Special Note: Chapter 1 was updated/revised on April 26, 2011. If you have read this chapter before that date, I would recommend reading it again since the plot and characters have changed quite a bit. Chapter 2 has also been revised however, the other chapters are being revised slowly and still remain in their old state. Please be advised that the story is under reconstruction and you should only read it at your own risk... for you'll find that right now it won't really make sense. Thank you!
This story takes place in an alternative universe.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Sonic characters, Sega/Sonic Team does.
Heart in the Darkness
Chapter One:The Rose Garden
The young man held her face on his hands, his cold eyes piecing her heart. They both knew it was the end of it all and there was no stopping it. He looked at the woman in front of him with caring eyes and pondered on his decision as he looked down at her pleading face. His ultimatum was too hard to bear for both, but it had to be done.
He brought his lips to her forehead and there he laid a sweet kiss. She closed her eyes and a tear rolled down her face. Saying good-bye was the hardest thing she had ever done… and yet… there she was, letting her beloved follow an eternal life of solitude.
Without looking back the man released her and began to walk away, into the darkness that had once imprisoned him, although this time, he was its master. Thanks to her.
The sound of his vanishing steps was carried away with the night's air and only the echo of his last words remained.
"A heart lost in the darkness will always find the light. You're the one that lit my path..."
Amy Rose closed the book in her hands with watery eyes. Her gloved hands trailed along the sharp edges of the book as she let out a quiet sigh. The passion she bore for love was overwhelming and it had manifested in her fixation for romance novels. She had finished one more, but unlike the others, the ending wasn't quite what she had expected. The complications, the twists and turns, the endless obstacles—didn't all that lead to happy ending? To love bravely demolishing the walls that tore the lovers apart?
The sound of the train whistle interrupted her thoughts. She looked out the window of her compartment to find herself moving closer to her final destination, the prosperous town of Evergreen, her home town. 'Has it really been four years since I left?' the girl pondered. The town certainly reflected the passing of time. It was bigger and more beautiful than she remembered. Her emerald eyes lit up, as the train grew closer and closer to the prominent town.
If the years had changed the town, how had it changed her? The pink hedgehog looked at her reflection on the window. She was now eighteen and she didn't look very different. Her short quills remained in the same state; they were not longer or shorter. Her intense emerald eyes were still captivating and her bright smile complimented them. The only difference she seemed to notice was her body; naturally, as she had grown older, her body developed in certain ways. She was beginning to flourishing into a full-fledged woman.
The young hedgehog continued to look at her reflection. The pearl Victorian dress she wore was quite beautiful; the corset hugged her figure tightly and the lace secured it at the back. The high neckline and long pagoda sleeves were decorated with golden lace at the edges. The fabric of the skirt fell in cascades at the front, with the same golden lace as the others. The back bore the classic 'bump' of the same color as the lace of the skirt, boosting the dress up with a big ribbon and a medium-sized cascade. The ivory gloves and a matching headband completed the outfit nicely.
The train whistle sounded again, her destination just a few feet away. The pink hedgehog placed her novel in a purse and got ready to walk out of the compartment. As she walked through the hall and to an exit, she felt her heart thump in her chest. She felt excited to go back to her old home. As her feet touched the ground, she heard a soft voice call out her name.
"Amy, Amy!" a young rabbit exclaimed eagerly.
The rose hedgehog felt staggeringly happy at the sight of her friend and she rushed to her side. She opened her arms and wrapped them around the younger girl. She was moved; her best friend had been waiting for her to arrive and that was the sweetest start to her life back at Evergreen. "I'm so happy to see you Cream!" she said in a loving voice.
"I'm happy to see you too Amy," replied Cream the Rabbit in her gentle voice.
The young woman released the girl from her embrace and then examined her carefully. Her emerald orbs traced the changes that time had made on her friend. The rabbit was definitely taller and she was beginning to resemble a young version of her mother. Her white dress with orange lace, similar to her own, made her look like a porcelain doll; which suited the rabbit quite nicely.
"You sure have grown!" the older girl pointed out.
Her friend smiled and replied, "You have too and you look beautiful Amy. I'm sure that Mr. Sonic will fall in love with you when he sees you for sure!"
The sound of those words made Amy's heart ache. She knew that she would have to face him sooner or later, but the thought of encountering the charming hedgehog seemed to almost cause her distress. Whatever had happened before her departure four years ago still affected her deeply. She knew things were different and the thought of the past events weren't going to spoil her return. She was there to be with her friends, and that included Sonic, whom had been there for her numerous times and was an exceptional friend of hers.
