Sonic used to be a big part of my life growing up, and it was then that I entered my first fandom and started making my first fanworks. Though still not perfect, I can safely say that I'm only this fluent in English thanks to this funky blue hedgehog that got me writing when I was like... 10 or something. I don't know, it feels like it all happened a LONG time ago kajshajjh
Now that I am locked at home because of a pandemic with my love for the franchise rising from the ashes (my Sonic Renaissance, as I like to call it) and nearly getting stuck in a writer's block, I thought it would be fun to relive the good old days by rewriting some very, very old fanfics. I'm back to where it all began.
I have other stories to be rewritten and some ideas that never saw the light of day that I might tackle, but I make no promises. More often than not, I bite more than I can chew kahfkasj
Altough many years have passed, I still have no clue what I'm doing (especially now that my writing is suffering terribly from the block), but hey, I made a playlist! The link is up on my profile. Enjoy!
"Does it really take that long to get here?" Rose complains, mumbling against the rim of her cherry red mug. "The food will get cold."
It won't, he knows that for a fact. The roast needs to stay in the oven for an hour more, as she'd said earlier, and though all of the ingredients are prepped, she hasn't started cooking the rest of the meal yet.
She pulls her half of the fleece blanket tighter around her body, a soft carmine throw blanket that he allowed her to drape over his shoulders upon his arrival, long before she weaseled her way under it as well. The flowery smell of the laundry detergent is so sweet it irritated his nose at first.
Shadow pretends he doesn't see as she gives him a side eye glance, and continues to watch the flames flickering in the fireplace as he sips on the hot chocolate he'd been offered in a matching cherry red mug. He hadn't told her how he prefers to take his drinks, and yet she got it right. Just the right amount of sugar and no marshmallows, a rich, creamy beverage that warms his chest after every sip. She must remember it from some past Christmas dinner, one of the few Rouge managed to drag him to.
Rose takes a sip from her own mug before lowering it to the overly soft and fluffy rug beneath them, one that is sure to trigger an allergic reaction on someone, then folds her legs and draws her knees up to her chest. "You should hang out with us more, Shadow." She says, resting her cheek on her knee to give him a smile. He only glances at her from the corner of his eyes and stiffens when she pats his hand lightly, which goes unnoticed by her. "I'm so glad you could come today."
Shadow makes a noncommittal noise and turns his attention back to the fire. He can imagine how surprised she is that he actually decided to attend to her dinner party, when most expected him to not come at all. Not only that, he was the first to arrive, beating even the blue faker, who boasts himself as the fastest thing alive. Shadow certainly takes some amount of pleasure from this small victory, not that he will ever tell anyone.
"It'd be good for you, you know." Rose continues with her one-sided conversation, having turned her face forward again. "I mean, I don't know how you can stay locked up in your house for too long without going crazy, and... Everyone needs some degree of social interaction."
He remains quiet, and yet mentally replies to her observations anyway. It's not that he stays inside during all of his free time, but rather that he likes to spend it alone in some quiet corner to wind down after long missions issued by G.U.N., away from the grey buildings that constitute the dorms provided to some of the soldiers. Shadow does partake in get togethers with Rouge and Omega occasionally, some of which involve him having to carry dozens of shopping bags more often than not.
They're a team, but still he and Omega are the ones most deployed by G.U.N.; Rouge still has living relatives and meaningful ties with other people, and thus she's given longer breaks. For the most part, he is too busy with missions of every kind to attend to those random, frivolous parties the faker and his friends like to throw for no reason.
Even when his schedule allows, he would rather spend his scarce vacant time doing something for himself rather than socializing. Rouge's idea of relaxing is having a spa day or drinking wine with friends; his is a stroll in the woods, tinkering with his bike, and maybe taking a dip in the lake.
And yet, here he is, sipping on hot chocolate in a living room that belongs to none other than Amy Rose, having accepted her dinner invitation and showing up with time to spare no less. If asked about the sudden change of heart, he would merely tell the person to mind their own business, but the truth is that a home cooked meal sounded tempting after this last grueling mission.
That, and he's grown... Quite fond of Rose, and it's something he doesn't admit to himself on most days, let alone to other people.
Sure, she may have been annoying sometimes with her nearly obsessive infatuation for the blue idiot and her tendency to random outbursts of love confessions, but even back then she'd shown an odd amount of admiration and faith in Shadow, even when they were basically strangers and he did many questionable things.
Eventually, she matured; war does that to people, and it changed her perspective and made her see the world through different eyes. Although some of her girlish bubbliness is gone, her optimism remains the same and drives her forward, determined to make the world a better place.
Her moods are still as explosive as ever, though.
They have worked together many times afterwards, have crossed paths on occasions to and from missions of their own, and it was only after these random encounters that he found himself able to hold an actual conversation with her on days when they weren't rushing to go anywhere. Her cheerfulness is refreshing, and if he has the time, he will stick around to listen to her nonsense just for the sake of it.
She's sunshine incarnate and the embodiment of spring, and like some degree social interaction is good for everyone, sometimes one needs to step out of the dark and into the sun lest they forget what it is like to feel the light.
