I'd already planned much earlier on updating this week, but in light of what's happening on twitter, it seems very fitting to drop this today. Because you know *makes vague hand gestures* we be tired of Sega's Emotion-and-Friendless-Shadow-Agenda.

If there's one scenario in particular you'd like to see, don't be afraid to drop it below; I'm always up for suggestions!

iv. the talk

After a couple more sleepless hours, he decides to get up and start with his day. A morning run and gym session later, and he resigns himself that he will need to talk to Amy (and then Rouge, during their lunch break) about the pregnancy. Hopefully, his partner and coworker will have some solid advice to give.

Then, during his shower, Shadow also makes peace with the fact that, while communication is key for a healthy relationship and he knows it, he sucks at communicating.

While he can express his thoughts well enough on a daily basis, when it comes to putting his feelings into words, Shadow can't say he's the most skilled in that department, and it's one of the few things the Ultimate Lifeform can't do perfectly, much to his shame. But he can express his feelings through actions rather well, and that's why Amy doesn't doubt his love for her, even when he doesn't say the words aloud much.

The way her eyes brighten and her features soften whenever his thoughts finally find their way past his lips is something he will always hold dear. He remembers a few months ago how she'd gripped his arms tightly and shivered when he admitted he missed her, how she'd been pliant and soft but still full of fire as he loved her through the night.

And that's why he has a positive pregnancy test and a pair of baby shoes in a box on his nightstand.

Shadow doesn't regret that - even if he's questioning his own capabilities of being a father, he doesn't regret any of that - but they need to talk and come up with a plan, or something else to guide him through this.

Not to mention, he really wants to know why she'd been so skittish when he arrived. He'd thought she'd be bouncing off the walls in ecstasy at the news.

Shaking his thoughts away, Shadow carefully flips over the thin crepe on the pan. He figured something more elaborate was appropriate for the occasion, like a small unofficial celebration of sorts, so he dug up one of Amy's favorite breakfast recipes and set about to cook it. The sweet crepes are sure to cheer her up, and it's just his luck that they bought her favorite berries a few days ago when they went grocery shopping.

Personally, he's more of a savory breakfast kind of guy, but he wants to dote on her a bit this morning. Yet another wordless way to show how much he appreciates her.

Cooking isn't an activity he partook in much in the past, but since he started dating Amy, he's grown to enjoy it. It gives him something to kill time and be useful at once, and he rather likes the tender look on his wife's face when he cooks something for her.

He's preparing her latte the way she likes best when Amy enters the kitchen still in her pajamas, but with a fluffy bathrobe wrapped around her frame to keep off the morning chill. The weather has been steadily getting colder, and it won't take long until Amy will want to enjoy weekend afternoons wrapped up in a blanket, watching movies in the living room.

Even if her chick flicks are awfully boring, he doesn't mind it; getting to relax with her in his arms for an afternoon is rewarding enough.

She trudges over to him in a still half-asleep state and tucks herself into his back, wrapping her arms lazily around his waist and mumbling into his spine. "Good morning."

Turning around in her hold, he leans down to greet her with a morning kiss, gently nuzzling her cheek with his nose. "Morning, Rose."

Amy smiles widely and rests her chin on his chest, craning up her neck to look at him. He remembers how she once said she liked the way he spoke both her names; somehow, he makes Amy sound intimate, and there's something romantic about Rose when it's said in his voice that makes her heart flutter. Shadow can't say he does anything different to warrant such interpretations, but if it makes her happy, then he's not going to stop or change.

"I made crepes," he says, lightly nudging her to get her to move to the table, but she doesn't budge.

"I knew something was smelling good." She's still smiling sleepily, and he almost feels bad for having to disturb her, but the food will soon get cold and they need to talk. It's best they do that when she isn't standing.

Shadow places the plates and mugs down on the table, pulling back the chair at the head for her to sit, then takes the chair to her left for himself. His plan of cheering her up with food seems to be working. Getting her to eat enough the previous night was a trial in itself, but this morning her appetite has returned to normal and Amy eagerly digs in.

