half…"
Suddenly the conversation was interrupted by one of the wedding planners popping her head in the door. "Hello everyone. Sorry to interrupt, but I'm going to need all bridesmaids and the maid of honor to step out into the main hall. All of the guests are nearly here."
And with that, all of the girls hugged Amy, gave her their last remarks, and left the room, not without Rouge giving her a final look and Sally throwing her a somewhat wistful expression. Once she was alone, Amy sighed and lowered her body down to the floor where she tucked her legs under herself. She ran a hand through her quills and briefly rested it against her forehead.
Alright Amy, it's now or never. You're going to be marrying Sonic soon. Within the hour, you're going to be walking down the aisle, saying your vows, and pledging your heart to him. You've got to be ready for this; no more of this…hesitation. You said yes for a reason…
Less than a year ago…
Today could not have been more perfect. The sun was shining, the sky was clear and blue, birds were chirping, and everything has been quiet for the Freedom Fighters lately. Amy took full advantage of the beautiful, peace-wrapped day by relaxing and going for a walk with an amazing hedgehog.
Shadow wasn't much for going on walks, but he must've been in a generous mood if he was willing to indulge her (or perhaps he was humoring her…).
Regardless, Amy was delighted to have his company and was chattering away about whatever came to mind, waving and calling out hellos to any friends she passed by. Shadow silently listened and contributed to the conversation every now and then, ignoring any looks that the two were receiving.
More than anything though, the two were enjoying one another's presence.
The moment dissolved, however, when a blur rushed up in front of them. Amy gasped and instinctively tensed up while Shadow immediately put an arm in front of her, his body bracing itself in preparation for a fight.
Sonic didn't notice as he grinned at them. "Hey guys, how's it going?"
Both pink and ebony hedgehog relaxed and Amy smiled brightly. "Hi Sonic~"
"Hey Amy." The two embraced and shared a quick kiss. Shadow looked away and scowled. Sonic loosely kept an arm around his girlfriend's waist as he inquired, "So what are you two up to?"
"Oh nothing really," Amy responded. "Shadow and I were just enjoying the day." The Ultimate Lifeform grunted in affirmation.
"Ah, okay. I was actually looking all over for ya, Ames."
"Why? Is everything alright?"
"Uh, yeah, sure, everything's chill. I just wanted to hang with you."
"Oh okay." Amy perked up. "Well, Shadow and I were just on a walk right now and then later we planned to head to Chuck's for lunch later on. You should join us." Shadow's eyes narrowed further.
Sonic's smile wavered. "Oh…well, I was thinking maybe it'd just be you and me." He glanced at Shadow. "No offense, Shads."
Amy's smile dropped. "Oh. Okay, but we, um, just started hanging out and I'm not exactly ready to say good-bye yet." Shadow subtly softened.
"So you'd rather hang with the clone instead of me?"
"I didn't mean it like that! I-"
"Who are you calling a clone?" Shadow crossed his arms over his chest.
"Well I obviously wasn't talking about myself," Sonic quipped.
"You're the only clone I see around here, faker."
"Oh yeah? You wanna have a race to prove who's the fake? Or should I say, you wanna race and then lose?"
Shadow gave him a steely, challenging look which was quickly reciprocated. "I think we both know that I'm the better hedgehog."
"You wanna bet?"
"The only reason I won't is because I don't want to waste my time with you when I could be doing better things." Amy didn't miss how his gaze quickly flickered to her and she blushed.
Sonic seemed to catch on. "Like hanging out with my girlfriend? Amy's not your only friend, ya know, so why don't you go hang with them instead."
"I'd tell you the same, but you seem to do that already."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Must I really spell it out for you, faker? Surely you can't be that dense."
"Nah, it's cool, Ames, I know exactly what this is all about." Sonic smirked, his steely eyes trained on his opponent. "You're jealous of me."
"Me? Jealous of you?" Shadow scoffed, a small smirk flitting across his mouth. "How narcissistic can you get?"
"It's true though. You're jealous that I'm dating Amy."
"…That's ridiculous. Why would I be jealous?"