Ever cunning and perceptive, Rouge noticed such behavior and brought it to attention once, when Rose had stopped to greet him as he accompanied the bat in one of her shopping sprees. "Never thought I'd live to see it happening," she said after Rose had left to resume her errand run. "You taking an interest in someone. In Amy Rose, no less."
To this day, he still doesn't know what it was that Rouge saw on his face to come to that conclusion. At the time, he'd only leveled her with a glare and distracted her the best way he knew how, by reminding her they were standing just outside a jewelry store, and thought it was the end of that.
But now, as he recalls the surprised look on Rose's face when she answered the door to find him standing there, and the comment she'd made on how early he was, Shadow comes to the conclusion that Rouge hasn't forgotten about it at all and purposefully had him arrive earlier than the others to give them some time alone.
While he does feel a twinge of annoyance at the bat for pulling such move, at the same time, he feels almost grateful for it. Even in this gray, snowy afternoon, Rose continues to glow like a ray of sunshine, and he soaks in her brightness to the point where the blanket nearly becomes suffocating around him.
As usual, he can't decipher his feelings when it comes to the pink hedgehog, finding them to be alien and confusing, but he does know he enjoy her company. On a different level than he enjoys Rouge's or Omega's, or even the faker's, strangely.
"You know..." Rose plays with the frayed ends of her throw blanket, mindlessly braiding the strands. "It's weird- weird that Sonic is going to bring his girlfriend."
He glances at her from the corner of his eyes, observing her restless fingers. She doesn't notice, too caught up in her musings. "I don't mind it, really- well, not anymore. I was too young, caught up in the rush of having a first love. At the time, it seemed like everything, bigger than life itself or anything else I knew."
While he may not understand many feelings and emotions himself, he'd known that her love for the faker had bordered on the line of obsession, and her feelings blinded her to her dear hero's discomfort most of the time.
He doesn't know what drove Rose to overcome her crush on the blue hedgehog, or the full story behind this change, but he heard from Rouge how awkward it was to be around them when they were still figuring out this new entirely platonic relationship on both sides, with Sonic learning not to bolt away from her at first sight and Rose seemingly lacking her biggest "personality trait."
Truthfully, Shadow himself found it hard to believe that Rose had suddenly lost interest in he hero, but thought it to be for the best; one less person to inflate his ego.
With Rose no longer pursuing the faker, Rouge had gone on a tangent of how good this change would be for the pink hedgehog, and that she would teach her how to love herself first and foremost. Shadow had stopped listening as she went into detail about her twenty-five step plan on self love and self care, but looking at Rose now, he can see that Rouge's plan worked.
He's noticed it for quite some time, actually.
"I've made my peace with the fact that he would never return my affections, and worked hard to put these romantic feelings behind me." She smiles slightly to herself and picks up the red mug from the floor, cupping it in her hands before taking a sip. "But I lost so much time running after him. I could've flirted with more guys!"
Shadow can't stop his lips from tugging into a small smirk. No doubt, it was Rouge who put that idea in her head.
Rose is working hard to move past that image of fangirl and to build a solid reputation for herself based on her virtues alone, and though her feelings have shifted into familial love, tonight is the night when Rose will be put to test. To hear from Sonic himself that he is dating is one thing; to see him with another woman hanging off his arm is another.
If Rose hadn't overcome her feelings, she would have freaked out long ago. But as Shadow looks at her now, so at ease and at peace in her living room, her face glowing gold from the flames, lids lowered as she stares at her mug with a small smile on her lips, Shadow knows she will pull through seamlessly. He can't help but put his faith in her and repay the same kind gesture she did all those years ago, again and again.
Rose puts down her mug with a quiet sigh. "Sonic is dating her for... Five months now? Knuckles and Rouge-" she snorts lightly- "are together for so long that I don't even remember how long has passed since they announced their relationship. Do you ever wonder if they will get married soon?"
Shadow doesn't plan on replying, not that she gives him room to. "Oh, did you know that Tails is mustering up the courage to ask Cream out? He told me he wants to ask her tonight." She smiles fondly, her features softening into something warm and mellow. "And then there's us. Well, me, mostly- I don't think you find the prospect of dating very appealing."
Wide eyed and stunned, he turns in her direction slightly, but she's caught in a trance, staring at the fire. "Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with myself as I am, single and all, but I still want that. I want to feel the rush again, and the warmth and- ah!" Her face darkens to a fierce red, and she ducks her head to hide beneath her quills, ears flattening in embarrassment.
Patiently, he waits until it subsides, watching as she uncurls from herself and turns towards him, planting a bare hand on the fluffy rug to support herself. Still not meeting his eyes, he watches as her fingers move against the overly soft white strands, and his mind supplies him with an image of her hands playing with the tuft of fur on his chest. Unconsciously, he swallows.
She releases a breathless, quiet laugh and tilts her head up just enough to look at him from beneath her lashes. For a moment, his heart seems to trip on itself and warmth surges in his chest. "It occured to me- it'd be funny if we started dating, wouldn't it? I mean, we're both single. It'd be like killing two birds with one stone. Don't you think so?"
