A/N: this fic was imspired by NamelessMoonshine 's Disappear and another fanfic. it takes place in the new Shadow the Hedgehog game coming out Cristmas 2005.

Disclamer: i'm not gonna say it.

In Central City, Shadow is running through the empty streets while holding a small black gem.

Looks like I lost them..." said Shadow, looking back over his shoulder.

"Are you sure?" came a mocking voice from above him.

Shadow looked up just in time to see half a dozen of GUN guards jumping down from a nearby building and falling just in front of him.

"Badnik! Return what you stole and surrender now! If you do, your retirement will be quick." said the biggest guard, who seemed to also be the leader of the group.

"I'm not a Badnik! And I will not surrender to you!"

"So be it! Destroy him and retrieve what he stole!" ordered the leader.

"Yes sir! AHHHH!" the other five guards rushed over to Shadow.

But Shadow was too fast and too powerful for them. With five quick chaos spears, the five guards were were killed.

"I do not want to kill you. If you run away now, I will spare your life." said Shadow to the last remaining GUN guard, the leader.

The big guard clenched his hands into fists. "I will never run away from you dirty Badnik!" after saying that, he too moved to attack Shadow.

Shadow dodged his attack to a side, and then he did a Thunder Chaos Punch on the side of his torso. It went through "You should have escaped when I gave you the chance..." whispered Shadow, and then he removed his hand.

Shadow looked back at what he had just done. "Why... why couldn't they just leave me alone...?"

He stayed there for a minute, and then he remembered where he was and started to run once again out and away from Central City.

Half an hour later, in the Angel Island. Shadow, having come back from his, walks to the shrine where Knuckles was standing.

"Shadow! Hello! How did the mission go? Did you get it?" asked the echidna.

"I got it." He gave Knuckles the gem.

"Excellent! Did you had any problems getting the gem?"

"No. The only problem I had were some guards. Tikal's chaos attract spell worked perfectly. Where is she anyway?"

"She's in her room. She has been in there since you left for the mission."

"Okay. Thank you. I'll see you around."

Shadow walked along the valleys as he passed Tikal's room, he saw the door open and couldn't help to look inside. But the room was empty, Tikal wasn't there.

"So, how did the mission go?" says a familiar voice behind him.

Shadow turned around, and saw that Tikal was standing right in front of him. Her face was downcast, her expression hidden by the shadow of her soft quills.

"It is done. Knuckles has placed the gem in the chamber."

Tikal nodded, and then looked up at Shadow.

Shadow could see Tikal's face now; she seemed both sad and worried.

"I'm sorry Shadow."

"Huh? Why do you say that Tikal?"

"I'm sorry I asked you to go fight, making you go to mission after mission for us."

"Tikal, don't worry about it. It's okay, really."

"No! It's not okay, damn it!" she yelled, and immediately covered her mouth when she realized that she had said a curse word.

"Tikal? What's wrong?"

"I'm sorry. It's just that... every time there's a dangerous mission, you are the only creature here that is powerful enough to do it... I know you never complain but... I'm worried about you every time you go out on a mission."

"You worry about me?"

"Of course I'm worried about you! I love you Shadow!" Tikal cried, before realizing what she had blurted out. She covered her mouth and blushed madly.

Shadow stared at her, blinking. "You love me?" he asked.

"Um, yes... I love you."

Shadow didn't know what to respond to that.

"Tikal... I'm sorry... I can't... I just... I'm sorry." said Shadow before turning around and running away

As Shadow ran away, Tikal fell down on her knees, wrapped her arms around her and wept. Why? Why did it have to be like this? Why did she blurt out her feelings like that? She just screwed things up! Now she had scared him away! At least she had him as a friend before, now she was sure she had lost him completely. As she though about that, she started to cry harder.

Shadow ran and ran until he was at the highest peak of Red Mountain. It was nighttime already, the moon shining brightly on a starlit sky. Shadow stood over to the edge and looked up to the stars in the sky.

When Tikal had said that she loved him, a million things went trough his mind. Even if he didn't admit it, he also had some feelings for Tikal.

But then, another thing came to his mind, a certain pretty human girl. Maria.

Even after over 50 years of her death, he still remembered Maria quite fondly. Everything that they shared, how she had loved him, how he had loved her... how risked her life to save his.


"Shadow, I beg of you, please do it for me... for a better future!"


"For all people who live on that planet! Please, give them a chance to be happy...let them live for their dreams."

"...no, Maria...No!"

"..please, Shadow, I know you can do it. That's the reason why you were brought into this world..."

"No! Maria! NO!"

"...Sayonara...Shadow the Hedgehog."



After Maria's death, Shadow hadn't been able to even look at another girl. Every time he did, he felt he was betraying her. Shadow closed his eyes and sighed. "Maria..." he whispered.


Shadow opened his eyes and looked around. That voice... it couldn't be! "Maria?" A faint image of Maria began to form, floating in front of him. "Hello, Shadow."

Shadow couldn't believe his eyes. How could this be possible? "Maria... is it really you?"

The translucent image nodded softly. "Yes, it's me."