"Because you've always had a thing for Amy. I mean you're always hanging out with her-"
"If you actually spent some time with her and stopped taking her for granted, then maybe you'll seem more like a boyfriend than I do."
Amy's mouth went agape. A pair of spring-green orbs narrowed while another crimson pair briefly widened.
"I don't take her for granted-"
"Yes you do. The moment the princess or the fox are busy, you come running to Rose."
"…So I hang with my friends. Sue me."
"You see her as more of an alternate option for entertainment."
"No I don't-"
"You don't. Take. This relationship. Seriously." Shadow's eyes blazed. "You half-ass everything in regards to Amy. If you were truly serious-"
"I can be serious-"
Shadow dryly snorted and gave a harsh, frigid smirk. "Considering how half the time you don't even seem committed to Rose then you'll have to forgive me for doubting that."
"I'm totally committed to Amy and I can be serious about our relationship. Heck, I could ask her to marry me right now if I wanted to and completely mean it."
Amy had to actually cover her muzzle to abort the startled squeak slipping out of her mouth. Sonic and Shadow's eyes simultaneously widened though Shadow controlled his expression in a snap. The hustle and bustle of Mobius continued all around them though they hardly noticed with the 'm' word thickly hovering between them.
It was Shadow who spoke first. "Do you mean it?"
Sonic straightened up and cleared his throat. "Uh…yeah…yeah, definitely." Then he turned to Amy. Her eyes widened a bit more. "Do you think I mean it, Ames?"
"Do you want me to mean it?"
"So, uh…whataya say? Do you wanna get married?"
Amy removed her hand and stared wide-eyed at him. She couldn't bring herself to respond, she could barely even think past the shock that stifled her senses. Shadow carefully shifted his gaze between the two of them.
Sonic misinterpreted her silence. "Uh, if you want, I can ask again later…but, ya know, with a ring."
"You don't have to do that," Amy found herself blurting out. "This is fine." Actually, one of Amy's romantic fantasies involved a well-prepared speech on why she was loved and a beautiful golden white ring…and maybe a bouquet of flowers, so this proposal was less than adequate.
But it was a legitimate proposal, nonetheless.
"Really? Cool! So, I guess, it all depends on what you have to say…"
Amy shuffled in place, feeling her heart racing faster than Sonic can run. This was it, the moment she's always dreamt of. She's always imagined what it would be like if Sonic proposed to her and now that moment has arrived. In her fantasies, Amy would squeal out a yes and glomp the Blue Blur in a tight hug; then she would allow Sonic to put a ring on her finger and the two would share a passionate kiss. The entire daydream had a rom-com feel to it, but she liked it that way and envisioned it fairly often.
However, Amy wasn't glomping her hero and they weren't kissing; she hasn't even said yes. The moment was all just so sudden and overwhelming that she was practically frozen. She looked over at Shadow. His hardened gaze was on the ground, arms crossed over his chest.
Sonic fidgeted. "Uh, Ames? If you wanna say no, then-"
"Yes, I'll…marry you."
"Wha-really? For reals?" Amy nodded. Sonic grinned. "Oh, okay then. Cool." He hugged her and twirled her in a circle. She couldn't help but smile back, which grew wider when he pecked her on the lips. "I can't wait to tell everyone! I'ma go tell Tails and Rotor. We'll talk more later, okay?" And with that and a quick kiss to the cheek, the Blue Blur sped off.
Amy touched her cheek and sighed lovingly. Then she turned back to Shadow, her chest bubbling with the need to frantically babble about what just happened, only to discover that he was gone. She spun around, hoping he was nearby, but couldn't find him. Frowning, Amy immediately began jogging in the direction of their meadow.
When she arrived, she spotted him sitting on that flat rock. His posture was rigid with his arms familiarly crossed over his chest. Even from a few feet away, Amy could tell that he was irate.
His aura made her nervous and Amy suddenly found herself nervous to approach him. However, knowing that he knew that she was there willed her to move her legs forward until she was standing merely inches before him. His ears perked, but he didn't acknowledge her. Her apprehension grew as she wondered what she did to warrant this rather frosty treatment.