That notion is utterly ridiculous, like something Rouge would do, setting up her two best friends together to go on double dates or whatever. He has no interest in a romantic relationship, nor does he have the time to try to pursue one if he wanted to. But Rose is looking at him with bright, expectant green eyes and a playful smile, waiting for any kind of reaction, a chuckle or a groan or anything, biting her lips around a soft smile, and he...
His defenses lower, all logical thoughts escaping him as he closes the gap between their faces.
Air rushes out of her lungs through her nose, fanning his face gently as her shoulders jump on a hitched breath. Her lips are soft beneath his own, delicious from the drink they had, and he has to make the conscious effort to keep the kiss chaste.
Shadow leans back, breaking the contact as his mind reels to catch up with his actions. Rose lifts a hand to touch her mouth, parted softly in surprise, and he realizes belatedly that it might have been her first kiss.
"You talk too much," he says lowly, hoping to save some face, but he can feel his cheeks heating up in an uncharacteristic blush. Of course, she doesn't miss it, and her hand drops back down as a large grin takes over her face. He growls, "What?"
"Do it again?" Her eyes are wide and hopeful, shining with wonder, and he finds that he really can't deny her anything right now.
He's had to sit through enough chick flicks to have an idea of what to do, and as the Ultimate Lifeform, he feels confident that he can do it right. Rose's fingers wrap around the lapels of his leather jacket as he cups her cheek with a hand, guiding her face closer to capture her lips once more.
This time, she returns the gesture, sighing softly into the kiss and pushing up to meet his mouth every time they break apart. She clearly lacks practice or experience, but she makes up for it with enthusiasm, and he shivers whenever she touches a bare part of his body.
It's sweet, it's soft, it's heavenly, and he really wouldn't mind doing this again. Shadow wants her close for as long as he can, and soon his hands are on her hips, guiding Rose to her knees and pulling until she's straddling his lap. The added weight rips a groan from his throat, and she replies in kind with a soft noise of her own.
As hunger and urgency seem to grow, Shadow takes a metaphorical step back and releases her lips. It's her first kiss, the first one they share, and for once there is no need to rush too fast. Glassy eyes, flushed face, swollen lips - Rose maintains eye contact as she calms her breathing, her chest expanding under the snug red sweater she wears. Her hands rest on his chest, over the white fur and the extra layer he decided to wear today, to feel the rhythm of his beating heart.
"I didn't think you'd- take it seriously. Um-" She bites her lips, searching for words as her gaze focuses on the fingers gently caressing the fur on his chest that peeks from the collar of his dark grey sweater. It sends a thrill down his spine, but it's short lived.
The doorbell rings to announce the arrival of one of her guests. They steal a glimpse at the clock on the mantel and, judging by the time, he thinks it might be the faker. Shadow really wishes it were anyone else right now, or no one at all. He'd been quite enjoying the kiss and the alone time.
Rose stalls, refusing to budge from her place. He really would rather not have her move away, but she needs to answer the door before Sonic kicks it down and finds them like this. He gives her waist a soft squeeze and surprises the both of them by planting a brief kiss to her brow. "Go answer the door," he says quietly, and she manages to extract herself from him when the doorbell rings again.
Shadow wraps the throw blanket around his shoulders and watches as Rose opens the door to greet her guests. As expected, Sonic is the first to arrive with his girlfriend in tow, a chipmunk dressed in a sky blue coat. Rose doesn't hesitate to hug her in greeting and welcomes them in, and Shadow sees as tension visibly lifts from the faker's shoulders at their friendliness.
Playing the part of good host, she takes them to the kitchen to offer them drinks, and Shadow uses that opportunity to stand up and pick up their dirty mugs. He turns to see her returning from the kitchen with a hot chocolate pot in hands and a bright smile on her lips. Behind her, the chipmunk continues to follow Rose into the living room as the faker grinds to a halt in the hallway at the sight of him.
"More?" Rose prompts quietly, lifting the pot up. She refills both mugs, and his lips twitch in response to the beaming grin she offers him, making her face light up in wonder. To her dismay, he's not about to give her a real smile with that idiot in the vicinity.
Shaking herself out of her stupor, Rose places the pot on a silicone mat and sits on the couch to talk with the chipmunk, Sally. Sonic sits by his girlfriend, carefully placing an arm over her shoulders, watching in bemusement as Shadow sits by Rose. She takes her mug back with a soft thank you and resumes the conversation.
If there's one thing he knows, it is that Rose will want to talk to him about it as soon as possible, and though his feelings for the pink hedgehog were difficult to understand before, now they are twice as complicated. The kiss has left him confused in ways he's never experienced before, and this is an uncharted territory that he doesn't know how to navigate. Shadow has no clue as to what he will tell her once the dinner party is over.
But as his lips continue to tingle and she frequently meets his eyes throughout the night, gracing him with secret sweet smiles, he realizes that these gestures make his chest grow warm with... Affection.
It seems he's really taken an interest in Amy, after all.