Wow... Thanks to all you who reviewed; it's greatly appreciated:)

Disclaimer: Sadly, I don't own Sonic and co. Now, if I DID... grins

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this means the character is putting something in parenthesis

(this means I am making a comment in parenthesis)

this is to clear up any confusion about the time, place, and so forth

Chapter 2

Earlier in the morning

Tails' Workshop/House

Sitting alone in a dark room is Miles "Tails" Prower, typing away at his laptop.

It was 6:15 a.m. and the kit was getting tired from staying up. Tails had been

searching for any trace of Amy as Sonic had requested, which was what had

kept him at it for so long. As the fox's fingers went across the keyboard, pleas-

ant sounding clicks and clacks sounded. With one long, loud yawn, Tails slapp-

ed the laptop lid back down in compact form and wearily trudged back over to

his bed. Not bothering to undo the covers or take off his vest, shoes, and

gloves, the vulpine simply crashed in bed. At once, Tails was sound asleep,

dreaming of things only he could...

Machines.

Station Square

"TRAIN HEADED FOR MYSTIC RUINS DEPARTING IN 2 MINUTES."

Rushing through the crowd of people, we find a familiar teenage coyote.

Except for this occasion, she was wearing a white tank-top and a pair of jean

shorts. On her feet were a pair of simple brown clogs. As Casey Lynn rushed

through the crowds, her yellow bag, hung from around her neck, bobbed back

and forth, smacking against the coyote's thighs. Quickly Casey handed money

to the conductor and snatched a ticket, hopping onto the train just in time.

Adjusting her red glasses, she glanced around the car before plopping down

into a seat. Grumbling, she took out the information she had recieved. As she

refreshed her memory as to whom she was looking for, she felt a pair of eyes

upon her.

"What?" She snapped to the dingo-boy on the other side.

He was the only other occupant in this car besides Casey herself.

"N-nothing..." the teen hastily replied.

Ignoring his other continuous stares, SF8 searched through her bag to see if

everything she needed was there. Yep, everything was in check.

'Good...'

Docker's House

"Oh come ON Shad... I know how to be careful." Amy said with hands on her hips.

"Fine. Whatever you say Amy..."

Without another word, the red-streaked hedgehog left the kitchen to go get a shower. Hmphing, Amy just went back to preparing lunch. As she diced the lettuce and tomatoes up, the pink hedgehog couldn't help but wonder what her hero was doing now.

'Probably looking for me... He does that every time...' /

Sighing, Amy went back to concentrating on her task, trying to push Sonic into the farthest corner of her mind. It didn't take long before her train of thought diverted itself toward the one who had found her unconcious. Shadow. With a somewhat dreamy sigh, she tilted her head at an angle and started chopping a little slower.

'He's so much nicer around me than Sonic is... and he actually worries, too. Sonic only saved me because that's what he does; not because of ME.'

At this point, Amy had stopped chopping completely.

'I still wonder why he got so worked up about my problem with Sonic... Shadow also seems so much more... mellow I guess. (There ya go Darkie ) And about not revealing himself... why? Geez, he's more of a mystery now more than ever!'

Noticing that she had stopped, Amy resumed with her chopping. With questions swirling around in her head, the female hedgehog simply sighed again and continued.

Mystic Ruins Train

As Casey stood up, the train lurched to a stop, not jostling the other in the least. Grumbling, the coyote walked over and nudged the dingo awake. Slowly, his eyes fluttered open and he sat up. Yawning, he turned to Casey as she sighed in annoyance.

"Wha? Huh" the teenager said whilst rubbing his eyes.

"The train has stopped." Casey answered dryly.

Nodding, he followed her out.

(Casey's POV)

As I stepped onto the platform and the doors slid shut, I took out a piece of paper and started reading. Apparently, this was where the infamous Miles "Tails" Prower lived in his three-story (let's just say he added another story) house/workshop. It was here also that Sonic the Hedgehog came to visit his "lil' bro". However, I wasn't here for the partners in justice, (how... cliche) I was here to see if they had any info. on Sonic's so-called 1 fan.

