Rabbit: Sorry for the update gap, I've been lazy, busy, and side tracked by other stuff. Thanks for the reviews, keep 'em comin'! Your comments make me strive to write more!

Sonic: Hey look it's me!

Knuckles: Am I a forgotten character?

Rabbit: No, you'll appear in due time, along with some other characters.

Knuckles: Sonic's in it just 'cause he has a couple of stupid theme songs. Big deal!

Sonic: Hey! You tryin' to pick a fight?

Knuckles: Yeah, I'll pick out your quills!

Rabbit: GUYS PLEASE! JUST READ! Ugh, men!

Shadow: Good thing I'm not a man.

Rabbit: Yeah-WHAT!

Shadow: Just kidding.

Rabbit: (raises eyebrows) Gee, Shadow, you scare me there.

Chapter4: A Pain in the Heart

Shadow and Michelle found a small, open field far away and safe from the chaos. Shadow was extremely tired from running. He was sprawled out on the grass, sweating. Michelle, who lost her backpack along the way, was lying next to him. Her eyes were wide open in shock, and her face was wet from sweat and tears. Images of her family being burned tore her heart. She saw the flesh of her mother slowly being melted away. Michelle rolled on her side and cried aloud. The graphic images tormented her nearly to the brink of insanity. She grasped her head and screamed for her parents and older brother. Sirens echoed in the dark streets. Explosions, crashes, and gunshots could still be heard. Shadow managed to walk over to the girl. He placed his hand on Michelle's shoulder in an attempt to comfort her.

"Michelle?" he whispered.

The poor child looked up at him, her eyes red from crying. Seeing this girl cry filled Shadow's heart with pain. He wrapped his arms around her and said, "They still might be alive. Don't lose hope yet." Michelle didn't know what to say. Shadow sat next to her with the three Chaos Emeralds in his hands. "The aliens might reach this area soon. I have to get out of here. But, what about Michelle…what would she do?" he thought. Michelle sat up and wiped her face. She looked out beyond the city. Shadow watched her from the corner of his eye.

"So much for the Valentine's Day dance," Michelle said sarcastically.

The black hedgehog faced her, "Are you alright?"

"I don't know," Michelle shrugged. "What are we going to do? We have no place to go, and I don't have money."

Shadow stared down at the emeralds, "What am I going to do with these?" Suddenly, Michelle shouted, "What the hell!" Black Doom had appeared before them. Michelle jumped to her feet, ready to run or attack.

"Black Doom," said Shadow as he stood up.

"Well done, Shadow. You've obtained three Chaos Emeralds, now hand them over to me."

Shadow hesitated for a moment, "No."

"What?"

"Before I give you anything, you have to tell me about my past."

Black Doom seemed a bit peeved since his dog snapped. "Hmm…" he glanced at Michelle. Shadow inched closer to Michelle's side to reassure her that she was safe. The black hedgehog was about 3'3'' while his human friend was 4'8''. Seeing the smaller creature protect the larger one almost made Black Doom burst into laughter.

The alien spoke, "You were created by Gerald Robotnik with some of my DNA, which makes you my slave. You were made to work for me, to destroy the world. You are the one who can activate the Eclipse Cannon. Your destiny is to destroy this wretched planet. But here you are getting involved with a human."

"I don't believe you!"

"Then what will you believe? You remember nothing of your past…" The alien looked at Michelle, "So, you've replaced that other girl? How foolish…you will end up dead if you stay with him." Michelle's eyes narrowed. Black Doom let out a laugh as four winged aliens appeared out of smoke. "Kill them and take the emeralds."

Shadow grabbed Michelle's wrist and ran into the streets. They dodged the aliens' blue beams, but when Michelle lost her footing, a blast came straight at her. Shadow protected her from the attack. "Shadow!" she screamed. He was fine, just a little bruised. Shadow curled into a ball and used a homing attack on the aliens; he bounced from one to the next, hitting them with great force. A motorcyclist was speeding towards them.

"Watch out, watch out!" Michelle shouted as she waved to the man. He came to a screeching stop. Shadow knocked the man off and hoped on.

