The space colony ARK reappeared many miles from the atmosphere, with Sonic and Shadow hanging on tight. The sudden movement caused Shadow to let go. Sonic quickly grabbed his hand and pulled him up along with himself.

Shadow shook Sonic's hand away as if it was poison. "Don't help me!" he snapped.

"But I wanna help you." Sonic smiled. "You helped me! Plus, you don't wanna die, do you?"

The question made Shadow think. Did he really have a purpose to live? The entire world thought of him as a fugitive, so he would have to live in the shadows again.

The long pause shocked Sonic. Did Shadow really want to die? Then again, he didn't know him that well. What he did know was that everyone deserved to live and Shadow was no exception. His thoughts were cut off by a cold dark voice that said, "I might as well."

Shadow looked at the space beyond the ARK. It looked so peaceful and free. He wondered what it would feel like to drop down from there. He knew that the atmosphere would brutally torture him, but he slowly considered it.

"You don't know what you're talking about, Shadow." Sonic argued.

Shadow turned to him with a cold and menacing stare. "And YOU would? What do you think would've happened if Maria hadn't saved me, huh? I would've either been dead or experimented on! I had a chance to die, and I'm not going to blow it the second time." He started leaning toward the edge.

Sonic had no idea what Maria meant to him, but she seemed like a major part of his life. He sighed and said, "Look, I may not know what you've been through, but let me ask you a question."

"Make it quick. Whatever you say won't change my mind." he confirmed with crossed arms.

"Did you even know why Maria saved you? She did it because she cared for you and she wanted you to live not only to make the people happy, but for you to live a happy life. She would've never saved you if she didn't want you to live."

"How do you know about my memories?" he snapped. Sonic's caring words really made him think, but he wasn't gonna tell Sonic that.

Sonic had no idea how he knew that. He looked into his rival's scarlet eyes and saw all the pain he went through. Even his memories rushed into his head. He put a gloved hand to his forehead with a surprised look. "I don't know.I looked into your eyes and I saw everything."

Shadow's dark expression changed to confusion. "What?" he asked startled.

"It's hard to explain-" Sonic started.

"No, tell me. You have my attention, Sonic. I'm listening." Did those words just come out of his mouth? By now, he could've jumped and died. Something about Sonic intrigued him. His inner conscience begged to hear him out.

Sonic finally got to him. It was true, he didn't know exactly what happened, but if that's what kept Shadow alive, he'll tell him. "I.I think it had something to do with the Chaos Emeralds."

The word "emerald" stuck in his mind as he looked into Sonic's eyes. They looked calm, yet hiding a great power inside.

Why did Sonic care so much about him? He barely knew Shadow and he was now preventing him from committing suicide. He was always caring towards people, one of the qualities that made him a true hero. He wouldn't be able to live with the fact that he had let someone die.

Shadow still gazed into Sonic's emerald eyes. They made him lose all train of thought and control over his feelings. "Y-You have beautiful eyes, Sonic." he blurted. Realizing what he just said, he turned away. Where did that come from? He knew there was no way that he was.well, that way.

A hand held his. "As you do, Shadow." Sonic replied, pulling Shadow closer to ARK.

"Huh?" Shadow asked, confused again.

"You also have beautiful eyes."

They faced each other with wide eyes. Their minds raced with emotions as their hearts explored a new feeling. Shadow slowly let go of Sonic's hand and looked out in space again. What was making him feel this way for the first time? It calmed the darkness and torment inside him, making him feel a little weird. The memories made him who he was: a dark soul with no purpose in life whatsoever, but the memories of his rival made him feel.different. The feeling grew stronger and hid all the darkness.

Sonic was also new to this feeling. He knew immediately that Shadow was never going to leave him. It confused him, but it made sense at the same time.

"Sonic, I feel weird. Do you know what this feeling is?" Shadow asked surprisingly.

"I might know what you're talking about. Tell me all about it." Sonic said in a caring tone.

Shadow slowly opened up to Sonic as he slowly explained the situation. "Well, it's hard to describe, but these visions and thoughts of you and your thoughts of me.What does it all mean?"

