Put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.

- Colette

Disclaimer: And with this quote I open up another chapter; read the author note for more info after the chapter. Oh, you know the disclaimer.

The moon refused to hide behind the gray clouds that filled the night's sky. The wind slowly took the gray puff away, leaving the moon alone in all its glory. With overwhelming pride, the white-silver object's glow surpassed that of the stars. It shone bright and illuminated everything on its path.

Under the stellar blanket stood a man with fiery red hair. His forest green eyes reflected the moon; the reflection in his eyes was dark and mysterious, much like himself. His lips curved nicely to the sides, forming a simple smile that could make anyone's heart melt. His porcelain skin absorbed the moon's radiance and it brought out a milky colored glow that covered his entire being.

His surroundings consisted of a field full of white flowers; among them were bell shaped flowers named arum lilies, as well as white roses, and baby's breath. The field was immense, and its beauty was incomparable.

The flowers moved gently with the breeze; they prepared their petals to give out their best dance. Their stage was the nourishing ground and their stage lights were the beams of the moon. The audience watched from the heavens; the stars smiled ready to see the show.

The wind began to blow; its force was strong but gentle, giving mercy to the performers. The waves of wind traveled through the field; the blossoms danced under the moon. They twirled and moved from side to side; their petals moved shyly through the air, while their roots gave out their best graceful dance. The stars applauded at the sight of the astonishing performance. They shone brighter, giving more light to enhance the beauty of the dancers.

Nicholai stretched his arms to his sides, welcoming the wind inside his soul. He inhaled the sweet aroma of the flowers around him; the sweet smell traveled through his being. He felt like the night awakened his body and liberated him from his sins. The flowerbed was the bosom that forgave his errors and embraced him, knowing the pain he once went through.

The young man closed his eyes and allowed his body to fall on top of the flowerbed. The breeze tickled his cheeks and played with his hair. The flowers embraced his body and held him tight, never letting go.

Nicholai re-opened his eyes and locked them on the moon. She looked beautiful, with a smile full and bright. Her body was the light of the night, and her eyes were the soul and heart of the darkness. It was ironic how light was the heart of darkness. An opposing force with a whole different meaning; an enemy.

'Good and evil, evil and good-- what was the point of it all? No one has the right to determine what was bad and what was good,' thought the young man deep in his head, with his gaze on the moon.

"There's good in all bad, as there is bad in all that's good," Nicholai whispered.

The sun smiled upon a bright town and the birds flew around the flowers and trees; they whistled in joy and looked around with their tiny black eyes. Two small white birds flew to the magnolias and began flying around each other, fluttering their little wings, dancing. They stopped on a branch and grew closer and united in song.

Under the flowering tree stood a young boy with red hair that shone with sun; his deep green eyes were full of youth and joy. Even though it was summer and the day was hot beyond belief, he wore a tuxedo. Trying to get some circulation in, he pulled his collar and looked up at the sky.

"Nicholai!" shouted a bubbly voice.

The boy looked around and spotted a little girl in a bright blue dress running towards him, "Maria!"

The blond ran faster until she reached Nicholai; her chest was jumping from all the running and she was panting, "H-hey! Sorry I'm late; my grandfather was showing me his latest experiment."

"It's alright, I got here late myself," responded the young boy in a kind calm voice. "My father took me to a banquet this morning and we barely got back," he looked down at his tux.

"Oh?" she glanced at her friend, "Is that why you're wearing a tux?"


"It looks good on you!" exclaimed Maria.

Nicholai's cheeks grew hot and he stammered, "T-Thanks."

The girl giggled and then took his hand, "Let's go, I got to tell you about my grandfather's new plans!"

The course of time flowed slowly and painfully that night; the wind howled and the heavens cried. Soft whispers were heard in the wind, words of sorrow and agony; they were carried like music through the night, a lento symphony of words unknown.

The flames of destruction burned vividly and wildly at the far east of town. A destroyed mansion lay at the feet of a dark hedgehog with bright ruby eyes. The chaos manifested around him; a puppet of fate, a god of destruction.

The scenes at the ruins of the manor played frame by frame; the tears of the young rose girl, the fear Shadow inflected on her heart. The appearance of his master, the one he bowed his life to; the anger in his heart that made him oppose his allies. The fight that shook the earth, and finally... a cry in the night. The cry of an innocent girl with an uncertain destiny; the key to salvation.