"Hold onto these," said Shadow as he tossed Michelle the three Chaos Emeralds. She stuffed them into her pockets and got on. They sped off.

"I didn't know you could drive!"

"Yeah, I rock for a hedgehog."

Michelle laughed. The four aliens were catching up. "Why are we running? Go get 'em!" Michelle encouraged.

"I can't risk you getting hurt!"

Suddenly, one of the aliens grabbed the back of Michelle's shirt with its talons. It lifted her up into the air. "Michelle!" Shadow stopped the bike and spin dashed the creature; the girl was released. The Chaos Emeralds fell out of Michelle's pockets. They were glowing. Shadow immediately picked them up. A rush of energy filled his body as he stood there; the emeralds were now floating around him. A blue light surrounded his body as the sensation filled him up. "CHAOS CONTROL!" he shouted. Time seemed to stop as Shadow ran with even more lightning fast speed than he usually did. He caused a large amount of damage to each alien. He broke their bones, kicked their eyes, and pounded their heads. The flying aliens eventually became puddles of green slime.

"Whoa," was all Michelle could say.

The light around Shadow faded, and he was back to normal. "You okay?"

"Uh, yeah," Michelle nodded.

"Good. Let's go." Shadow mounted the motorcycle and Michelle took her seat behind him. "Rock on, Shadow," she said as she wrapped her hands around the hedgehog's waist. He stepped on the pedal and drove off.

Black Doom watched them leave.

"Is it okay to let them get away like that?" asked Rouge.

"Don't worry, I have plans for those two."


Maria and Shadow sat under a shady tree on a warm spring day. She sighed as she stared at the grass beneath her.

"What's on your mind?" Shadow asked.

"I wish I could go back to earth to feel the real softness of grass."

The simulation around them faded away.

"We've been living on ARK for years now, and Grandpa won't take me back home."

"Maybe I'll take you back one day."

"Maybe…but Grandpa doesn't…"

Shadow looked at her puzzled, "What's wrong?"

Maria shook her head, "Oh, its nothing. Come on, let's go eat cake!" She took her friend by the hand and they walked into the dining area. The blonde-haired girl cut two even pieces of chocolate cake. She handed Shadow his plate and smiled, "Its really good, I made it myself!"

Shadow stared at the food, "But I'm not hungry."

Maria blinked, "Oh," she looked a bit disappointed, but she smiled and said, "Okay." A few minutes passed and Maria was done eating. She moved her chair a little closer to Shadow and started a conversation: "Hey, were you serious about going to Earth?"

"Yeah, I suppose. I'd like to visit since I've never been there."

"You'll love it! It's really a beautiful planet! I could take you to all of my favorite places, if they're still there."

"When can we go?"

Maria frowned; could she really go with Shadow? "I don't know. My Grandpa is kind of…well, he doesn't want me to be alone with you…He even said that I shouldn't be your friend."

Shadow's eyes widened, "Why?"

"He says that you're going to be used to do something bad, but Grandpa didn't tell me what it was."

Shadow stared at the table, feeling hurt.

Maria held his hand, "But still, I like being your friend, and I know that you'd never do anything bad. I know I can trust you."

Shadow smiled.

00000000000000000000000

"There's no time! Hurry!" said Maria as she shoved Shadow into a space capsule. A crimson patch of human blood was stained on Maria's dress in the chest area.

"Wait, what're you doing!"

"Go, Shadow, go to Earth without me. Promise me you'll give it a chance. I want you to enjoy life," said Maria as she held onto the lever; fresh blood ran down her blue dress.

Shadow banged on the glass of his capsule, "NO! I want you to come! I can't live without you!"

"I'm sorry, but I can't," Maria pressed a button that opened a chute below Shadow's capsule. She began to cry, "This is goodbye, my friend."

Shadow could feel tears coming to his eyes as well, "NO, MARIA PLEASE! I DON'T WANT TO GO!"

"There they are!" a G.U.N soldier shouted.

"I love you, Shadow." Maria pulled the lever as she fell to the floor.

"MARIAAAA!" Shadow's capsule was dropped into space.


