A/N: Blahhhh...My computer lost its internet connection for some time and I'm feeling that writers block! School's started again so that's going to consume that good ol'writing time, sorry :(

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the SEGA related characters, those unfamiliar to you DO belong to me.

Chapter 26: Preparations

"So we lost one chaos emerald big fucking deal, we still have two you know." Sonic said.

Shadow didn't like the idea of Sonic's nonchalant attitude towards losing the chaos emerald to Shayde.

"It's not about who has more emeralds Sonic, but the fact that we still need seven to be safe." Tails explains.

"I understand that, but doesn't it work both ways, we still have one more than Eggfuck. I don't see why it's a necessity to start an immediate search for the other emeralds."

"The sooner the better, we can't give Eggman a chance to find the other emeralds." Tails finished. Tails introduced everyone to his latest work, the chaos emerald's tracker. The tracker was a small device, no larger than a child's handheld game system. Shadow shifted his body weight from one leg to another, keeping his arms firmly across his chest. Sonic huffed before tapping his fingers vigorously on the arm rest of the chair he sat on. "That's not the point of us meeting anyway. I really do believe we should get started on finding those emeralds, I finished inventing a machine that could detect them for hundreds of miles." Tails boasted proudly of his machine, "I'll give an explanation." Tails handed Amy the cyan chaos emerald. "Amy, I want you to go anywhere in the house...Or into my workshop, outside...Anywhere, and basically when you've had a hiding space you just stay still and we'll come find you. I'll track you down with my invention." Amy nodded and left the living room where everyone lingered around.

"So basically this is a game of hide and seek?" Knuckles asked.

"Well yeah, but only to show you the tracking system."

"But, where Amy could possibly go isn't any great distance that we could use. How are you suppose to test the distance of lost chaos emeralds with Amy hiding somewhere near your workshop?" Shadow asked, raising his brow.

"You'll see, this is a little test at the moment." Tails responded. Tails knowledgeably pressed a few buttons on the small device until a small yellow dot appeared on the grid screen. Shadow, Sonic and Knuckles hovered over Tails to get a view of the device.

"I suppose that's Amy?" Sonic asked.

"Yes, but you see she's still moving," Tails fiddled with the machine a bit more before sets of numbers appeared below the moving dot. "Those are the coordinates she's at that pertain to the grid, and these numbers below the coordinates is the distance she is from the device itself, the last set of numbers are the emerald serial numbers I assigned so that we can tell them apart on the device." The yellow dot stopped its motion. They all waited a while before it was understood that she had found a hiding place. "Okay, let's find her." Everyone followed Tails out of his workshop. Once outside, Tails stopped again. "Do you see these three lights here?" He said, pointing to a row of small light-emitting diodes. The right diode was lit red. "It is the direction we would go, if the left diode is lit then the emerald is to the left, if its in the center it is ahead, and to the right...Well I'm sure you understand."

"And if its behind us?" Knuckles asked.

"The device will sound that we've passed it."

"Nice," Sonic complimented. Tails walked towards his right as the diodes flicked on and off, directing his every move. He walked down the earth made stairs outside his large workshop. At the bottom of the stairs the left diode turned red, and he continued to walk around the wooded terrain that hid his workshop from trespassers and intruders.

Amy was sitting on the dirt ground, leaning forward on her knees. Her arms were loosely wrapped around her knees as she waited patiently for her friends to find her. The emerald rested motionless on the ground beside her. She gingerly slid her finger down the side of the crystallized power. It hummed softly to her touch as the soft blue light emitted daintily. All this power and all the corruption you cause...Yet, you stay so pretty. Amy thought to herself. She smiled and rested her head on her kneecaps. Footstep shuffling and muffled voices resonated from the distance. "I guess I am found." She said as she picked the emerald from the ground. Tails walked out from behind the tree she hid behind.

"See," Tails assured the machine's capabilities to his friends, "safe and sound."

"Pretty sweet," Sonic complimented. Amy handed the emerald to Tails and dusted the back of her dress off.

"So, when do we start searching for the other emeralds?" Shadow asked as he put the chaos emerald into its protective container.

"We'll start the hunt three days from now, that'll give us time to rest up a bit and gather stuff for the trip. I already located the next emerald. You see, this small device is a part of a larger computer I have downstairs in the lab. With the technology in that computer, I can locate the chaos emeralds all over and then assign each emerald a serial number to keep track just in case we lose one. With that I put the data into the device and the device tracks the serial number and the power emitting from the emerald to find where ever it's hidden." Tails explained, "The next emerald is in the desert off in the second continent, so we'll be setting up camp. Be sure to bring survival necessities...And toothpaste."

Shadow tightened the knobs on his shower until the water shut off. He had just finished his daily shower. He pulled the towel off it's rod to immediately pat himself dry and wrap it tight around his waist. Amy was rummaging through her clothes as he walked into his bedroom. Her actions boggled him, he had to ask, "What are you doing?"

"I am packing my clothes I want to wear early, you should to." She explained. He watched her pull out a pink top with a little ribbon at the sleeve. Shadow huffed as she folded it into a suitcase. He sat on the edge of his bed watching her put her pretty clothes into the case.

"We won't be gone for that long, the necessities include a tooth brush, toothpaste, a first aid kit and such as that, not pretty clothes. You will ruin them." Shadow said.

"It does no harm if I look nice." She retorted, "Besides...I really don't have 'adventure' clothes." Amy turned her body around to face him as she picked up another petit, feminine shirt. "Do you think I should bring this?"