"Oh, Maria... I missed you so much." said Shadow, he didn't move at all. All he did was stay where he was, looking at Maria's image floating in front of him.

"I missed you too Shadow." Maria moved a hand as to touch Shadow, but stopped herself.

She sighed, "We never did get many private moments, did we?"

"Too few," Shadow agreed.

"I always loved you Shadow, since the day we met, I loved you."

"I... I love you too Maria, with all my heart." replied Shadow, then he felt tears coming out of his eyes and down his cheeks. This was the first time he had cried.

Shadow placed a hand on his cheek and then looked at the moist in his fingers. "I'm... crying. Why?"

Maria smiled lightly, "It's because you're finally letting go of me."

Shadow looked at her, eyes opened wide "What! I could never do that to you!"

Shadow shook her head, "Shadow, all I ever wanted was for you to be happy. But that won't happen if you hold on to me."

"Maria..."Shadow reached out to touch Maria face, but he only touched thin air.

"I can't even touch you... this is so unfair!"

"I'm sorry Shadow. Why did you bring me back here?" she asked.

"I brought you back?"

She nodded, but said nothing more.

"Maria... well... I don't know how to say this..."

Seeing Shadow's reaction made her smile, "You're interested in someone else, aren't you?"

"No. Yes, well, maybe... I don't know."

"Shadow, it's all right. You should move on with your life."

"But... I don't want to betray you."

"Shadow, the only one you'd be betraying is yourself if you don't do what you feel is right. I'm dead Shadow; I shouldn't be part of your life now."

"But... you're right here."

"I'm just a ghost Shadow. I can't stay here with you."

Shadow could feel tears coming out of his eyes again. "I know... but I don't want to lose you again."

Maria shook her head, "I've been gone for 50 years. You shouldn't dwell on me more than you have."

Shadow just looked down as he cried in silence.

"What's her name?" asked Maria, changing the subject away from her death, since it was a painful memory for both of them because of the circumstances in which it happened.

"Tikal." said Shadow softly.

"What's she like?"

"She's an echidna. An ancestor of one of my friends. She's a very caring person, always thinking of others. She has helped every creature that has asked for her help, and never asked for anything in return."

Maria nodded, "She sounds like a wonderful person."

"She is" said Shadow. "But I'm not entirely sure of my feelings for her. I mean, I like her, I like her very much... but lately it's gotten... well more."

"You aren't sure if what you feel for her is what you feel for me?"

Shadow nodded his head and remained silent.

Maria sighed. "Please, Shadow, do me a favor... give her a chance. If things happen... let it. You won't be betraying me by doing that."


Maria started to fade away. "And please forgive yourself for my death. I never held you responsible. I choose to be with you and I never regretted a single moment of what we shared ...Sayonara...Shadow the Hedgehog."

Shadow reached out for where her image was floating just a second ago. "Maria, I love you, don't leave me again, please."

"Shadow, I'm sorry, I can't stay, but promise me that you'll give her a chance."

"I promise Maria... I'll promise you anything."

Tikal was lying down on her bed. She had stopped crying a while ago, but her cheeks were still puffy from before.

She was hugging an old looking teddy bear to her chest. She had had that bear since she was a baby, and had kept it ever since. She usually cuddled it when she was sad about something, and now was one of those occasions.

Tikal couldn't forget Shadow's reaction when she told him she loved him. Was it that he didn't felt the same way about her?

Just then, a voice was heard.

"Tikal, it's me Shadow. Can I come in?"

After hearing this, Tikal immediately sat up. "Shadow? Just... just wait a second please." Tikal stood up from her bed, running over to her dressing table to brush her quills and cleaned the tear marks from her cheeks as best as she could. She looked at herself in the mirror, she looked a little disheveled, but it was the best she could do without making him wait all day.
She didn't know why Shadow came back all of a sudden, but she wanted to look as good as possible for him. Taking a deep breath, Tikal opened the door to her room. "Hello Shadow." she managed to say with a smile.

"Hi Tikal." said Shadow in a low voice, almost a whisper. "Can I come in?"

"Please do." replied Tikal, allowing Shadow to step into her room and closing the door behind him. "So Shadow... what brings you here?"

"Tikal, I was never good with words, so I'm going to do this instead."

Before Tikal could ask what he meant by that, Shadow wrapped his arms around Tikal and leaned in to kiss her softly on the mouth.

This caught Tikal by surprise, but started to return the kiss after a few seconds. A moment later, Shadow broke the kiss.

"Shadow... does that mean that..."

"Yes Tikal... at least I think I am."

Tikal smiled; she could feel tears of joy fill her eyes. "Oh, Shadow." she hugged him, burying her face in his chest. "I'm so happy you feel that way. I was afraid you didn't like me at all."

"Tikal, I don't care. It's the person inside that body what I like. After all, we are both immortal. We'll be together forever."

"Shadow..." whispered Tikal as she leaned in to kiss him again, this time the kiss was more passionate. After a while they slowly broke and fell asleep on the bed holding each other.

As he drifted off, Shadow thought, for you Maria, anything.