Hey. Long time no see.

Never thought I'd be writing fanfics again, but here I am. This was spontaneous and written in roughly 3 - 4 hours, at 2 in the morning. Pretty raw cut, only editing as I went. It probably makes no sense and is all over the place, so consider this an experiment.

"You're not invincible, Shadow the Hedgehog!"

The bruised, beaten creature looked on with weary eyes at the pink female in front of him. Tears streamed down her face like violent rivers, heaving deep sobs over her frail and hoarse voice. It was almost too painful to look at her in his moment of obvious defeat. He'd heard the same speech in different ways, all from her, but nevertheless it was repetitive. He was tired.

"You can't keep doing this...you have to realize that you can get stabbed, cut, and decapitated like the rest of us. You bleed just like the rest of us. You're not invincible…" Sighing and sniffling, the pink girl tried to get herself under control. Shadow could see the struggle of wanting to continue chewing him out or finding some way to help him.

Only thing was, she couldn't do much. Yes, he was visibly hurt but on the inside - that's where the real demons lie. He would spare her the details of him going into that fight knowing full well the low possibility of making it out alive, let alone unscathed. He was at an all time low, and he hated being, feeling so vulnerable. It was increased tenfold when this female brought out things in him he had no idea even existed.

Some of those things scared him beyond a point he was willing to admit.

"I am very aware of my mortality, Amy," the ebony male started, but fell into a coughing fit soon after.

"Are you? Because this was stupid even for you," she immediately shot back, her voice didn't waver. The water works were over for now at least. He felt relieved.

"Perhaps, but I saved you regardless, did I not?"

"At what cost? It wouldn't have mattered if you charged in on a unicorn if you had have fucking died." Taken aback by such language from her of all people finally opened his eyes to just how upset she was. Didn't lessen his confusion, however.

"So I got a few cuts more than I usually would have. You were in danger, I acted. Where's my thanks?" The male growled, getting irritated. Shadow nearly sneered, but his head too bad. He wanted to rest already.

Amy, on the other hand, did bare her teeth and almost slapped him too. Instead, she turned to the sink cabinet in the bathroom they currently resided in. Fishing around for the first aid kit, she spoke under her breath, "You're unbelievable."

"Wouldn't be surprised. I was made to do the unbelievable-" he stopped when he heard a sob. 'Damn this emotional woman.'

"I swear if you weren't hurt and covered in blood, I'd beat you to a pulp myself!" Amy hissed, tearing the kit from within the cabinet and slamming the door closed. "I dunno what I have to do to beat it into your thick skull that you could have died. If you can't care for your own wellbeing, who will?!"

"Certainly not you," Shadow muttered, unaware of loud it had been. Her moment of pause caused him to look up, but regret doing so upon seeing her face.

She looked...heartbroken. Heartstrings were being tugged. He didn't know he had those anymore.

"You think I don't care about you?" the sakura hedgehog questioned quietly.

The male almost blurted out a simple 'no' but he was vulnerable, and he was alone with the one person who actually made him feel. So when the next words flew from his mouth, he had to question whether or not he was still himself.

"You probably do. Just not in the way I want."

She didn't miss a beat, "What way do you want me to care about you?"

He looked away, knowing his eyes would give away what he was really feeling at that very moment. Even he now acknowledged the crimson pools were windows to his soul, though he didn't like it. "Do you plan to use that kit or interrogate and belittle me further?"

Amy said nothing. She simply took out the necessary tools to fix whatever she could see. A long gash across his cheek, several cuts up and down his toned arms with patches of fur missing, another set of slashes across his torso grazing his chest fur. A thick silence hung over the two as she worked to bandage him carefully. Shadow took it to finally ease his mind and reflect. Should he really be here, with her, like this?

He didn't trust himself.

"There, I'm done…" the female said softly, slightly proud of her handiwork. Cleaning up, she was startled when he stood up suddenly. "W-Where are you going?"

"Away. My job here as well as yours is finished."

"Wait, no! You're still hurt!" Amy made a grab for his arm, but he anticipated this and swiftly moved out of the way. Catching nothing but air, her forward momentum had her stumbling forward, head first into the counter. Or she would've had the ebony furred male's quick reflexes not saved her.

"You're in more danger just by being clumsy. I'll be fine," he said, standing her back upright.

"You never answered my question though."

"Nor am I staying to do so."

The sakura girl wiggled out from behind him and stood in the doorway of her bathroom. Her boldness once again took him by surprise, and she managed to push him back far enough to close the door and lock it. "You're not leaving until you tell me what's wrong with you."

"Oh, is that so? What gives you reason to believe something's wrong?" Shadow scowled. Temptation to simply toss her aside was growing.

"You're doing that thing you do when you try to hide your emotions. Get all defensive and rude, and you try to run, but I'm not letting you run this time Shadow the Hedgehog," Amy said, standing her ground.

Crimson stared into jade. Searching deep for any hesitation, even the slightest hint.

"Then what do you propose I do, Amy Rose." This was no question, this was a statement. With a face so blank, she had a hard time deciphering what he was silently trying to tell her. It wasn't going to be easy getting this out of him.

"Talk to me. It's just us, and nothing you say will be spoken of," she tried.

"We're speaking now, I've said what all I've needed to," he quickly shot back.

"No, you haven't. Answer my question, let's start there. In what way do you want me to care about you?" the girl asked once more. Her hand rested on the doorknob in case he attempted to go for it.

Shadow's eyes bore into hers with such an intensity, Amy nearly felt the need to cower away and let him leave. But she wouldn't let him get his way, her resolve was absolute.