Amy Rose.

I have no idea why Dr. Eggman refraining from calling him "master" wanted to take her hostage again. It never worked. Even three years after the ARK incident he still resorted to the ole "damsel in distress" tactic. Why, why, must such a smart yet twisted man always have to humiliate himself with such things if he can come up with something better? It makes no sense. Maybe when Sonic called Eggman "dumb" he was really on to something...

"Um, excuse me? Do you need help? Your paper says to find Tails' house; I can show ya."

Snarling I spun around to see that boy from earlier. Suddenly, it dawned on me that he had been looking at my paper whilst I was reading it! I tried to restrain myself from strangling the little mutt's neck to avoid making a scene.

"Excuse me?" I hissed.

Apparently, he took it I hadn't heard.

"Do you need help?" he repeated.

"No! Now mind your own business, MUTT!" I watched as he shrugged it off and hopped down the platform.

Slowly I waltzed over to the stairs and stared down to the ground. I could see Dingo-Boy talking to some scientist. Ignoring him I prepared to hop on top of the railing. I was much too lazy to use the stairs. But before I could get balanced, I was pulled off by the Mystic Ruins conductor.

"Jus' what do y'all think yo' doin' miss?" said a blonde-haired woman with a heavy southern accent. "Y'all could get hurt jumpin' off thare."

"As if I care." I rolled my eyes. Then I broke free of her hold and ran to the rail, summer-saulting over.

"Young lad-eh!"

Paying no mind to her frantic screams, I concetrated on the ground so I really wouldn't hurt myself. A soft thud sounded as I landed on the fresh grass. Standing up, I saw DB and that scientist staring at me. Come to think of it, everyone that was on the platform had rushed over, and were now leaning over the railing to see me. Others on the ground were staring, too. Ignoring all the eyes boring into my back, I walked toward the Wind-Tunnel. Soon everyone had dispersed. As I continued walking, I felt a paw on my shoulder. Yelping, I spun around once again; only to face that boy from earlier.

"Are you ok?" he asked me, eyes wide.

"Yes, I'm fine! You stare at me as if I grew horns on my head!" I spat.

"Well, it's not like people see that every day..."

"Yes, yes, very well. Now leave me alone before I hurt you!" I growled.

And he did.

Quickly I changed direction andjogged toward the mine cart in front of the Mystic Ruins Jungle. When no one appeared to oppose me, I hopped right in and let the cart take me through the gates. As they creaked open, the mine cart started going faster and faster. Gripping the sides, I crouched down so I wouldn't be blown away. Suddenly it started speeding around some tight curves, almost coming off the rails! Just when I thought it was going to break the sound barrier, it abrubtly stopped, throwing me out and sprawling onto the ground.

Picking myself up, I looked around to see a lush, leafy forest with rain dripping from the huge leaves. Fruit was hanging from some vines, bulging with ripe juices. I could just catch a glimpse of the beautiful sunset from an opening in the canopy. Crickets chirped, ready for night-time. The quiet whisper in the wind and the steady flow of the river completed the beautiful scene.

"¡Es magnífico!" I whispered. (It is magnificent!)

Walking over to the cliff's edge, I looked down to the steep incline.

'About four stories, give or take...' I mused.

'Lovely.'

Swiftly, I ran and jumped off the edge, taking off once my feet touched the ground.

Docker's house

(Shadow's POV)

It was about and hour after dinner, 9:00 p.m to be exact. Amy had made us dinner again which had tasted as good as breakfast and lunch. Tristan had retreated to his lab, thanking Amy and telling me to lock up before I went to bed. I swear, sometimes he acts as if he were my mom...

I grinned as I closed my sketchbook and placed it on my nightstand. Walking to my closet, I turned the knob and opened it, taking out my art easel and paints. Grabbing a few brushes, I walked out into the den (family room, living room...) and out onto the balcony. Soon I had my stool set up and my paints lining the paint-holder jutting out from the easel. Staring up at the stars, brush at the ready, I set my paw in motion. Gently, I made flowing strokes; blue, silver, gold, red, black... and pink. As I mixed the colors, I thought about Amy. She had grown up a lot, physically and mentally.