"Sh-Shadow? Sonic proposed to me…"
"And I said yes."
"…I'm well aware."
"I…I was thinking we could have a Spring wedding."
"…Why did you leave?"
"It looked like you and the faker were sharing a moment."
"Ah…you could've stayed."
"It wasn't my place."
"…Are you okay?"
"You seem…upset. Did I do something wrong?"
Shadow sighed and minimally loosened his shoulders. "No Rose, you didn't."
Amy felt herself relax. "Oh okay. Good." Her faint smile didn't linger. "Then what's bothering you?"
"…I'm skeptical that the faker is actually serious about this."
"About marrying me?"
Shadow tensed up and gritted his teeth. "Yes."
The girl pursed her lips. "He seemed fairly serious to me, I guess."
Amy wasn't sure what to add and Shadow didn't bother furthering the conversation. They remained in silence until the girl sighed.
"H-Hey Shadow, can you promise me something?"
Shadow briefly squeezed his eyes shut before turning his attention on her. "Anything for you, Rose."
A warm blush decorated Amy's cheeks and her orbs shimmered. "Will you promise me that no matter what happens, no matter what we're doing in the future, that we'll stay friends?"
The darker hedgehog blinked, showing a smidge of surprise in his eyes. "You could've asked me to promise you anything, absolutely anything, and I would've accepted without hesitation. Why would you ask me to promise something that I have never needed to promise?" Confusion with a hint of alarm spread into Amy's expression like drops of paint on a blank canvas. Shadow sighed. "Of course you'll always have my friendship, without a doubt."
A bright smile encompassed Amy's face, and she giddily giggled. "Oh Shadow, thank you so much!" Then she surged forward and glomped him in a tight hug. He tentatively returned it, albeit stiffly. Amy didn't mind though.
When the two released, Amy beamed and plopped herself down next to Shadow. "Just because Sonic and I are getting married doesn't mean you'll be left out. I promise you, nothing will change between us."
Shadow closed his eyes, pained. "You can't promise that, Rose."
"What? Yes I can-"
"No you can't. It's a promise you won't be able to keep."
"Shadow, what are you talking about? I can keep that promise. When I say that nothing is going to change between us, then nothing will change between us."
"No. Things have already changed between us, have been changing for a while now."
Amy's faltering smile plummeted. "I don't understand."
"I don't expect you to right now." He abruptly stood up. "I've got to go. Surely I must have a mission waiting for me." Shadow made a move to go.
"Shadow, wait!" Amy shot up, her hand shooting out to grasp onto his arm. "Y-You're not making any sense! Please don't go!"
The Ultimate Lifeform didn't react and merely stood there. Eventually, he turned around and looked at his Rose with subtle fondness. He clasped a hand over hers. "Congratulations on your engagement, Rose. I'm glad the faker is finally taking you seriously. I can only hope he keeps it that way." Then he unexpectedly brushed his lips ever so gently against her forehead. Amy's eyes barely managed to widen before he bolted off.
Amy didn't see Shadow very often those next few months. It seemed like the GUN always had some sort of mission for him that kept him busy and away for long periods of time. Not to mention that wedding preparation plans kept Amy pretty occupied too. Nevertheless, every night she sat at the meadow, hoping that Shadow will find her there so they could actually talk.
He only showed one time, and it was to tell her that he wasn't coming to the wedding. No explanation, no reason. Just that statement before he sped off, leaving a dumbstruck, teary-eyed Amy Rose.
The bride-to-be gasped, her breath quickening as the emotions associated with that memory slammed into her with renewed rawness. She had to fight back tears when her hand unconsciously touched her forehead, still feeling a distant whisper-soft kiss. Her heart throbbed with a longing ache, thinking of an ebony hedgehog with passionate-red orbs that's always been there for her, but wasn't here now.
Oh Shadow, why couldn't you have come? I need you. I need you so much.
Amy slumped further into the ground and looked over at the door.
I can't do this.