It's a quiet meal save for the TV he had turned on earlier to listen to the news as he cooked, and the lack of chatter coming from her would have been disturbing if it weren't for the fact that she's too busy savoring the crepes to speak. Shadow watches her eat once he's done with his smaller portion, sipping on his black coffee as he waits for her to be done with her meal. Once her plate is sufficiently clean of food, he lowers his mug to the table.

"I am curious about something." She makes an inquisitive noise, turning her head to look at him. There's a bit of fruit compote on the corner of her lips, and his own quirk slightly at the sight as he reaches out to wipe it clean with a napkin. "Why were you so nervous yesterday evening?"

Amy chokes on her last bite of crepe and stammers a bit too much before replying, "I-It was nothing, don't worry about it."

"Don't try to lie to me, Amy, even if you think it's a small matter." Her shoulders shrink at the reprimand, and suddenly the tablecloth is very interesting to her. "What is it?"

She winces and begins tracing mindless patterns on the empty space beside her plate, still refusing to meet his eyes. "I- ah- I was... Afraid of how you'd react..."

His frown deepens. What is she talking about? "Please, elaborate."

"I was afraid that you... You would react badly towards the idea of- of being a father." Amy gulps, curling into herself with a grimace. "I couldn't stop wondering if you'd like it? Hate it? If you'd be happy? Are you happy?"

Shadow fights the urge to pinch his nose. Instead, he inhales deeply a few times, trying to ward off the sudden pang of pain that clutches his heart at her words. "Is that why you met with Rouge?"

Amy nods slightly, still picking at the tablecloth. "Yeah. I-I was freaking out a bit so I asked to meet up with her. S-She said you'd need some time to get used to the idea of being a father and... That you'd never abandon me. Us."

Shadow rubs his temples with his fingers as a slight headache threatens to form in response to the burst of emotions within him. He is somewhat angry and definitely exasperated, but most of all, he's hurt. Hurt that, if even for a second, it crossed her mind that he would leave her and his unborn child, though he reasons he can't blame her for it entirely; Shadow never hinted that he would be okay with such outcome.

He pushes all the hurt down with a calming breath and tries to find some balance. With Amy in this current frazzled state, he has to remain rational so this won't blow out of proportions.

Lowering his hands, he turns on his chair to face her fully. "Don't ever dare to question my happiness when it comes to you." His voice is both soft and firm, and the instant reassurance makes her shoulders loosen up some.

Shadow exhales slowly and reaches for her hand, pulling it away from where she's picking at the floral pattern. He pauses for a moment to find the right words to say to her now. "Rouge is right," he says finally, holding her bare left hand in his and thumbing the golden band around her finger. "I do need some time. Do you want to know why?"

Amy nods, turning her face away to try to discreetly wipe at her eyes with her other hand. Shadow frowns at the gesture; he's made it clear plenty of times that she doesn't need to hide her tears from him, but he also understands her desire to appear strong.

"Because I never thought I'd have this. To have friends? Sure, I warmed up to the idea over time, but to fall in love? Have a family? I never planned for it, never saw it in my future." Gently, he brushes his thumb over her knuckles, noticing how her hand trembles in his own. "I once had to come to terms with my feelings for you and learn to understand them. I had to do it again when I realized how badly I wanted to stay by your side for as long as you'd have me. Now is the same. A child is a big change, and it's a part of you, a part of us, that I will cherish wholeheartedly. I told you before that I will take all that you give me and embrace it, and this child is no different."

Her whole frame is quivering now, quiet sniffles mingling with the droning of the TV on the background. Shadow tugs on her arm until she rises from her seat and stumbles over to him, clumsily settling on his lap before tucking her face into his neck. He wraps his arms around her and presses a kiss to the side of her head, huffing quietly as her tears soak his pajamas.

"Get that idea out of your head, Rose," he muses in a murmur, and Amy presses her face deeper into the crook of his neck with a wet sob. "And to answer your question: yes, I am happy."