Before she was able to reply, running steps attracted their attention. They turned towards the direction the sounds came from and they spotted a yellow fox running towards them.
"There you are Cream," Tails stopped running and slowed down, approaching the young rabbit, "I lost you in the crowd the moment the train arrived." The fox's attention turned to the older woman, a smile spread across his face as he said, "Amy! I'm glad to see you have arrived safely."
"Thank you," the rose girl replied and then continued, "Are you Creams' escort?"
"Y-yes," the young boy answered shyly.
Amy looked at the young couple; Tails was as shy as ever, blushing at the sound of the question, and Cream remained cheerful, always so innocent. It wasn't a surprise to see them together. The idea of young love was very romantic to her. The dates, the smiles, the shyness, the moments… it was all very wonderful.
Cream's eyes lit up, "We should go get some refreshments and catch up."
Tails broke from his temporary flustered state and said, "That's a great idea!"
The pink hedgehog nodded, happily following the lead of the young couple. She was eager to hear the stories and news that awaited her; she wanted to know everything that she had missed in the time she was gone. The day was young and she wanted to take advantage of it.
The air was filled with the smell of alcohol but it was drowned with the sound of laughter and loud music playing in the background of the noisy saloon. Tables filled with drunken men and gambling addicts were a great part of the atmosphere. Away from the loud scene at back room stood a dark hedgehog in front of a hooded shadow; both met in secret and talked in a low tone.
The hedgehog was a male with black fur and sharp red streaks on his quills, arms, and legs. He bore an unhappy expression accompanied by intense ruby eyes. He wore a long wine-colored trench coat with maroon pants, the shirt underneath the coat could not be seen and only the black tie stood out. The stranger was hidden in the shadows, only a pair of yellow eyes shone underneath his cloak.
"Where is he?" snarled the ebony hedgehog.
A low grim voice spoke, "You know I cannot tell you that… Shadow."
The dark hedgehog placed three fingers on his forehead, thinking. His troublesome chase had led him to another dead end. He grew annoyed at the lack of information and futile efforts resulting from the meeting with the shadowy figure. Suddenly, ruby eyes shot to the door. Shadow sensed a presence and decided to end the encounter then. He signaled the figure to leave by turning to see it; cold orbs locked on the figure. The cloaked shadow melted away and was absorbed by the floor, vanishing from sight.
The black and red hedgehog opened the door that separated him from the noisy saloon and found a blue hedgehog waiting for him on the other side. Emerald orbs from his new company moved to see him; the glaring sight made him grin, "It's you again."
The heroic hedgehog, Sonic, was leaning on a wall of the hallway, his arms crossed and his confident expression planted on his face, "What can I say? When I spot a challenge, I don't back down."
Shadow snorted, "You should know when to give up when your adversary is superior."
Both hedgehogs looked at each other with eager eyes, the tension in the small hall increased. The noise from the bar could be heard from their location. The piano played happily and the girls danced. However, neither paid any attention to the distractions. Slowly both moved to fighting stances, knowing what was coming. The hedgehogs shut off the noise and concentrated on each other.
A few seconds passed before the blue hedgehog threw a punch at his dark counter part. Shadow held his adversary's fist on his hand and then threw one of his own, but it was stopped in the same fashion by the other male. Both stood in the hallway with strong stances, forcefully attempting to overpower one another.
"I know you are the one responsible for this!" said Sonic, holding his ground.
Shadow snickered under his breath, "You know absolutely nothing."
Knowing they were evenly matched, the blue hedgehog decided to jump back and launch another attack. He ran with enough speed to power up the force behind his fist. The ebony hedgehog got ready to deflect the attack and, surely, he was able to grab the blue hedgehog by the arm and throw him past the open door and against the wall of the room he had previously been in.
The cerulean hedgehog grimaced as he hit the wall with enough force to go through it and then landed on the sidewalk outside the back of the building on a pile of rubble. The, now overpowered, hedgehog slowly stood from the mess with his knee on the floor and the other supporting his body. He cleaned the blood that dripped from his lip with his glove and grinned.
Shadow stared at his opponent with dark eyes. Once again, after countless encounters with the blue male, he was forced to engage in combat. He knew from his previous fights that the persistent hedgehog had a lot more fight left in him. He grew annoyed, at the thought that the fight was far from over. However, the quarrel was interrupted by a voice that called out his adversary's name.
"Sonic!" Tails exclaimed as he ran to his friend. Behind the fox came two girls running, worried about the serious situation that the blue hedgehog seemed to be in.