She curled her hand into a fist and pressed it against her right temple, slipping her eyes closed.
Why can't I do this?
She didn't have an answer and felt tears fluttering behind her eyelids. Squeezing her eyes tighter, Amy began to calm herself by using the method she's always used: she began to think of their meadow. She envisioned its lush green slice of paradise and the collection of soft colors that dotted it with its vibrant flowers. She then thought of Shadow, imagining him sit on that rock with a scowl on his face. She's always implored him to smile more because no, she didn't care if he was the Ultimate Lifeform, Ultimate Lifeforms smile too.
Amy gently smiled at the thought of the rare instances she had caught Shadow with the tiniest of smiles tugging at his lips. She cherished those moments and treated them like treasures. She cherished other moments between them too: like all their talks in the meadow, or the times they fought their enemies side-by-side, or when they relaxed at her place or his GUN-assigned bunk, or when he allowed her to hug him and eventually reciprocated them, or when she shared secrets with him that she'd never even told Sonic or Cream, or when he admitted that he feared inadequacy.
She thought of all the hugs they shared and the times where they sat in silence, her in his arms. Often times there was never a need to talk, their auras in-sync with one another's; they always seemed in-tune to one another, despite their personality differences.
Shadow and I are so different—he's so serious and intense and I'm cute and cheerful. But I guess he makes sure I've got my head in the game instead of up in the clouds, and I'd like to think I've made him less of a fuddy-duddy. In a lot of ways, we sort of complete each other-
Amy jolted up. Her mouth went agape at the sudden thought. Her hands dropped to her side as everything clicked into place: the hesitation, the nervousness…it all made sense.
"Oh my gosh…" She found herself grinning widely and felt a somewhat overwrought giggle bubble out of her. She allowed the tears to finally glisten and eventually stream down her face, though these tears were far from unhappy.
I get it now.
A quick knock on the door startled Amy. "Dear cousin, may I come in?" The girl brightened. She had asked her cousin, Rob o' the Hedge, to walk her down the aisle, and the man had readily agreed.
"You can come in, Rob."
The door opened to reveal a turquoise-furred hedgehog donned in a fine ebony tuxedo rather than his usual brown leather hood and set of bow and arrows. Rob initially walked in with a smile until he caught sight of Amy.
"By the powers! Dear cousin, whatever is the matter?"
Amy presented a watery smile as she wiped her eyes, smearing her mascara. "Oh nothing, Rob. I'm fine, everything's fine." She ignored his skeptical expression as she stood up and brushed herself off. "I could use a favor though."
"Pray tell. What is it?"
"Do you think you can find me a pen and a piece of paper?"
I'm sorry, but by the time you read this, I'll be gone. I can't marry you.
I've been thinking about this a lot and I think I finally have the words to explain myself. Bear with me.
Sonic…you'll always be my hero. But in heart of hearts, that's all you'll ever be to me. We both deserve something more than that. I love you, but it's more of a strong infatuation than the kind of love a wife has for her husband. Plus, something tells me that you feel the same way.
I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out why I feel the way I feel and I think I figured it out. I'm not your other half and you're not mine. It's just that [scribbles] you need someone who can either catch up to you or who you're willing to slow down for. You might've tried to slow down for me, but eventually you'll always end up running, and we both know that I can't catch up. I guess we just weren't meant to connect the way husbands and wives are supposed to.
It's not your fault and it's not mine either. We love each other, but it's not the right kind. Nothing can change that. So I'm calling it off, to spare us both the trouble. Plus, I doubt either of us are ready for marriage yet, especially with one another. Frankly I just can't see us working out in the future…in fact, when I think about the future, I can only see you and I as friends.
We've shared some good times. Thanks for that. I won't forget that. Hopefully one day you and I can be friends again. I'll give you some space around the Knothole for a while.
Take care, Sonic. See you around.
P.S. Talk to Sally.
Taped to this note was an engagement wedding band, the same one that Sonic used to 'properly' propose to Amy and the same one he held in the palm of his hand, the other holding onto the note. Sonic reread the note several times before it hit him that he had been jilted.