"No." Shadow said, his tone signaled the end of the conversation. He stood up and searched through his draw for some night wear. With his clothes in hand, he headed back to the bathroom for privacy to dress. Amy stared at her suitcase and immediately felt foolish. She had a large suitcase filled with good clothes that could easily be ruined on a trip to a desert. She huffed and whined softly while drooping her head low. What am I to do with all this? Amy looked at the three drawers she had left open and in squalor. Inside was nothing but "pretty" clothes. She did not own adventure clothes. Amy nervously rubbed out a wrinkle on her night wear. "We can always buy clothes for the trip." Shadow said kneeling behind her. She hadn't noticed he came in, but wasn't startled either. Amy limply shrugged her shoulders and began putting her clothes back into the drawer in a disorderly manner. Shadow placed his hand on top of the rest of the clothes, stopping her from removing any more out of the luggage. "We won't be on the trip long, we can buy clothes. In the meantime...Lets get ready for bed."

Amy smiled and nodded. "They have to look nice." She said as she crawled across the bed to the headboard. Shadow stood up from the floor.

"They have to be reasonable; style isn't what we're looking for." He said walking around the bed. He sat down on the bed near his pillows. Amy quickly snatched a pillow from behind him, receiving a questionable glare from Shadow.

"I like this pillow." She explained as she patted down onto the mattress and buried her head in it. Shadow fixed himself into his bed and turned off the lamp by his bedside. "Good Night." Amy whispered.


Amy stared in utter disbelief at the clothes hanging on racks, walls and folded on display stands. She gawked over horrific cloths woven together tightly to create articles of clothing readily to be sold. These clothes were not fashionable in the slightest of the sense. "Shadow," She whined his name.

"It's just for the trip." He said flatly as he sped walked to the women's section. Amy hurried behind him.

"But they're all so...So..."

Shadow turned around in a second, "So...?"

"Ugly." She finished.

"Yes, I'm sure they are...Ugly...And affordable, and durable, and not the least bit worth saving. Perfect for a trip like this, don't you think?" He persuaded.

"Yes, but isn't there some place else we can go?" She locked her hands together and begged.

"No." He replied and turned on his heel back to the women's section. Amy breathed a full breath and let it out slowly to relieve tension in her body. She stiffened her body and crossed her arms.

"Well, if we have to shop here, you're buying the clothes."

"Yes, and I'll pick everything out too." Shadow said as he looked through pairs of folded jeans sitting on a display table. Amy's quills stood on ends as she thought about Shadow's all-too 'stylish' style. She opened her mouth to speak but found no voice. She let out one breath and let him do what he wanted. "What size are you?" He said as he looked through several pant sizes.

"Three," She responded quickly. Shadow pulled out two pairs of jeans marked size three; a darker denim and a faded denim. He slung them over his shoulders and moved over to some neatly folded shirts. Amy's eyes went wide at the shirt selection and she desperately made a move. "Can I choose a color at least?"

Shadow pulled two small short sleeve shirts; both had one left breast pocket, forest green and burgundy. "Nope, small right?" Shadow assured himself and slung the two shirts over his shoulder.

"Y-You purposely got those colors! The worst colors?!" She accused. Shadow turned and winked. Amy slipped between him and a nearby rack. She stopped in front of him. "You did, didn't you!?"

"I don't see why the color would matter, and aren't I paying for them?" Shadow reminded as he pushed through a crack between Amy and the next rack.

"Yes, but do you have to be so mean?!" She shouted as she stalked behind him.

"I don't see how I am 'being mean'."

Shadow moved to the footwear department and into the Woodland and Outdoors footwear where it carried sturdy hiking and terrain boots. "What s-"

"I'm not telling you my size." She fought back any way possible.

"Fine by me," Shadow looked on the rack for any boots that could fit her and pulled them out.

"That's not even my size, that's too big."

"We'll stuff them." Shadow started walking over to the register.


Amy gave in. This obviously wasn't one of those days she would win. Shadow turned on his heel to face her. "You have five minutes to find a pair suitable for you, or I buy these." Amy stood quiet for a second and weighed her options.

"Fine." She spat before turning to look through the boots. Shadow chuckled and sat on a bench made of mirrors for shoe purchasers. Within two minutes Amy handed him a small box, on the side 'six' was written. Shadow put his choice of footwear down and grabbed hers. They both waited quietly on line. "You know, when you said last night we were going shopping, I really was thinking it would be fun."

Typical Girl. "Why would it be fun?"

"Because, if a guy takes a girl shopping, then...Well, you're a bad date." She explained poorly. Shadow let a few laughs escape his lips before straightening up.

"A date? Surely you wouldn't think I would be like the average 'guy'?"

"I know, I know, you're no ordinary man."

"Exactly." Shadow finished the conversation and put her clothes on the register desk.

"Exactly," She muttered, "A big jerk." Shadow decided to ignore her spoken thoughts. He paid the lady at the register the desired amount for the clothes and pulled the bag of clothes into his grasp.

Once outside, Shadow turned an unusual direction and started walking. "Where are you going?" She asked as she hurried to stay by his side.

"I figured you might want to eat out today." He said as they both crossed a busy street.


"Isn't that what people on dates do?" He asked and as his mouth inched crookedly into a smile. Within a split second, Amy's face lit up and she wrapped her arms around his free arm.


Maybe it wasn't the greatest chapter to wait for, but ta-da!

Thanks for reading :)