Amy was sitting outside in the rain, just outside of Tsuko's home, while all around her the city was smoldering from Tsuko's raging fire. Her encounter with Lady Thorn…or, as it turned out, the real Amy, had changed her outlook on life. Tails lied to her…he said that she had merely been sleeping for all those years, when in reality, she was just a clone…

Shadow took notice of the distressed girl, and took it upon himself to talk with her.

"Amy? You okay?" he asked as he sat down next to her.

"I'm not Amy…I never was, I never will be. You know it, too!" she replied.

"I don't give a damn. For all I care, you are the original."

"Well I'm not. Get used to the notion."

"I'll try."

Shadow was silent for a minute. Amy continued to sit there, the rain dripping down her head, face and every other part of her. He heard Tsuko emit a piercing, echoing scream.

"Listen to that, Amy…Tsuko is fighting for someone he has lost…someone very dear to him. And from the sounds of things, he's losing."

"So?" Amy said unemotionally.

Shadow was aghast. "So? So! SO? Listen to yourself! You've lost all will to go on, just because you find out you're artificially made! I was too!"

"Well, you aren't a clone. You're your own individual…I'm just a copy. Those memories of being saved…they were all lies!"

Shadow sighed and threw his hands up in frustration. "If this is how you're going to be, fine! I'm going to go help Tsuko. You obviously are too weak to be of any help."

Shadow started off back towards the castle without another word.

-- -- -- -- -- --

All the while, Amy sat there, pondering. As she tried to dig through her implanted memories, something came up that seemed real to her.

Amy stumbled down the street, crying her heart out, and holding her hand over her left eye. Turning into an alley, she made her way into a seemingly random apartment building, right past the landlord's office. She made her way down the hall, and knocked on Apartment 1-R. The door opened, and there stood Shadow, holding a dripping chili dog in one hand.

"Amy!" Shadow gasped. He dropped the chili dog, staining his shoe. "What happened?"

"Bad fall when I was with Sonic…he…just left me…"

"That must have been some fall…are you sure this isn't Sonic's doing? He's been awfully mean and angry lately."

Amy feebly revealed her eye. It was bruised severely.

Shadow winced a little. "Geez, I wish I could take you to a hospital, but I can't be seen in public. I'll do what I can, though."

Amy dried her tears and smiled. "Thanks…you're such a friend…"

"You did help me realize the good in me…are you sure Sonic isn't beating you?"

"I'm sure." Amy was silent for a moment. "Shadow?"

"Yeah?"

"I need a hug."

"Well…alright." He did so, and then briefly left the room to get his first aid kit. He never needed it, but these days, Amy sure seemed to need it.

"Shadow…if something ever happened to me, would you…save me?" Amy asked as she held a cold pack over her black eye.

"I…guess so…at least I'd try."

"Thanks…"

Amy's reminiscing was cut short by another scream of pain. But it wasn't Tsuko's this time…it was Shadow's. She then heard Sonic's maniacal cackling. Somehow, it stirred something inside of her…then it hit her.

Shadow has always been there for me. The promise he made fifteen years ago…that he would always be there if Sonic ever treated me badly…

Amy stood up, but did nothing. Another shriek of pain from Shadow pierced the air. The feeling within became stronger. But still she did nothing.

A third scream, this timechanged by something of a gurgle, issued forth. Amy's fear and doubt turned to anger. Her tears began to stream down her face, and energy began to course through her. The burning feeling in her forehead that happened a week before started again. Finally, the energy erupted fully, and one final thought crossed her mind…

Shadow protected me, Amy Rose, he made everything better. Even if I am not real…I can still help Shadow…

She faced the castle, and after staring at the sky for a minute, took off.

It's time to return those favors.