Knowing that the battle was over, the mysterious hedgehog began to walk way, towards the direction of the trio. The three watched as he grew closer, threatened by his presence. However, as he walked closer to them he expressed no interest in getting them involved. A pair of bright emerald eyes observed him as he continued, very familiar to the dark hedgehog.
Amy observed the ebony hedgehog that was walking the opposite direction. Her emerald orbs examined him carefully as he came closer. The moment they were side to side, his ruby eyes moved to see her, catching her off guard. When their eyes met she felt time stop, it was as if they were alone and the world around them had disappeared. Her heart stopped and so did her breathing. As they froze, no spoken words were exchanged, but their eyes took a chance to converse.
"Who are you…?" her eyes asked innocently and curiously.
His solemn reply was a simple, "No one…"
Her emerald orbs explored his features; it all seemed so familiar to her. She looked back at his cold eyes and something struck her, "Don't I know you…?"
"Perhaps…" he responded in a low voice only loud enough for only her to hear him. His eyes moved off of her features and the timeless moment ended, and so he walked away, leaving her behind.
The rose female wanted to stop him, but she froze in place. All she did was look back and see him go. Her heart began to race, reality was back, and she could finally breathe. She was certain that she had met the mysterious hedgehog before, but she could not recall where or when.
"Amy, are you okay?" a soft voice called out. Cream was standing in front of the pink hedgehog with concerned eyes.
"Y-Yes, I'm fine," she stammered. Her attention moved to the two males standing behind the rabbit. Both were talking to each other, exchanging information about what had happened. The blue hedgehog seemed to be fine and even brushed off the dust from his clothes. The fox turned to see Amy and seemed to be telling Sonic about her arrival.
The blue hedgehog turned to see the girl and seemed to stare in awe. She looked truly beautiful, even he couldn't deny it. He walked towards Amy and smiled, "It's nice to see you again. Tails told me you guys are heading over to get some refreshments, mind if I tag along?"
"N-Not at all," she answered. The pink hedgehog inspected the male, trying to make sure he was okay.
"Don't worry about me! I'm doing great," he gave the young woman his arm and smiled eagerly, "Let's get going!"
The cerulean male began to walk side to side with Amy, his emerald eyes locked on her. The rose girl, however, was distracted and looking back. She walked mindlessly through the streets, her head elsewhere, perhaps with the thoughts of the dark hedgehog.
The group arrived at a fine tea parlor where they ordered light deserts and drinks. The trio of old friends informed Amy of the many changes that had taken place the last four years. The pink hedgehog listened attentively and even asked questions. However, as entertaining as her friends were, her thoughts seem to wonder off without her realizing. The dark hedgehog roamed in her mind and his ruby orbs were embedded in her head. She was sure she had seen those mesmerizing eyes somewhere. She wanted to find out who he was, but most importantly, how she knew him.
Time passed without any of them noticing. Their light meals had been finished for hours and only the company of the empty dishes remained. Cream noticed the time and politely dismissed herself, Tails followed her lead and so their company left, leaving the two hedgehogs by themselves.
"Amy." "Sonic." Both said at the same time. They shared a quiet second before Amy giggled at the moment. The blue hedgehog couldn't help but smile at the sound of her laughter.
The girl stopped laughing but a smile remained on her face, "You go first, Sonic."
The male hedgehog gazed at Amy before trying to speak. He opened his mouth but he did not seem to find the words to say what he was thinking. He closed his mouth and stayed quiet for a few seconds, trying to unscramble the words. He then tried again and talked in a sincere tone, "I wanted to apologize."
The rose hedgehog felt her heart stop abruptly. She knew she had to face him sooner or later, but she never thought he would bring up the subject. Not like that… not there… not yet. Although she had already forgiven him in her heart, she didn't want to discuss the subject. It had taken her long to forget the events before her departure. She didn't want to think about them again. It was all in the past, right? She fought back her feelings and replied, "There's nothing to apologize about."
The blue hedgehog stared into her eyes; it was hard for him to see what she was thinking. He honestly felt bad for what had happened, but he didn't know what to do. For four years he had been waiting for her to come back so he could face her and apologize personally. The thought of writing a letter with an apology wasn't his style. Now that she was there, with him, he had to apologize, "That day I—"
"It's in the past," the pink hedgehog interrupted him, trying to cut off the conversation before her feelings overwhelmed her. She knew it was painful and she wanted to move put the issue behind them once and for all.
Sonic reached for her hands and his eyes softened, "I'm sorry."