Oddly enough though, he was fine with that.
Sure, it hurt that Amy left him, but it's a heartbreak that he knew he could bear. Plus, if he had to be honest with himself, he had been debating whether or not to go through with the wedding as well. Though Sonic loved Amy, he wasn't sure if he wanted to be committed to her.
It seems that her note voiced some of his own feelings.
He smiled wistfully as he looked down at the wedding band.
Tails, his best man, tentatively approached him. He and the other Mobians—guests and those actually part of the wedding—had all witnessed Rob o' the Hedge stride down the aisle, without the bride-to-be, with the note and ring in hand and hand them to the soon-to-be groom with an apologetic smile. Once majority of the individuals caught a glimpse of the ring, stunned murmurs clomped their way through the chapel. Tails was the first to see the ring, considering that he was standing closest to Sonic. He didn't read the note, but got a sense of what it said.
"Are, uh…Are you okay?"
We love each other, but it's not the right kind.
Sonic gave his best friend a soft smile. "Yeah Tails, I'm good."
You need someone who can either catch up to you or who you're willing to slow down for.
The Blue Blur glanced over at Sally. She caught his eye and gave him a weak yet genuine smile, one that wasn't filled with pity like everyone else. "I'm real good."
"-CONTROL!" A bright flash of green light suddenly blazed blindly within the wedding hall, lingering for a bit until it abruptly disappeared and revealed a familiar ebony hedgehog in its wake. The guests were initially startled by the light but then confused at the appearance of Shadow. Once she regained her senses, Rouge smiled.
"Stop the wedding! Stop the damn wedding now!" The murmurs of the crowd instantly went silent at Shadow's fierce declaration.
Sonic blinked. "Whoa, Shadow. What are you doing here?"
Shadow whipped around to look over at his blue lookalike, his eyes ablaze as he stalked closer. "This wedding isn't going on, faker, not while I'm around!"
"You're not going to marry Rose!" Sonic stared at him for half a beat before he lightly chuckled. Shadow's eyes narrowed further, dangerously, getting Tails and the other groomsmen to take a step back; even Knuckles was intimidated. "You find this funny, faker?! Do I not look serious to you?!"
Sonic held up his hands in a placating gesture. "Relax Shads, I'm not laughing at you. It's just…well, you're kind of too late."
Shadow actually looked caught off guard long enough for majority of the guests to notice and receive the second biggest shock of the day. "You two are married already?"
"Nuh uh, man, the wedding's off. I've been dumped."
Shadow stared at Sonic, assessing him, until he responded with, "You're actually serious."
"Yup. It's a bummer." He allowed his rival to see his sad smile.
The Ultimate Lifeform processed this before inclining his head. "I see. My apologies that it didn't work out between you and Rose."
"I guess…I'll be going then."
Sonic saluted him. "See ya."
Shadow nodded and adjusted his grip on his Chaos Emerald. Just as he opened his mouth to teleport away, Sonic added, "Tell Amy I said no hard feelings."
A quick blink was the only indication that Shadow was surprised. Nevertheless, he inclined his head and Chaos Controlled out of the chapel.
Despite that many Mobians approached Sonic to express their sympathies, there was only one person he wanted to talk to. Eventually, he and Sally managed to get a moment alone. The two talked for a great deal of time; Sally understood what Sonic was feeling and said everything he wanted and needed to hear.
By the end of the day, the two went to return Sonic's tuxedo together, walking side-by-side and matching one another's pace.
After bursting into the chapel (rather impulsively, he'll admit), Shadow found himself teleporting to the meadow, their meadow, and soon found himself surrounded by a familiar foliage of flowers. The sight got him to unconsciously relax his shoulders, and he took a deep breath. His feet robotically carried him over to the rock where he sat down and closed his eyes.
He had been tormented these past several months. He tried to ignore the ache that burned within his chest whenever he thought of Rose, his Rose, getting married to that faker for so long that it physically ailed him. He took on any assignment the GUN had to offer, no matter how dangerous or mediocre, just so he could avoid Amy and her upcoming wedding. However, where there was reprieve in not seeing Amy, the concept of not seeing her was just as torturous. He missed her cheerful demeanor, her twinkling laugh, her feminine strength, her hugs, her fiery nature, and just every part of her that made her his Rose.