"Wait! Don't kill him!" a female voice cried out.

"Amy...?" the blue hedgehog turned around and lowered his sword. Shadow took this moment to kick him out of the way; the blue male landed on the cold ground.

"Sonic!" the rose hedgehog cried in fear.

The ebony hedgehog ran to his sword and took it into his hands. Sonic turned to see his enemy and stood up, he couldn't see him. After a few seconds the black hedgehog appeared in the sky and the blue male was ready to counter.

Amy ran towards them, she didn't want this... 'Stop this madness!' cried her head, 'Please... Shadow!'

Sonic saw the petite hedgehog run to the battle field and felt her hands on his side as she pushed him out of the way. Tears filled her eyes and she fell to the floor, just like the blue hedgehog. In the sky the dark hedgehog came down at full speed unable to stop the attack, and as he landed, the smell of blood filled the night's air.

The blue hedgehog's eyes widen in terror at the sight of blood; his emerald eyes locked on the figure on the floor. "No..." he whispered.

On the floor laid the body of a young girl covered in a dark liquid, tears still streaming down her face.

White flowers bloomed beneath an enormous maple tree; the sun still radiated upon the plants. The roses emitted a beautiful glow and the baby breath moved gently with the wind. The white flower field smiled upon two young kids sitting under the big maple.

"He's says that it's going to revolutionize the world as we know it!" exclaimed Maria in a cheery tone.

"It does sound pretty amazing," responded the young boy, "but I'm kind of skeptical about it."

"Why?" her beautiful ocean eyes locked on the boy.

"I- B-because... think about it," Nicholai raised a finger, "reason number one, people are not going to accept such a thing so easily."

"It's not a thing, it's a hedgehog!" said Maria defensively, "Besides, I think he's kind of cute."

"But that's only your opinion; there are many people out there that might oppose this."

"They'll just have to see how amazing he is!"

"That's part of reason number two:" continued the boy, raising a second finger, "people fear what they do not understand."

The girl frowned, "And what is there not to understand?"

"He's a hedgehog with super abilities!"

"Well," she pouted, "they'll have to understand."

Nicholai giggled at the sight of her childish expression, "I guess they will have to with you on the loose!"

"Hey!" said Maria as she jumped on the boy.

Both children wrestled under the maple tree and the sun began to fall. The sweet twilight showed the beautiful new purples coming in contact with the warm oranges. The wind of the night began to howl silently and the flowers closed their eyes.

Nicholai rolled down the flowers and burst in laughter as Maria began to tickle him, "O-ka-ay! Hahaha! You-you win! You win!"

"That's right!" the blond girl released the boy from her clutches and sat on his stomach, "Let's check the score: Maria-154 and Nicholai: ZERO."

"Have I really lost every single one?" a brown grew on the red-head's face.

"Yep!" responded Maria, "Even the monkey bar race."

"Wow, I must be really bad!" added Nicholai awaiting his friend's response.

Maria smiled at him, "Nope, I'm just too good."

"Oh yeah?" the young boy bore a malicious grin.


"We'll see about that!" said the boy wrapping his arms around his friend and tickling her.

'Innocence separates the man from the boy,' Nicholai continued thinking, his green orbs still locked on the moon.

The white flowers still danced around the man, slowly moving their petals with the wind; some were carried away by the gentle wind. The atmosphere began to grow warm and fiery.

So many moments of happiness were carried in those years; the years of innocence and youth. The fantasy of a child's world is only temporary as time passes and makes the boy a man. The inhuman emotions once felt transform into a more complex thinking; the fairy tales are replaced by logic. Indeed, innocence separates the man from the boy.

"He's... strange looking."

"Don't say that!" said Maria embracing a dark hedgehog on her arms.

The fur ball on the girl's arms moved closer to her, hiding his face on her chest. Its black fur shone with the sun, it gave him a glistering coat.

"So this is it?" Nicholai inquired, his eyes glued to the 'thing.'

"Yes!" replied the blond girl happily.

"It doesn't look all that amazing..."

The creature turned around and Nicholai glared at it; the hedgehog pressed harder, clutching Maria's clothes.

"Stop that!" yelled the girl at her friend.

"Stop what?" answered the boy in an indifferent tone.

"Don't look at him like that!" she petted the dark hedgehog's head.

Nicholai snorted, "Then how am I supposed to look at it? It's not normal..."