The rose hedgehog felt her heart sting and almost flinched. She continued to fight back her inner thoughts and tried to smile, "There's nothing to worry about; I already forgave you." They both stood in silence until the girl spoke, "Now it's my turn." She took her hands back and began looking at the hedgehog before her intensively, "Who was that guy outside the saloon?"
Sonic raised an eyebrow and fell back to his chair, "You mean Shadow?"
"Is that his name?" she moved up on her chair, paying attention to her companion's words.
"He's a real mystery here in the town," he watched as the girl grew attentive, "He arrived the day you left and no one knows anything about him. He's always away on trips, and when he comes back he rarely appears around the town."
"I see," the girl said as her eyes moved back and pondered on the information.
Sonic gazed at the girl and saw that she seemed interested on the topic, so he continued, "He lives on a big mansion on the east part of the town. There's another guy living with him named Espio, but just like him, he doesn't come out much."
'Shadow,' the girl repeated in her head, 'the mysterious stranger.' She searched the deepest corners of her mind to try to find a connection between them. She was sure she knew him!
Sonic looked at the girl curiously, wanting to know why she was interested in the ebony hedgehog. As he looked at her, he spotted two waiters behind the girl who looked at them with glaring eyes. The blue hedgehog grinned at the sight. "You wanna go somewhere else? I can show you the town," he moved closer to her and whispered in her ear, "Because I think we've overstayed our welcome." He pointed at the waiters under their view. They had certainly been there for quite a while and they were trying to give them a hint.
Amy laughed and responded with a smile on her face, "I'd love to."
The blue hedgehog gave her his arm and she welcomed the gesture by placing her hand on it. They walked out of the tea parlor, laughing and talking merrily.
The town stood strong and active. People chatted in the streets, businesses were full, and children ran happily; every detail attracted Amy's attention. All the changes, the new businesses, the town had changed, but despite the change, her soul felt at home. Her eyes consumed all the sights, "The town has grown so much! It's incredible!"
"It sure has, it became quite prosperous," Sonic said simply.
As they continued to walk a man offered Amy an apple from his stand, "The sweetest for the young lady." He handed a shiny red apple to her and she welcomed it happily.
"Thank you," she said with a smile on her face.
The two continued walking and chatting. Amy was enchanted with the town, her eyes lit up and she exclaimed, "It's so beautiful!"
The blue hedgehog's eyes locked on the girl besides him. "Yes…" he said in a low tender voice, "truly beautiful."
"Did you say something?" the girl inquired curiously as she took a bite of her apple.
The blue hedgehog grinned, "Nothing."
"So where are we going?" she asked. They had been walking for quite a while, and she didn't know where they were headed.
Sonic looked ahead and said, "Somewhere special."
As the sidewalk began to run into an open field, rose bushes began to form and lead way to a garden. Many concrete tables, benches, and decorations, complete with a fountain, formed the immense garden. Roses crept up the walls and vines hung down attractively. The garden had a gothic feel to it and it was beautiful.
Amy's eyes explored every inch of the garden and her heart began to race. At that moment she felt herself lose control of her emotions, a sour and astonished frown formed deep in her heart. It was beautiful and inconsiderate surprise for her to be back at the place where the blue hedgehog had left her waiting the day of her departure.
The young woman blinked and the memories began to flow… the memories of that day…
A young pink hedgehog ran through the streets of the town, trying to find a certain boy. Her breath was abnormal but she continued to run, looking everywhere. She looked everywhere, but the he was nowhere to be found. She continued to search, determined to find him. And so the girl ran and ran, until she found her target lying down in a field of wild flowers, looking at the sky. Her emerald eyes brightened at the sight of her beloved.
The rose girl ran to his location, calling out his name, "Sonic!"
The charming boy looked back and spotted his friend running towards him. He stood up, seeing her stress her body to reach him as fast as she could. The girl stopped right in front of him and tried to catch her breath, the boy looked at her inquisitively, "Hey, Ames, is everything alright?"
The pink girl caught her breath and nodded happily. She had a knack for finding the blue hedgehog whether he was; it was like a game of 'hide and seek' to her. She loved chasing him, his smile, his eyes; the charming boy captured her heart since the day she laid eyes on him. A smile spread across her face as she shined in, "I found you!"
Amy held a colorful bag of treats and a letter firmly in her hands. She felt her heart race as she handed the objects to the boy before her. Loud thumps took her breath away as he took them, his emerald eyes observing the dazzling girl curiously.
