I've had this one on my mind for a while. It's one of the few Shadow/Cream fics so far.

Cream was in one of the many fields of flowers she had grown to love. The flowers were just beginning to bloom, as the world awoke to spring. Spring was her favorite time of the year. Yet in a way, it was already summer.

A pair of red eyes watched her from a nearby tree. He watched her every day, for reasons he wasn't even sure of. Perhaps it was her innocence, a sweet childhood he had only seen in Maria so long ago on the Ark. Maybe it was because he had nothing better to do, and she was one of the few who didn't make him feel alone, all though she never saw him. But maybe it was more...something they could both enjoy when she was older, and ready for love. Age didn't matter, for Shadow was immortal. At least, he was on the outside.

The sun was beginning to set. Cream already had dinner, and there was still time before she went to bed. Two pairs of eyes watched the sunset, watching it fade away into the sky as the world turned dark.

Cream emitted a laugh. It was the time she had been waiting for, the time when the fireflies came out. It was the insect kind, known on Mobius and Earth alike. She loved to play with the fireflies, who only came out in the spring and summertime. They were her special friends, always inviting her to play as the night sky arrived, playing her soft lullabys as she drifted to sleep at night. Shadow simply watched, a firefly soon landing on his nose. He twitched it a little. the firefly still on it, emitting a soft glow.

"The fireflies like you too," Cream smiled, looking up at Shadow. She had finally found him, hiding in the trees. She had always known he was there, watching her like a guardian angel.

"I guess they do," Shadow replied, a bit suprised he had been found out. A few more fireflies fluttered around him, lighting up his face with a steady glow. He slightly smiled.

"You should smile more often," Cream said. "It shows the niceness in you, Mr. Shadow."

"Just Shadow, okay Cream?"

"As long as you promise to smile" Shadow found it an odd request, but simple enough for a small child. He nodded in agreement.

"Why do you like the fireflies?" Shadow asked Cream. He had always seen them as small bugs, just like any other. They just had a light on their rear end. Being an unnatural creation, it was hard for him to see the sense in a lot of things.

"Just watch," she said, "and wait for nighttime."

They waited as the sky darkened, small stars appearing in the sky. It almost seemed as if the fireflies glowed brighter, elegantly flying throughout the sky. Zipping this way and that, almost as if they had done it all their life. Pictures and words, floating across the sky, soon fading into a new tale by the fireflies. Shadow was amazed such tiny creatures were capable of such an art. It was almost like magic.

"It's like a neverending dance," Cream whispered, delighted at the expression of awe on Shadow's face, "It's different every night. I just wish they didn't have to leave every fall, but they always come back."

Shadow stared into those innocent eyes. A simple wish, a young child who was fascinated by the fireflies. It was her simple pleasure, one that most others passed by. And now she had someone to share it with. She stared back at the crimson eyes. Past all the loneliness and wisdom in his eyes, was a simple fascination, just like hers. A simple part of him inside, a part he kept away from everyone else, including himself. A firefly chose that moment to land on his nose. Cream giggled.

"Cream, time to come inside!" It was Vanilla calling, also known as Cream's mother.

"Okay Mommy," Cream called back. She turned to Shadow

"Will you be here tomorrow, Shadow?" she asked.

"I might," he replied.

"See you tomorrow then!" Cream called as she ran off for home, a few fireflies trailing behind her.

Shadow let out a small sigh, and smiled. Now Shadow realized why he had been there, watching her all those many times. She was the one person who could bring out the small child in him, the one that had died away with Maria on the Ark. Even if the fireflies didn't last forever, a special friendship could. The fireflies continued to dance over his head, and he almost thought he saw them smile.