Shadow kept telling himself though that it was for the best; he knew he wouldn't be able to see her without getting upset over the wedding. Initially, he had chalked up his anger as his belief that Sonic wouldn't take the engagement seriously and break Amy's heart by calling it off. He refused to acknowledge the sharper, personal edge to his ire wrenching through his heart, especially since the passing months proved that Sonic was serious about the wedding.
He hated telling Amy that he wasn't attending the wedding, but he knew that attending meant sitting through an ostentatious ceremony where he watched as the faker married the girl he lo-
"Shadow?" He opened his eyes and turned around. There she was, standing a mere few feet behind him wearing that damn wedding dress and looking so utterly breathtaking; even though her eye make-up was noticeably smeared, she still looked lovely. He schooled his expression to remain neutral rather than utterly enchanted.
Then the shock set in.
Amy weakly smiled as she glided closer to him. "Hi."
"Um, hello. Why are you here?"
"I was about to ask you the same thing. You weren't at the wedding."
"The wedding didn't even go through."
"No, it didn't." A soft, awkward chuckle reached his ears. "I guess word travels fast."
"I see." Shadow studied her, paying more attention to her appearance. Her hair looked as if it had been styled before the wind tore through it, indicating that she had been running recently. Her dress was slightly rumpled, the glittery charm of her shoes were dulled by dirt, and, of course, her ruined make-up stained her cheeks and under her eyes. "Why did you call it off?"
"Because…Because, well…I just…couldn't marry him."
"But you love him." He clenched his fists.
"I thought I did…but what I feel for Sonic…" Amy bit her lip, contemplated something, before looking him in the eye and finishing, "what I feel for Sonic isn't the same as…as how I feel about you."
Shadow stiffened and immediately crushed the glimmer of hope that tried to rise within him. "Of course it isn't the same. You and the faker are in love, while you and I are just friends."
"No," Amy breathed as she stepped closer to him. "We're not just friends…and I'm not in love with Sonic…and that's why I can't marry him. How can I marry Sonic when I'm in love with you?"
Shadow's eyes widened for longer than its millisecond longevity as his heart began to pound fast. The welcoming warmth that has been haunting him for months crept into his chest and this time he felt no need to force it away. Looking at the genuineness sparkling in Rose's eyes increased that warmth.
For a moment, Shadow felt that all was right with the world.
"You…You love me."
Amy nodded, her smile becoming shy and so utterly endearing. "It took some time for me to realize it, but I do."
"Why? What do you mean why?"
"How is it that you can claim to love me when you were so set to marry the faker?"
Amy stared at him for a moment before emitting a breathy chuckle. "Oh wow, where do I start? Well, it's just…all day I haven't been myself. I felt…edgy and nervous for some reason, and it sort of hit me that what I felt for Sonic…wasn't long-lasting. I couldn't imagine him and I having a future together.
"Now, don't get me wrong, Sonic's a good guy…but you're a great guy, you're my guy." Amy smiled brightly at him. "Shadow, you're the one who's always been there for me and you're the one who got to know and accept the real me…granted you thought I was annoying for the longest time." She lightly chuckled and Shadow couldn't help but somewhat smile. "Anyways, what I'm trying to say is that what we have is special and real. You've inspired me to better myself, to be stronger. You're my other half." And with that, she surged forward and pressed her lips onto his in a loving kiss.
Rose…was always full of surprises. It seemed that almost everything she did either deteriorated his instincts or wiped away any possible coherent thought. For instance, she had hugged him from behind when they first met, and, for some reason, he had ignored his initial instinct to attack or throw off the person he should've assumed was an assailant. But he didn't, and that had disconcerted him for the longest time. He was the Ultimate Lifeform—a weapon created to take on anyone and anything—and yet he was caught off guard by a pink girl who had mistaken him for someone else.