The rose hedgehog bowed and said, "Please read it, okay?" Without any other words, the girl ran away in a hurry. Her sweet sent trailing in the wind and her hopes sailing in the immense blue sky.
The blue hedgehog looked at the mysterious letter in his hands and then at the direction the girl headed to. He opened the envelope and read the contents carefully, his emerald eyes taking in the words:
Tomorrow I'm leaving this town and it might be the last time I see you. If you read this note, please meet me tomorrow morning at the rose garden. Please come see me, I have something very important to tell you! I'll be waiting for you!
Sonic held the letter carefully in his hand and then placed it besides him. He opened the colorful bag and pulled out a cookie shaped like him. He took a bite and laid back down, looking at the sunset in the horizon. His mind lost on the beautiful sight and the words in the letter.
The next morning Amy Rose had woken up early. She put her best dress on, looking forward to her encounter with the blue hedgehog. Her red dress with imbedded white rose decorations in her skirt reflected her passionate personality. She looked at her reflection in the mirror and imagined Sonic smiling and waiting at the garden with open arms. Ready for their meeting, she took a last look at herself and then got ready to leave.
Amy sat on a rock bench at the garden and looked around trying to find the blue hedgehog. She looked up at the sky and waited for a few minutes. After a while she stood up and looked around the garden, hoping to find him sitting at another bench, after all, she wasn't specific on where in the garden they would meet. She gave the garden two complete turns before she started to feel worried. However, she tried to reassure herself by thinking, 'He's probably late… he's never on time.'
Time passed and the young girl continued to wait patiently for her beloved. The sun moved in the sky, signaling the hours that had past. A million excuses, made by her head, and a few hours later, and no one had arrived to see her. But she waited eagerly for the male to arrive and talk to her before it was time for her to go. Her head raged, 'He will come, he's going to come, he'll be here anytime!'
The sun came down on the horizon and it struck her: he wasn't coming. Her eyes began to fill with tears and sobs burst out with them. Her body shook uncontrollably as she cried, thinking, 'If he would have come to see me I would have asked him to leave with me.'
Not far from her location, a shadow saw her cry and watched in silence. His ruby eyes locked on the quivering girl who cried non-stop. Her sobs filled the air and the phantom decided to approach her. He took a single white rose into his hands and kneeled in front of the weeping girl.
The rose hedgehog locked her teary eyes on the figure before her. It was a black hedgehog with red stripes on his quills; his deep ruby eyes looked at her, captivating her. "Wh-who are you?" said Amy between silent sobs that interrupted her words as she spoke.
A cold solemn voice responded, "No one." The male held the rose close to her while his ruby eyes continued to gaze at her sad emerald orbs.
Amy wiped her face with her gloved hand and accepted the token. Her attention moved to the rose that was now in her hand; a white rose, representing innocence and purity fit for the girl. She felt herself calm down, and her sobs slowly melted away with the company. "Thank you," she said in a low voice.
The male stood up and looked at the sky, "Don't waste your tears on a fool who doesn't know what he has."
The young girl's eyes widened, she was surprised he knew the reason she was crying! She slowly looked up at his face and asked, "How did you—"
The ebony hedgehog looked down and answered, "Common sense." His cold eyes made it seem as if he was lost in thought, remembering something special. After a few seconds, the continued to talk, "Why would a girl be alone at such a remarkable place without a date and in such beautiful attire? Chances are: you were waiting for someone who failed to see what made you special."
Amy's emerald orbs were, once again, captured by the intense ruby eyes of the stranger. They both remained quiet, the company appreciated in silence. The male gestured for permission to sit beside her and she accepted the action.
The twilight began to take over and the dark sky signaled the girl that it was time to leave. She sighed, there were no more tears and only her broken heart remained.
At that moment her recurring memories gave her the answer she had been looking for. Her eyes widened when she realized,
"It was him!"
Author's Notes: That's the end of chapter one, thank you for reading. Character wise, the dialogue and story tend to complicate at times- seeing as it's set in an alternative universe and previous motives for characters are no longer there. But rest assured I will try my best to overcome any inconveniences. Currently, keep in mind that there are plenty of hidden motifs for Shadow's actions, which you will later find as the story progresses; I'm planning on keeping him, and everyone else, in character.
Once again thank you for reading and I would love to receive feedback/reviews.
Chapter 2 Preview: The Ballroom
A dark secret looms over the horizon and curiosity leads Amy to a tough spot as she searches for answers. Later, Shadow and Amy meet in a ballroom and find their lives forever intertwined with just one dance.
Until Next Time!