"And neither is your head!" she busted out.

He began to laugh before talking again, "Look, I just don't like it."

"I brought him here so you could meet him," she glared at her friend, "and his name is Shadow, not it."

"I don't want to start a fight over this."

"You were the one that--!"

"Fine, I know it was my fault," he let out a sigh, "Can you drop it now?"

Maria glared at him, why was he acting like that? Normally he would be awfully kind to everyone... and yet, he was being so mean to the creature on her arms. Shadow continued hiding his face; she could feel him slightly shaking in terror, "Just stop glaring at him, please."

The boy raised his hands on the air, as if he had been caught in the scene of the crime, "Will do."

"Thank you."

Nicholai turned around and began to pace, "I just came here to ask you to come to a banquet with me tomorrow. My father is taking me to take another one of his 'business lessons,' and I wouldn't stand to be at one of those things by myself. So will-- you?"

The young boy turned back around and spotted Maria playing with the hedgehog. She placed her finger on his nose and he tried to catch it, but then she would quickly move it away. They both giggled and then turned around to face Nicholai, "Oh, I'm sorry, can you repeat that?"

The red-head tried not to glare at the hedgehog, "Never mind."

"I'm sure your father would prefer to have you alone," she continued to play with the dark creature, "I'm just going to distract you."

"It'll be nice to have some company."

"I'm sorry, Nicholai, but now that my grandfather is conducting research, he's really busy and he wants me to take care of Shadow, " the hedgehog took her finger into his hands and she smiled, "If I go, he has to go and I don't think he's ready to face other humans or that your father would like him around."

"Alright," he looked at the floor and began to walk away, "I have to get home."

There was no reply, or at least... he didn't hear anything coming from his friend. She was too busy to pay any attention to anything he said, she was too busy taking care of the weird thing. For the first time in his life, he was angry for no absolutely no reason, or at least, he didn't know the reason.

The young boy turned around and took, what he was soon to learn, his last glance of Maria close to him. Her golden hair shone with the twilight sun, her ocean eyes were deep and caring, her smile was beautiful, and in her arms was a dark hedgehog.

For the following years, Nicholai was too busy to get out of his mansion; being the son of one of the richest men in the country gave him little freedom as he continued to grow. All eyes were on him and his business skills, there were so many high expectations, and just a small amount of freedom.

The red-head watched everyone else's lives go on, time never stopping for them. The seasons changed, people changed... and he grew older, hidden from everyone. And what had happened to his friend? Maria continued spending most of her time with the dark creature; he would see them pass walk his mansion, just outside the gates, holding hands.

Anger burned inside of him, jealousy, and sadness; had she really forgotten about him? He hadn't received any visits from her, not even letters. The only other time he saw her was in his memory and in his dreams. He had lost her, for what seemed... forever.

Ruby orbs came back to life and the dark hedgehog looked at his bloody hands; it had happened again... His hands burned and the blood continued to leak from its sides, touching the muddy floor. He released the sword and backed away from the rose girl. With every step he took back, he was falling into an endless abyss.

He was falling... and nobody was there to catch him.

"What have you done?!" screamed a young man.

A dark hedgehog froze on his spot, his hands covered in blood and the body of a young girl lay before him. His ruby orbs were flooded in tears that fell to his hands, washing away the sinful liquid off his hands. His body began to shake uncontrollably as he heard the young red-head scream on top of his lungs.

"Y-you," cried Nicholai, "you monster!" Long sobs restrained his words, but he continued in the loudest voice possible, "You k-killed her! You-"

"I didn't do it..." interrupted the small hedgehog in a shaky voice, "I couldn't have..."

Nicholai ran to the girl and held her gingerly on his arms, afraid of making any more damage; he took her further away from the hedgehog, "Look at your hands! That's her blood! You killed her, you monster!"

"I didn't do it... I didn't do it...! I couldn't have! I-I-" Shadow looked at his hands and dropped to his knees. Had he really killed the girl...? Had he really killed Maria? No! He couldn't have! But the blood... the blood was on his hands. 'I don't remember it! I didn't do it... I couldn't have! What happened?! What happened?!' screamed his head. There was no memory of what he had done, he had no prove of his innocence... he had killed her...

"I didn't do it!" he repeated those words out loud, over and over again. The small hedgehog covered his ears and pressed his hands on his head; blood stuck to his fur, her blood. Salty rivers flowed down his face, he bit his lower lip, 'I couldn't have...'