And of course, this moment right now was an excellent example of Amy's unique charm. Rose didn't kiss him for very long, but it was more than enough for him to forget everything for a split second. When she pulled back, he was already feeling her absence.
How do you do this to me, Rose?
The Ultimate Lifeform cleared his throat and tried to calm his flustered thoughts. He briefly questioned the warmth he felt on his cheeks, but then cursed his blush a moment later, not used to its presence.
It did help a bit that Rose was blushing too. She shyly avoided his gaze and said, "U-Um, sorry about that. Impulsive."
Amy mused over something before sighing and looking at him again with an apologetic smile. "If you don't feel the same way about me, then I understand. I mean, I just figured I have nothing to lose since all of Mobius will soon see me as the girl who left Sonic at the altar."
Shadow can't stand a lot of things in this world, and the sight of Amy Rose thinking that she had done something wrong was one of the worst.
"Who says I don't feel the same way?"
Amy's eyes snapped up to look at him, her mouth agape and her expression open, vulnerable, and hopeful. "Wait, what? Shadow, are…are you saying that…" She couldn't continue, almost as if there were consequences if she did. He supposed that in a sense there were, but he had to convey they were unfounded when it came to him.
"Yes, Rose. Your feelings are reciprocated."
Shadow half-expected for Amy to squeal with happiness, jump on him, and pepper him with kisses. He was surprised when he saw tears.
Amy threw her arms around him and buried her head in his chest. Shadow wasn't sure what to do, so he tentatively put his arms around her and just held her close. Feeling her heart beat against his was all he could ever ask for.
His Rose eventually pulled away and looked at him with a pair of glistening orbs and a smile. "You're amazing, Shadow the hedgehog." Then she pecked him on the cheek.
Shadow softened and cupped her cheek. "So are you, Rose. So damn much." Then without reservation or consideration, he leaned in to kiss her and she eagerly met him halfway. He gently pulled her closer by the waist while she loosely hung her arms around his neck. The moment was perfect: the two of them sitting on that rock in the middle of their beautiful meadow where they shared so many moments together, finally together.
There were many more moments to have as well. Shadow knew that things wouldn't be easy between them: not only were they two very different people, but they lived in a complicated world. People whispered whenever they saw the two together, even though Amy avoided the public for a while until her jilting of Sonic wasn't as raw. Friends and bold acquaintances questioned them, rude people accused and snubbed them, and enemies mocked them. The faker was surprisingly civil to them though, despite that Shadow would occasionally see hurt in his eyes. There were other things too that made their relationship complicated: short tempers, jealousy, old feelings, disagreements, arguments, worrying for one another's safety, the issue of mortality and immortality, etc.
However, there were also things that made those difficulties worth it: the kisses they shared, holding one another for no reason and all reasons, fighting side-by-side, training together, exchanging quips, going on dates, relaxing in their meadow, witnessing Amy light up when she sees him, having her chatter to her heart's content, dancing with her at Sonic and Sally's wedding, seeing her blush whenever he complimented her, listening to her laugh and having her look so happy and accomplished whenever she manages a gruff chuckle out of him, basking in her attention whenever they sat in comfortable silence, having her look at him as if he were the most remarkable hedgehog in the world, feeling fulfilled in his purpose to make her happy, watching her fall asleep on his shoulder whenever they stayed up late talking, and just being with her.
So when the day came that he sat with her on that rock in their meadow and finally asked for her hand, his Rose saying yes made him feel utterly complete.
Neither Shadow nor Amy knew what their future held, but they knew, without a doubt, that they were where they needed to be, and they had everything they ever needed.
They found their other half.
...Damn this is long. My longest one yet (grins with both sheepishness and pride)~
Anyways, thumbs up to those who actually finished. Thank you xShadowxRocksx for this idea~ You should all check out her stuff; she writes good Shadamy and other Sonic stories :)
Take care and have a nice day ^^
P.S I used to read the Archie comics all the time, but I've been out of touch for years. If I got something wrong or if something has gone down in the series that would affect this story, let me know a.s.a.p.