"Shadow, Shadow!" a girl's voice called. Shadow gradually came out of his tunnel of darkness and reached the light. "Unn…Maria…please…" he groaned sleepily.

"No, its Michelle, wake up."

The black hedgehog recognized this voice and was back to reality. He opened his eyes to find a familiar person staring down at him, "Uh…Michelle? What happened?"

"You fell asleep after we fought the aliens. A few minutes after we took off, you said you needed to rest because your head was hurting and then you fell asleep." Michelle wiped a bit of sweat from Shadow's face. "You were talking in your sleep," she added. "You must've had quite a nightmare."

"…Yeah."

"But, you're okay now, right?"

Shadow closed his eyes, "I'm not sure." Michelle kissed his forehead. The black hedgehog opened his eyes again to look at the girl. "Michelle…" he began, "I know that we're different…but…" Michelle blinked; she didn't really understand what he was getting at. Shadow continued, "I mean, you're so kind to me…you remind me of Maria…and…" He stopped.

"Go on," Michelle urged.

Shadow lifted his head off of the girl's lap to sit up straight, "Never mind, it's pointless." He stared at the water.

"Shadow…" Michelle trailed off.

There was an uneasy atmosphere around them; Michelle wanted to know what her friend was thinking, but he did not want to say it. He was afraid to say it, because it might actually be true. They were sitting on a metal bench by the lake. It was a cool, peaceful night. The calm water gently splashed against the concrete steps that led to the bottom of the lake. There were few stars in the cloudy sky and a Cheshire's Cat smile shone brightly, giving off a nightlight effect to make the stars feel safe in the darkness. No one would know that a few miles away, aliens were dominating a part of the city.

Michelle placed her hand on top of Shadow's. He continued to stare out at the water. "You miss her, don't you?" The hedgehog faced her. "I know she must've meant a lot to you…and I know, that I can never replace her…and I don't want to."

"Listen, its not about that…well, maybe not a lot but…this feeling I have for you could get you – or us – killed."

" 'A feeling'…You mean you-?"

Shadow stared at the ground, "I know we're genetically different, but still…I…" he looked into the girl's eyes, "I think…I love you."

Michelle felt her face fluster and get a little hot. She didn't notice that Shadow had his hand clasped in hers until he squeezed a little harder. "I-uh…I love you too, I did all along, but I was afraid…to tell you."

Shadow felt a mix of emotions as he leaned closer to Michelle: he didn't want to love Michelle because she might suffer the same fate as Maria, but at the same time, he couldn't help but love her. He wanted to be with her forever, and he was going to make sure it happened. He was going to protect her for as long as he needed. No one would take her away: not the soldiers or the aliens. Shadow was keeping this loved one. Its like Maria said, "I want you to enjoy life".

Before they realized what had happened, Michelle and Shadow found themselves in a tender kiss. It was a first for Shadow, and it made him feel warm inside. The soft lips of a girl pressed against his felt like the feather of a beautiful dream, floating across the pink clouds in his mind. The kiss seemed to last for hours, as if time had slowed around them and they were forever entangled in each other's numbed minds. Michelle's heart was still racing even after they parted. Shadow felt a tad bit nervous a well.

"I promise I'll protect you…I won't let you die like Maria."

"Thank you…" Michelle stared from Shadow's ruby red eyes to the patch of white fur on his chest; she ruffled it gently with her fingers.

Shadow let out a laugh with a slight moan, "What're you doing? Stop it, that tickles!"

Michelle laughed out loud, "I couldn't resist! You're so cute! Hee, hee, you know you like it."

"Wha-? You're somethin' else. Maybe I fell in love with the wrong person," Shadow teased.

Michelle couldn't help but smile.

"Whoo-hoo! Look who's out late with his girlfriend!" said an all-too-familiar voice.

Shadow turned around and came face-to-face with a blue hedgehog with emerald eyes. "Sonic…"

End of chapter 4!

Rabbit: Oo

Oi, I'm dizzy! So much more to type! So much more drama! So much more terror! More pain, more comedy, more romance, more INSANITY! (OVERLOAD)