Without any other words, the young man pulled out a book and began to speak in a language that the ebony hedgehog did not understand. He tried to make his words as clear as possible behind his tears as he cast some spells on the corpse. For a few minutes it shone and small particles came out of the light, but her body did not show any signs of life. At the sight, he continued casting the spells over and over again; hoping one of them would work.

The small hedgehog watched from afar, his hands clutched to his sides. He watched the red-head trying to resuscitate the blond girl, and hoping that his presence would help the spells, he approached the body. Slowly, he crawled to his friend, 'Please Maria... please... I'm sorry... I'm really sorry...!'

"Get away from her!" shouted Nicholai raising his hand in the air ready to strike the hedgehog if he got any closer. Shadow stopped in his tracks and continued watching from a distance, still cursing himself for the committed crime.

The young man continued casting spells until one of them made the girl open her eyes slowly. He held her hand and she turned to see him; for a few moments, relief washed over the two males in the destroyed room. Maria's angelic face turned to see the young Shadow and smiled, then, her hand fell from Nicholai's. In between sobs and hiccups, he began to laugh.

Unable to understand Nicholai's emotions, ruby orbs were locked on Maria's porcelain face. Without any fear of the other male, Shadow ran to her side and hugged the young girl. Her deep ocean eyes were still open, she was awake! He held her tightly in his small arms and frowned, "Maria, I don't want to play this game anymore!"

Nicholai continued to laugh, this time hysterically; his eyes were wide and filled with tears. He regained his posture and said behind a twisted grin, "She's dead and there's nothing you can do to get her back. You killed her."

The dark hedgehog's eyes widen in terror, "You lying!"

"Why would I lie my little monster?" the young man's expression contorted, "You killed her."

Denying every word the older man spoke, Shadow shook the girl on his arms gently, "Maria... Maria, I don't like this game!"

"It's not a game, kid," shouted the red-head, "she's dead..."

"I'm sorry, I'm really sorry! I'll be good next time... I promise! I won't eat any more sweets before lunch! I won't stick my tongue out at that ugly guy in the suit! I promise Maria... I promise!" he began to rock the girl on his arms back and forth, "I don't-- I don't want to play this game anymore!"

"She won't answer!"

"I'll be good," said the small hedgehog hiccupping very loudly, "I promise!"

"She's dead!"

"Maria!" shouted the ebony hedgehog. He continued sobbing and realized that she really was dead, and he killed her.

A/N: I won't apologize, posting this chapter late was mostly my fault due to being a procrastinator... as well as some other bits and pieces. I guess this chapter didn't have much of Nicholai's story, but it has a bit of it. It was hard to write about him, even if he's my own character.

Anyway, like the quote said, I can judge my own stuff, and to tell you guys the truth, I hate this chapter. I re-wrote it four times, each chapter with a different name, none pleased me. However, I had to keep the story moving on and I added this, I'm sorry if you're disappointed; I'll try to write something to make up for this next time.

Revised Heart in the Darkness: Also, since I think I lost my way in this story, and to make it better, I decided to make a revised version. To those who like this story, I would recommend to check it out; it'll have improved chapters, extra chapters, more detail, an improved plot, new twists, and other bits and pieces. I'll post it later today, so keep your eyes open for it. I would love to see your points of view, opinions, and even ideas you would like to be added to the story. I love pleasing my readers, so if you guys wanna say something, I'll be glad to hear it.

Sweat, Blood, and Adrenaline!: It is because I love pleasing my readers that I'm also offering a chance to cast your characters in my new upcoming story, Sweat, Blood, and Adrenaline! If you would like to participate in the fic, please send me a PM or e-mail with your character(s) profile(s). I'm taking in teams now, so if you have applied already and think of getting a team in with your previous character, I'd love to get in the new info. Visit my profile for more details!

Every review makes me smile, thank you so much for your support!

Chapter 8: Departure

Those events, those memories...! Nicholai blames Shadow for Maria's death, but did he really kill her or is there something else to it? In search for more about his past Shadow decides to leave town; he has already caused enough damage there. Lead by anger towards Nicholai, he sets out in a journey that might lead him to his doom. Is there anyone that can stop him before he completely looses himself in the darkness now that Amy is... gone?

Thanks to: All my lovable readers and reviewers!

Until Next Time!