When she had talked to me, back at ARK, I had doubted her words. Had asked myself "Why? Why should those people be happy? They're the ones that made my life Hell..." But when she had looked at me, memories pleaded me to help them...

Which I did.

And when I was falling, I had truly felt happy. I had done Amy's bidding, and Maria was most definitely pleased. I was ready to die; didn't care how or how much pain I would be in. I just wanted to die, to be with her.

But the will to live was still burning strong in me.

I survived a trip through Earth's atmosphere, and survived the bonus crash-landing. I was barely alive when one of Tristan's colleagues had found me. Samantha McGrey had thrown me in her jeep and taken me immediately to Tristan's. And dammit, if the pain of the treatment hadn't killed me...

(Flashback)

"Sam, help me hold 'em down!" a three-year-younger Tristan shouted.

"I'm cumin' Tristan!" (she's Scottish) A woman with short orange hair appeared, pinning a struggling hedgehog down.

Screams emittted from the hedgehog's mouth; each wave of pain was seemingly worse than the previous one. The young scientists tried as hard as they could to cause as little pain as possible to the black and red hedgehog. As Tristan wrapped up Shadow's arm, he winced at the extent of the injuries.

Four hours later

Now, only a few moans escaped the hedgehog's mouth, as he lay on the bed in one of the guest rooms. Slowly, the door creaked open, revealing a pair of electric green eyes followed by a pair of orange ones. Sighing, the owners of these eyes closed the door and walked into the den, plopping wearily down onto the couch.

"Are you sure he'll be alright, Tristan?" the woman asked.

"Hopefully. All we can do is wait and let 'em rest..." Tristan Docker replied, sighing.

"I sure hope you're right."

Slowly Samantha got up and walked to the door, followed by Tristan. As she walked to her jeep, she pushed a strand of silky hair behind her ear. Climbing up, she turned to her friend.

"If you need anymore help Tristan, I'll be glad to come over again." Samantha assured as she revved up the engine.

"Sure thing Sam; I'll let ya know."

Smiling, the Scottish maiden drove off.

Trudging back into his house, Tristan made one more look into the guest room housing their injured "friend". This time, he found the ebony hedgehog in a deep sleep. Breathing a sigh of relief, the young scientist went back to his own room for a good night's sleep.

"I wonder... is that who I think it is..?" he wondered as he drifted off into a troubled sleep.

(End Flashback)

Yes, it hurt like Hell; but it had to be done. If it hadn't, I most probably would've died from shock, or drowned in my own blood! However, I had started to think of Amy, and how she had given me the understanding of Maria's true promise. It had taken away some of the pain, thinking of something else.

I shook my head, clearing it of the memories it held.

Looking down at my painting, I saw that I had really filled up the canvas. I scratched the back of my head self-conciously before getting up off my stool and walking over to the balcony. The evening stars glowed brighter than ever now, always trying to out-do each other. I laughed as the stars' rivalry reminded me of the stiff competition between Sonic and I.

"Shadow?"

I turned around to see Amy standing in the wide doorway. She was smiling.

"Did I just hear you laugh out loud?" she tried to stifle a giggle.

"What? Everyone laughs." I replied.

Grinning, Amy walked over to my painting. I could see her trace the strokes I made with her gloved hand. I walked over to her and circled the painting. Squinting my eyes, I stuck my tongue out at it. It was then that Amy burst out laughing.

"Eh, I reeeeaaally don't like it..." I stated, frowning.

"Shadow! Stop it, it's an awesome painting." She said while nudging me with her elbow.

Chuckling, I shook my head.

"No, seriously. I think it's a little too... pink." I decided.