He sighed, "It's not like you'd understand-"

"Try me. I have all the time in the world for you to explain."

"Well, I don't. I have things to do, now move," Shadow growled.

"You're not leaving this goddamned bathroom until you answer the question," Amy said, with a slight raise in her voice. Her bold antics didn't get the best of him this time however.

"Amelia, if you value your safety, you'll move out my way." Jade orbs grew just a bit at the threat. He'd done so before to get her to comply to his orders, but it was a rare occurance to hear him call her by her birth name. She felt scared, but she couldn't let it show.

He wasn't going to win.

"You wouldn't hurt me-" the girl gasped as the male slammed his hands on either side of her head, trapping her against the door. He leaned in towards her, his breath on her ear a sure sign of how close he was.

"I wouldn't? Are you certain?" Shadow whispered lowly, dangerously low. He had no idea what he was doing at that point. This female, this damned female had a way of messing with his head without him realizing it. She had to be scared, she had to back down soon. He didn't want to dive into the dark places of his mind; not now, not ever.

In his state of momentary distraction with his inner self, Amy once again threw caution to the wind and grabbed his face to push him away. Before words could be exchanged, she rushed up on the tips of her toes so her lips met his. A battle for dominance started right after, calling his bluff.

This wasn't their first kiss. An 'experiment' she had called it the first time; the second had been a lapse of judgement on his part. Every time after had been dubbed a mistake by him, reassurance he was still loved in some way by her. The relationship between them was conflicted and rocky. Yet, he still found himself gravitating towards her no matter what he did. A thorn in his side, true to her surname, of a rose most deadly.

He hated these feelings.

He hated her.

And he'd be lying if he said he didn't crave her more because of it.

She made him feel alive, more alive than he had felt in all his years of existing. Mortality was a fickle thing he had never indulged in the thought of. Shadow the Hedgehog, Ultimate Lifeform, a creation of what was supposed to be pure perfection, dying? He scoffed at it many times, but this last time of insanity driving him to recklessness...he knew he wasn't coping with the idea lightly.

You can only be brought to the brink of death so many times before finally opening your eyes.

With the ebony male in his head, it wasn't long before the two pulled apart gasping for air, Amy took this as a win. Shadow leaned his forehead against hers, eyes clouded over in the haze. Jade stared into crimson, absorbing all the emotions running wild. Hurt, anger, fear, sadness-

"Shadow…" she breathed. The girl embraced him and slid down the door until they were both sitting on the cold tile floor. The male had always prided himself in being strong, but the way he squeezed her to his body spoke volumes words couldn't express.

"I'm scared Rose," he whispered. A voice so small, so unlike him, she saw just how broken he had been, hidden beneath his facade.

"Of what?"

"I've been wanting to die."

Amy looked into his eyes again as they stared off into the whiteness of the door behind her. Dull blood red orbs. He was shutting down. So, she spoke her next words carefully, "Why? Have you lost all reason to live?"

A flicker of life was brought back, and Shadow focused on her. "Losing reason to continue is not what caused this. It's because of those reasons...I push myself beyond my limit, testing this mortality idea. I'm fully aware that I can die, but will I actually be dead?"

The sakura female said nothing for the shortest of seconds before leaning against his chest. The thump of his heart inside picked up in pace ever so slightly, skipping a few beats. "When your heart stops, then you will be dead. Despite your origins, we are no different. I said this before, you're going to bleed like everyone else. It's up to you, whether or not you die before your heart does."

The bathroom was once again silent. The male gazed at the girl in his arms that he still held so tightly. The inner voice inside had been extinguished for the first time in a long while. He instead focused on her words. It was up to him if he died on the inside…


Said hedgehog released a breath he didn't realize he held before answering, "Yes?"

"What way do you want me to care about you?" Amy asked a final time.

He thought for a bit. The answer had been clear before, but now - he wasn't so sure he knew. Reflecting on the interactions between them, he was certain that he needed her. In what way was unclear. They've been through this so many times before; fighting and arguing. It was no fairytale relationship, like the one she dreamed of with another. Quite far from it, yet she stayed by his side. And all he knew was that she made him feel alive. She made him feel.

Without her, he'd have probably died on the inside ages ago.

"Do you love me?"

Amy moved back and looked him in the eyes. "Of course I love you," she muttered, almost hurt.

Shadow shook his head, "I...you...I need you, Amy. I need you forever." He finally admitted it out loud. Those crimson pools bore into her for the second time, trying to convey what he couldn't say. The sakura hedgehog closed the distance between them a second time in a kiss. There was no fight, only two beings existing with one another. The passion behind it so subtle, it was barely there, but enough to reassure Shadow he was loved.

Mortality was a scary thing for him. The thought of leaving her behind, or worse still, her leaving him was terrifying. He had to accept the reality that it was inevitable. Getting attached to this girl caused him to feel things he thought he wasn't capable of feeling anymore. And with it came the fear of death he had when Maria was still alive.

He figured he no longer had a purpose but to lay his life down for his past wrongdoings, and hoping that day would be his last in this debt he didn't ask for. But Amy...she changed that and he hadn't been prepared for it. Now -

"I may not have forever, but I promise I'll be with you for the rest of my life," Amy sighed in between kisses.

Something wet suddenly trailed down his cheeks and onto the girl. He was crying.

"I love you," Shadow breathed against her lips when they pulled away. She rest her hands on his bandaged face as he let tears fall from his eyes. He was mortal. Just as she was. She was going to be with her as long as mortality let her.

Hopefully it was kind enough to give them a while.