"Well.I think it means we really connect, and not just by the Chaos Emeralds." he slowly explained.

Shadow didn't quite know what this meant. His new conscience begged him to know. "So.what is this feeling?"

Sonic felt the realization dawn on him and it begged to know something. That something could never be spoken. "Um, like this." Sonic pulled him into an embrace. Shadow was shocked, but kept himself in Sonic's caring arms. He extended his arms and wrapped them around Sonic.

It was warm and touching for the two hedgehogs. They both held on as long as possible and then let go.

This new side of Shadow wanted more. He felt the connection at full force. His cheeks started to gain the color of his eyes. "Show me more, Sonic." Shadow begged him.

Sonic gave him a smirk. "Let me warn you: You may not wanna let go this time." The space in between their lips slowly disappeared. Sonic laid his arms around Shadow's shoulders. Shadow got an uneasy look on his face. Sonic pulled back once he noticed this.

"You don't wanna do this, do you?" Sonic asked with concern. He still had his arms around him.

"I do, really. It's just.my first time."

"Me, too. Just relax and let it flow. Now follow my lead." He got closer this time and Shadow was ready. His calming breath caressed Shadow's face.

Their lips touched and it was the best feeling Shadow ever felt. His mind relaxed of everything and the darkness disappeared. He put his arms around Sonic's shoulder and pulled him closer. Their tongues intertwined and the kiss was addictive. After breaking it, they both had dazed looks on their faces.

Shadow finally gained the ability to speak after a minute. "What is this feeling that's taken over my soul, Sonic?" He gave Sonic a questioning look.

Sonic smiled. "It's love, Shadow. It's the desire and affection for a person, and I have that for you."

Shadow gave him a startled look. The four-letter word had never meant anything to him in his life. Was he really falling in love with Sonic? He couldn't. He didn't know love. He can't have love. "Sonic, I can't do it." he refused.

Sonic connected a hand with Shadow's. "It's okay, we can take it slow."

Shadow shook his hand away. "No, I don't deserve this."

"What? Yes you do, Shadow. Everyone deserves to have someone that they care about."

"I made your life a living hell. How can you love me?" he argued.

"You helped me and I put all that aside. It doesn't matter anymore."

"I deserve to die." Shadow stated darkly.

"No one deserves to die. You live your life to the fullest and then you die. Don't give up now!"

"I have lived to my potential. There's nothing left for me. Goodbye, Sonic." he said, beginning to jump when a strong force pulled him back. He was forced to face Sonic.

Sonic had made his decision quickly. He held Shadow's hand tightly. "Either I'm going with you or you're coming with me."

"You're a hero. You need to live. Don't die because of me." He looked at Sonic with intense eyes.

"I.can't live without you." Sonic blurted out.

His eyes glowed with more intensity as Sonic said those words. "I don't understand you, Sonic. You have so much persistence and dedication. How do you do it?"

"I'm not afraid of taking risks. I do them for people I care about, including you. I can help you overcome your fear. You can't leave me Shadow. You know it and I know it, just admit it."

Sonic was right. He couldn't do it. His love was too strong for him to give up. No matter how much his mind tortured him, he still loved Sonic. He was willing to control it with Sonic's help. He laughed a little at his reaction to what just happened. "I guess you're right. Is that normal?" he asked.

"Of course." he said, leading him into the main entrance of ARK. He just saved a life, and he gained a new love.

Shadow calmly relaxed as he was led into the space colony that was once his home. The lights were dimmed and the main door that led to their friends and rivals remained closed. He remembered when Maria would chase him around this hallway. He was really going to miss her. Now he had another person on his mind.

Sonic felt a strong force push him against the nearest wall. Smooth hands pinned him there, never freeing his captor. He saw a pair of glowing red eyes look him up and down.

He smirked as he saw Sonic's shocked look. He saw him struggling to speak and put a finger to his lips. "You want it? You got it." he said slyly.

Not much longer after that, Sonic received the kiss of a lifetime. Love and lust filled his mouth.

Something more powerful than he could possibly be gained control of his actions. Everything came out and was revealed to Sonic. He realized that he fell in many ways.