Bad move. (cue ominous music)

Before I knew it, Amy had tackled me to the ground and was tickling me. And I was laughing. (oh yeah, big surprise there... pfft) As she went in for more, I rolled to the side, barely missing her squirming fingers. At first, I was confused.

"What did I do?" I screeched as Amy tackled me once again.

"C'mon! Say it, Shad! Pink is awesome!"

It was just too much. At that moment, both of us started to crack up. Amy rolled along the ground, clutching her side while I just started curling and uncurling into a ball, all the while laughing. Tears were flowing out of Amy's eyes. I can't really remember having this much fun since... Maria was alive.

With that thought, I immediately stopped laughing, regaining my composure as I walked over to the painting I had made. Amy wiped her eyes and stood up as well. A look of resolve appeared on her face as she walked inside and beckoned me to follow. Ho boy.

(Amy's POV)

As I sat down on the couch, Shadow brought his things in and set them down. Once he sat down, I cleared my throat. Shadow just raised an eyebrow and shrugged.

"Shadow... I need to know... Why didn't you come get us once you were well?" I asked.

Shadow closed his eyes as if debating wether to tell me and just exactly how he would say it.

"Well... I can tell you what I know, but the best way to get all the details would be to ask Tristan himself." Shadow replied.

I nodded slowly.

"For about a year I was hung up, broken legs, arms, internal damage, you name it; I had it. At times the pain was unbearable, excruciating. But after about a year and a half, I was fully recovered. I still couldn't run properly as I had before, and one of my hands... was unusable. It was paralyzed; no matter what Tristan or his two colleagues did, it never helped.

"So they operated. And when the operation failed... I got this as an asset..."

Shadow grimly took off his left glove, revealing a robotic hand. I gasped.

"It took me another half year to get used to it. In which three years had passed since ARK."

I fell silent as he slipped his glove back on. As I pieced everything together, shock, I guess I came to a conclusion that I then presented Shadow with.

"So... You were recovering the whole time? Couldn't you have sent a message"

Shadow sighed. "It's not that simple Amy...There's a number of things that could've gone wrong; my messages, in any shape or form, could've been traced by Eggman OR GUN. We... didn't want to take the risks."

"Oh."

Smooth. Real smooth Amy.

Shadow sighed once more and got up off the couch, beckoning for me to follow. I knew what he meant. As we passed the basement door, a loud "boom" erupted and whisps of smoke floated out from between the cracks in the door. Muffled coughing and cursing accompanied the loud explosion. Shadow chuckled as he lead me away toward our rooms, which brought a few giggles from me.

"G'night." He said as he shut his door.

"Good-night..." I yawned as I shut mine, making sure to lock it.

Slowly I put on my pj's and brushed my teeth, not bothering to take my socks off or comb my quills. As soon as my head hit the pillow, I swear I was out like a light.

Mystic Ruins Jungle

Quietly a black-clad figure crept through the underbrush, trying to get as close to the encampment as would be allowed. Voices were heard conversing and laughing around the fire, clearly enjoying themselves. A meerkat girl sat on a log, fiddling with a device of some sort, while a bat sat beside her, stuffing a s'more into her mouth. A few other furries and two overlanders sat around the blazing center of warmth, all talking with the greatest of ease. The spy slunk closer, carefully avoiding a twig and ducking beneath a low-hanging branch. Quick a a flash, the person whipped out a camera and started filming the scene. As the high-tech device panned around the camp, it froze on one familiar furry...

"Him?" SF8 hissed. Angrily she turned up the frequency on her SEH (Sense Enhancing Helmet) and peered closer.

"Yeah! She just leaped off the rail - which was about four stories high - and acted as if it was nothing!" The canine threw his arms up in the air, making Casey snicker.

Another dingo approached, followed by the two overlanders. The second caninespoke, laughing at the first's surprise. "Derech, you shouldn't be so suprised! There really are people out there fitter than you think!"

"Yes, but-"

"Just ignore it Derech; Marrin could be right yanno!" The male overlander spoke with a chuckle.

