It wasn't long before the three arrived at Helen's house. When her parents saw her they covered her with hugs and kisses.

"Sonic," Helen's mother said, looking up at the blue hedgehog with tear filled eyes. "Thank you for finding our baby!"

"It wasn't me," Sonic told her."Shadow was the one who took care of her."

"Shadow?" her parents said.

The black hedgehog slowly stepped into the light. He smiled a small smile and nodded.

"Mom, Dad," Helen said, looking up at them.

"Yes?" they asked.

"Can Shadow stay here?" she looked at the hedgehog. "That is; if he wants to."

"It's all right with us," her mother said. "If he wants to."

"It would be my pleasure," he said politely.

Suddenly her parents took her inside fussing over her and saying something about medicine and food. Helen was saying. "Mom. Dad. I'm fine. Really. Though I am a little hungry."

"Hey," Sonic said.

Shadow looked at the blue hedgehog. "Hmm?" he said.

Sonic winked and gave him a thumbs up. "Good luck with her," he said. "You sure are lucky."

Before Shadow could ask what he ment by that the blue hedgehog shot off into the night. What did he say that for? the black hedgehog wondered. How am I lucky?

"Shadow?" Helen called from inside. "Are you coming in? If not that's okay. You don't have to. I won't force you."

"That's okay," he said, heading for the door. "I'm coming."

Shadow shut the front door behind him once he was in the house and walked down the hall. He saw Helen sitting at a table in the dining room.

"Shadow," she said when she saw him.

He looked in her direction.

She reached over and pulled out a chair. "Want to sit down?" she asked.

He hesitated a moment then went into the room and sat down on the chair she'd offered him. "Are you happy to be home?" he asked her.

She nodded and smiled. "I am. Very much." she laid her hand on his. "Thank you for keeping your promise."

"Thank you for asking me to stay," he replied.

She smiled. At that moment her mother brought in a bowl of soup. Helen took her hand off Shadow's and started eating.

For awhile the two sat there and Helen told Shadow the story about how she'd gone with Sonic to her island and saw all her flowers. When she finished Shadow promised he'd take her there again some day.

Then the girl's parents came in and they talked a bit longer. This was the first time Shadow had been with a whole famly at one time. It felt comforting. Shadow enjoyed it. It felt right. He resolved to stay as long as he was able.

A few hours later Helen's father carried the girl upstairs to her bedroom. She got dressed without much help and slipped between the cool sheets of her bed.

"We are happy to have you home again, sweety," her mother said.

"I am too," Helen told her, smiling.

The girl's parents kissed her forehead, turned off the light and left.

Helen smiled and closed her eyes. She got comfortable. Just as she began to doze off she felt a hand brush her cheek.

She opened her eyes.

Moonlight illuminated Shadow's face. She smiled at him.

"Hello," she said. "What are you doing in here?"

"I just wanted to say 'goodnight,'" he told her.

"Good night."

He leaned over and kissed her. He removed his face a second later and said. "Sweet dreams."

When he turned to go Helen said, grabbing his arm. "Shadow."

He looked at her.

"Thank you for keeping your promise." she said again.

He smiled at her. "I always keep my promises," he told her.

"Want to sleep in here with me?"

He hesitated. "I don't know."

"Please," she said. "I'll feel a lot more secure with you in here."

He gave in. "All right."

She watched him climb onto her bed. He curled up where her feet were. She smiled and closed her eyes. "Good night, Shadow," she whispered.

"Good night, my dear," he said just as softly.

Helen relaxed and began to doze off once more. The last thing she felt before she fell alseep was Shadow snuggling up next to her and the safe secure feeling of being home.

This was the way she felt it should always be. I couldn't have it any other way...



Hehehee. It's finished. I hope you all enjoyed reading it. Sorry the end came so suddenly. I ran out of ideas. I felt I was dragging the story too long. All well. It's done. I think the ending was sweet. Shadow can finally be happy with his 'Maria' (at least until I see seasong 3 that is) Maybe I should do a fic where Helen goes to their world too. ponders Maybe. I'll have to see that season though. shrug Well I hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it. That's all for now. Bye. -