Snapping her head toward the overlander, Casey blinked. Something about him was familiar, she just couldn't put her finger on it...The spy shook her head as she crept closer to the meerkat on the log. Her eyes widened as she saw the bat stuffing two more s'mores into her mouth at the same time.

"Good God... does she have a hollow leg?" the coyote whispered to herself.

"We've wondered the exact same thing."

Lynn turned around to find an orange female chameleon leaning against a tree, eyeing the spy with an amused look. Cursing under her breath, the coyote sprang up from her position and brushed past the chameleon in an attempt to get away. She was, however, tripped up by the newcomer and crudely flipped onto her back.

"Goin' somewhere... spy?" Her opposer said.

It was then that SF8 smirked.

"Actually, I believe you were just leaving." She said as she planted her feet onto the other's stomach. The chameleon looked at her as if she had lost it, and yelped as the spy flung her backward into the tree she had leaned on.

Not checking to see if there was any afterward reaction, Eggman's lackey (however unwilling) activated her rockets and soared into the sky. Back on the ground SF8 could hear faint shouting. As she turned to check for any followers, she growled at what she saw.

That meerkat was putting on a little high-speed chase.

Eggman's base

Impatiently awaiting a status-report from his "most trusted" servant, was the good doctor himself. After taking a quick sip of his coffee, Robotnik took out a high-tech walkie-talkie, pressing a button on the side before speaking.

"SF8! Do you hear me? SF8!" he hissed.

At first static was the only sound coming from the device, until a blip was heard, followed by loud panting.

"Yes doctor?"

"Where are you?"

"Right now I'm hiding in the Mystic Ruins Jungle... I've run into a slight problem; nothing too serious, though!"The spy on the other end replied.

"Good. Deal with it and report back." Eggman sat back in his chair, ready to turn the communication device off.

"Yes sir."

Click.

Mystic Ruins Jungle

"Naranda! Are you alright?"

All the campfire occupants ran to where the commotion was, finding their scout unconcious. The male overlander walked up to the white bat gazing into the sky with a pair of binoculars. Without a word passing between the two, the furry passed them to the overlander. His eyes widened as he almost choked.

"What the Hell is she doing?"

Gem Nagem shook her head as she turned to the tall man.

"God only knows... Mik's never been right in the head." She replied. "Should I go after them?"

"Yeah. That crazy 'kat might do something stupid."

Nodding, the bat spread her wings and took off into the night, trying to find her friend before something nasty went down... Even if she knew Mik could take care of herself, it didn't stop her from activating her jets and zooming across the blue-black sky.

Tails' Workshop/House

Groggily Miles sat up and stretched, still tired from working so late. Glancing at his digital clock, the vulpine decided it would be good to get a shower before contacting Sonic. As he walked down the hall to get some towels, Tails chucked his vest, gloves, and socks into the washer, turning the machine on. Then he marched back to his room, dumping the towels in his bathroom.

A few minutes later, the kit stepped out of the shower, drying himself with the towels. Grabbing a new vest, pair of gloves, and socks, Miles Prower sat down on his unmade bed and got dressed. Once done, he got up and made his bed, going downstairs soon after for some much needed breakfast.

As the two-tailed kit munched on his toast and waited on his waffles, he wondered if Amy really was ok.

'Maybe Sonic WAS right... Eggman could've captured her! She could be in real danger!' Pausing to swallow, Tails gulped.

Ka-chang

Noticing that his breakfast was done, the smart little fox grabbed a paper plate and gingerly placed the still-warm waffles down. Grabbing the syrup and a fork and knife, he walked over to the table and sat down.

'Then again, I bet Eggman would've sent a ransom note if he had Amy... Yeah, that's probably it.' Miles smiled at the thought, licking his lips as he popped the first corner into his mouth.

'But I do hope she's alright.'

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Justa headsup, the updates may be shorter and may not come lickety-split; it's 3rd quarter and all my teachers are bringin' down the whip. XP I will try though, to update when I can. Thanks again for all'a you you reviewed!

Peace! ;D